Friends and fans gathered at LaMaMa on Saturday afternoon for a memorial to Holly Woodlawn, the transgender actress and Warhol superstar. She died on Dec. 6 at age 69.
She was born Haroldo Santiago Franceschi Rodriguez Danhakl in Puerto Rico to an American soldier and a native Puerto Rican woman, and grew up in Miami. At 15, she headed north, hitchhiking her way to New York City.
Lou Reed made her famous in the opening verse to his 1972 song “Walk on the Wild Side”:
Holly came from Miami, F-L-A
Hitchhiked her way across the U.S.A.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she
She says, “Hey, babe, take a walk on the wild side.”
Arriving in New York, Woodlawn turned tricks on the street to survive.
She went on to star in the Andy Warhol movies “Trash” and “Women in Revolt,” but may be best remembered for the Lou Reed verse.
She was a participant in the Stonewall Riots in the summer of 1969.
Saturday’s memorial was produced by Penny Arcade, Jeremiah Newtown and Steve Zehentner.