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Curtis Backstage at SNAFU in 1980 by Gary LeGault
John Curtis Holder Jr.
February 19, 1947
New York City
|Died||May 15, 1985 38) (aged|
New York City
|Cause of death||Drug overdose|
|Resting place||Rose Hills Memorial Park, Putnam Valley, New York|
|Occupation||Actress, writer, singer, Warhol Superstar|
Jackie Curtis (February 19, 1947 – May 15, 1985) was an American actress, writer, singer, and Warhol Superstar.
Jackie Curtis was born in New York City to John Holder and Jenevive Uglialoro. She had one sibling, half-brother Timothy Holder, who is an openly gay Episcopal priest.Her parents divorced and she was mostly raised by her maternal grandmother. Her maternal grandmother was Ann Uglialoro, a well-known East Village bar owner known as Slugger Ann. Jackie performed as both a man and a woman throughout her career. While performing in drag, Curtis would typically wear lipstick, glitter, bright red hair, ripped dresses, and stockings. Curtis pioneered this combination of trashy and glamour, a style that has prompted assertions that Curtis inspired the glitter rock or glam rock movement of the 1970s.
The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
The East Village is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan. It is roughly defined as the neighborhood east of the Bowery and Third Avenue, between 14th Street on the north and Houston Street on the south.
Ann Uglialoro, known by her nickname Slugger Ann was famous as the owner of Slugger Ann's, a popular bar in the East Village area in New York City, which she operated from the 1950s until her death in 1980. She was also known as the grandmother of Jackie Curtis.
Andy Warhol said of Curtis, "Jackie Curtis is not a drag queen. Jackie is an artist. A pioneer without a frontier." Primarily a stage actress, Curtis debuted at the age of 17 in Tom Eyen's play Miss Neferititi Regrets produced in 1965 at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club.Curtis began writing her own plays immediately after this production. Her productions often featured well-known transgender people, such as Candy Darling and Holly Woodlawn. Curtis' work was influenced by the Playhouse of the Ridiculous, a resident company at La MaMa. As writer and lead actress, her plays included Glamour, Glory and Gold, which also starred Darling, Melba LaRose, Jr., and Robert De Niro in his first appearance on stage, playing several roles; Vain Victory, with Darling and Mario Montez; Amerika Cleopatra featuring Harvey Fierstein; Femme Fatale, with Patti Smith, Jayne County and Penny Arcade; and Heaven Grand in Amber Orbit with Woodlawn.
Andy Warhol was an American artist, director and producer who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertising that flourished by the 1960s, and span a variety of media, including painting, silkscreening, photography, film, and sculpture. Some of his best known works include the silkscreen paintings Campbell's Soup Cans (1962) and Marilyn Diptych (1962), the experimental film Chelsea Girls (1966), and the multimedia events known as the Exploding Plastic Inevitable (1966–67).
Tom Eyen was an American playwright, lyricist, television writer and director. He received a Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for Dreamgirls in 1981.
La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club is an Off-Off-Broadway theatre founded in 1961 by Ellen Stewart, African-American theatre director, producer, and fashion designer. Located in Manhattan's East Village, the theatre began in the basement boutique where Stewart sold her fashion designs. Stewart turned the space into a theatre at night, focusing on the work of young playwrights. La MaMa has evolved during its fifty-year history into a world-renowned cultural institution.
While writing plays, Curtis continued to act. She reprised her role as Ptolemy II in a 1966 production of Miss Nefertiti Regrets at La MaMa.In 1969, she performed with the Playhouse of the Ridiculous in Tom Murrin's Cock-Strong alongside Penny Arcade, Anthony Ingrassia, Ruby Lynn Reyner, and others. Music for the production was written by Ralph Czitrom and performed by the Silver Apples. She co-directed a production of her own play, Vain Victory, at La MaMa in 1971, and directed and performed in Nick Markovich's I Died Yesterday at La MaMa in 1983.
