Holly from F.L.A. is remembered on the L.E.S.

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.

From left, Elsa Rensaa, Ruby Reyner and Jimmy Webb at the Holly Woodlawn memorial. Reyner’s seminal glitter band Ruby and the Rednecks influenced David Bowie. Webb, long the heart and soul of East Village punk boutique Trash and Vaudeville, recently left the store after its move from St. Mark’s Place. Photos by Clayton Patterson

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.

A memorial photo of Holly Woodlawn, muse of Andy Warhol and Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground.
From left, Agosto Machado, a well-known Downtown drag queen; Lori Seid, LaMaMa technician; and Randy Wicker, a longtime gay rights activist, cloning advocate and partner of the late transgender activist Martha Johnson.
John Vaccaro, director of the Theatre of the Ridiculous, an underground theater in the 1960s that had a connection with Andy Warhol’s Factory scene.
Jeremiah Newton and Penny Arcade, two of the Woodlawn memorial’s producers. A renowned performance artist, Arcade, early in her career, also starred in Warhol films. Newtown produced the film “Beautiful Darling” and co-edited the book “My Face for the World to See: The Diaries of Candy Darling,” both about Candy Darling, another transgender Warhol superstar, who, like Woodlawn, appears in Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side.”