"Candy Darling"


Peter Hujar, Candy Darling on her Deathbed, 1974, gelatin-silver print, 15 x 15 inches

Candy Darling desperately wanted to play the part of Myra Breckinridge, but as she herself stated, "they decided Raquel Welch would make a more believable transvestite."  It was true; elegant Candy was a convincing woman.  It was as one of Andy Warhol's "Superstars" that she'd found her chance. She would appear in Warhol’s films, Flesh (1968) and Women In Revolt (1971). Warhol described her brief performance in Flesh as "very ladylike."

Darling was born on November 24, 1944, as James ("Jimmy") Lawrence Slattery.  He grew up in Massapequa Park, Long Island with his mother. The first time Jimmy’s mother saw him in drag she said, "I knew then that I couldn’t stop Jimmy. Candy was just too beautiful and talented." Candy Darling picked up her name from a love of sweets and the pet name "darling," which her friend Taffy Tits called her until it stuck. Darling was a true star; she even had a beautiful song written about her by The Velvet Underground, "Candy Says."  She also appeared in several independent films and plays apart from Warhol’s factory. 

Tragically, Candy Darling died of leukemia at the age of 29, March 21, 1974. On the day of her death, she wrote a note to her friends saying, "Unfortunately before my death, I had no desire left for life ... I am just so bored by everything. You might say bored to death." 

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