Tom Murrin, also known as Jack Bump, Tom Trash, and The Alien Comic, was an American performance artist and playwright in the downtown avant-garde art scene in New York City. In the 1980s and 1990s, Murrin curated a variety night called The Full Moon Show at Performance Space 122 and later at La Mama and Dixon Place. In 2013, Dixon Place introduced a performance award, "The Tommy," to honor Murrin's life and work.
Penny Arcade, is an American performance artist, actress, and playwright based in New York City.
Anthony J. Ingrassia, better known as Tony Ingrassia, was an American director, producer, and playwright whose works were produced on Broadway, Off Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, and internationally.
Andy Warhol and director Paul Morrissey cast Curtis and Darling in Flesh (1968) and, with the addition of Holly Woodlawn, in Women in Revolt (1971), a comedic spoof of the women's liberation movement.
Paul Morrissey is an American film director, best known for his association with Andy Warhol.
Flesh is a 1968 film directed by Paul Morrissey and starring Joe Dallesandro as a hustler working on the streets of New York City. It highlights various Warhol superstars, in addition to being the film debuts of both Jackie Curtis and Candy Darling. Also appearing are Geraldine Smith as Joe's wife and Patti D'Arbanville as her lover. Flesh was first shown at the New Andy Warhol Garrick Theatre at 152 Bleecker Street, Manhattan, New York City on September 26, 1968.
Women In Revolt, also known as Andy Warhol's Women in Revolt, is a 1971 satire film produced by Andy Warhol and directed by American filmmaker Paul Morrissey.
Curtis was also a singer and poet. In 1974, Curtis and Woodlawn appeared in Cabaret in the Sky at the New York Cultural Center. An album by Paul Serrato collecting songs from the Curtis works Lucky Wonderful and Vain Victory, including the love ballad "Who Are You", which Curtis sang to Darling, was released in 2004. Curtis' poem "B-Girls", much of which is based on her observations of people who visited her grandmother's bar, Slugger Ann's, was included in the 1979 book The Poets' Encyclopedia . At eight pages long, it was the longest poem in the book.
An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), vinyl, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of recorded music were developed in the early 20th century as individual 78-rpm records collected in a bound book resembling a photograph album; this format evolved after 1948 into single vinyl LP records played at 33 1⁄3 rpm. Vinyl LPs are still issued, though album sales in the 21st-century have mostly focused on CD and MP3 formats. The audio cassette was a format used alongside vinyl from the 1970s into the first decade of the 2000s.
The Poets' Encyclopedia is an English-language poetical anthology, covering the literary, art and music worlds of New York City in the 1970s. 225 poets, artists, musicians and novelists transform the world's basic knowledge. Imagination trumps fact. John Cage writes on mushrooms, Richard Kostelanetz on gimmicks, Jackie Curtis on B-Girls, Pier Paolo Pasolini on reality, Daniel Berrigan on Israel, Allen Ginsberg on junk mail, Irene Dogmatic on junk food, John Chamberlain on junk sculpture, and William S. Burroughs on heroin. The New York Times said, it "includes Everything and Nothing ." Unmuzzled OX, the publisher of The Poets' Encyclopedia, attempted as a kind of sequel The Poets' Guide to Canada. Although George Bowering, Margaret Atwood, Sonja Skarstedt and other prominent Canadian poets wrote articles, the issue devolved into a jokey conversation between New Yorkers, pseudonymous New Yorkers, and the surrealist poet Russell Edson.
Jackie Curtis made two more movies during the 1980s. Drug addiction, however, took its toll on her, and she died from a heroin overdose in 1985.
|1971||W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism||Herself|
|1971||Women in Revolt||Jackie|
|1971||An American Family||Herself||1 episode|
|1973||The Corner Bar||Herself||1 episode|
|1983||Burroughs: the Movie||Nurse|
|2002||The Cockettes||Herself||archival footage|
|2004||Superstar in a Housedress||Herself||archival footage|
|2010||Beautiful Darling||Herself||archival footage|
Warhol superstars were a clique of New York City personalities promoted by the pop artist Andy Warhol during the 1960s and early 1970s. These personalities appeared in Warhol's artworks and accompanied him in his social life, epitomizing his famous dictum, "In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes". Warhol would simply film them, and declare them "superstars".
