Candy Darling — who was born James Slattery in Queens and became a Warhol Superstar — was bullied relentlessly in high school and was nearly lynched, an upcoming biography will report.
Cynthia Carr, who wrote “Fire in the Belly” about artist and AIDS activist David Wojnarowicz, has already interviewed 67 people who knew Darling.
“She is an icon in the transgender world,” Carr told me. “But she didn’t like being called a drag queen, and there was no word ‘transgender’ when she was alive. She felt she was a woman.”
Although she never had surgery, Darling took female hormones and was renowned for her beauty. “She could pass,” Carr said.
Darling dropped out of high school in Massapequa Park, LI, when she was 16, after a group of boys put her on top of a box with a noose around her neck, Carr said.
She appeared in two Andy Warhol films, “Flesh” and “Women in Revolt.”
When she starred in Tennessee Williams’ off-Broadway play “Small Craft Warnings” in 1972, she wasn’t allowed to use either the men’s or the women’s dressing rooms.
“They gave her a broom closet, and she put a star on the door,” Carr said.
She died at age 29 in 1974 of cancer some suspected was caused by a carcinogenic hormone.
Publicist R. Couri Hay, who gave a eulogy at her funeral at Frank E. Campbell, was excoriated because he called Candy “him.” Julie Newmar also spoke.
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