Eric Emerson was an American musician, dancer, and actor. Emerson is best known for his roles in films by pop artist Andy Warhol, and as a member of the seminal glam punk group, the Magic Tramps.
The Factory was Andy Warhol's New York City studio, which had three different locations between 1962 and 1984. The original Factory was on the fifth floor at 231 East 47th Street, in Midtown Manhattan. The rent was one hundred dollars per year. Warhol left in 1967 when the building was scheduled to be torn down to make way for an apartment building. He then relocated his studio to the sixth floor of the Decker Building at 33 Union Square West near the corner of East 16th Street, where he was shot in 1968 by Valerie Solanas. The Factory was revamped and remained there until 1973. It moved to 860 Broadway at the north end of Union Square. Although this space was much larger, not much filmmaking took place there. In 1984 Warhol moved his remaining ventures, no longer including filming, to 22 East 33rd Street, a conventional office building. Many Warhol films, including those made at the Factory, were first shown at the New Andy Warhol Garrick Theatre or 55th Street Playhouse.
Geraldine Mary Fitzgerald was an Irish actress and a member of the American Theatre Hall of Fame.
"Walk on the Wild Side" is a song by Lou Reed from his second solo album, Transformer (1972). It was produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson, and released as a double A-side with "Perfect Day". The song received wide radio coverage, despite its touching on taboo topics such as transsexual people, drugs, male prostitution, and oral sex. In the United States, RCA released the single using an edited version of the song without the reference to oral sex. In 2010, Rolling Stone ranked it at number 223 in its list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.
Superstar in a Housedress (2004) is a feature-length documentary by independent filmmaker Craig Highberger about the life and legend of Warhol superstar Jackie Curtis. Highberger also wrote the biography of the same name, published by Penguin imprint Chamberlain Bros. in 2005. The film includes interviews with surviving superstars Holly Woodlawn, Penny Arcade and Joe Dallesandro; as well as Paul Morrissey, the director of the Warhol films Flesh and Women In Revolt that Jackie appeared in; and Tony Award winners Harvey Fierstein, and Lily Tomlin who also narrates. The film also includes twenty friends and colleagues of Curtis who round out the story of the artist's life. Rare footage includes Curtis performing in Vain Victory, Heaven Grand in Amber Orbit, and Glamour, Glory and Gold.
Candy Darling was an American actress, best known as a Warhol Superstar and transsexual icon. She starred in Andy Warhol's films Flesh (1968) and Women in Revolt (1971), and was a muse of The Velvet Underground.
Jayne County is an American singer, songwriter, actress and record producer whose career has spanned five decades. She was the vocalist of influential proto-punk band Wayne County & the Electric Chairs and has been known for her outrageous and unpredictable stage antics. She went on to become rock's first openly transgender singer.
Holly Woodlawn was a transgender Puerto Rican actress and Warhol superstar who appeared in the movies Trash (1970) and Women in Revolt (1971). She was probably best known as the Holly in Lou Reed's hit pop song "Walk on the Wild Side".
Ellen Stewart was an African-American theatre director and producer and the founder of La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club. During the 1950s she worked as a fashion designer for Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Lord & Taylor, and Henri Bendel.
Magie Dominic is a Canadian poet, author, and artist who was born in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.
Helen Hanft was an American actress
Kenneth Bernard is an American author, poet, and playwright.
The 55th Street Playhouse—periodically referred to as the 55th Street Cinema and Europa Theatre—was a 253-seat movie house at 154 West 55th Street, Midtown Manhattan, New York City, that opened on May 20, 1927. Many classic art and foreign-language films, including those by Jean Cocteau, Sergei Eisenstein, Federico Fellini, Abel Gance, Fritz Lang, and Orson Welles, were featured at the theater. Later, Andy Warhol presented many of his notable films in this building in the late 1960s. Other notable films were also shown at the theater, including Boys in the Sand (1971) and Him (1974).
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