Final Act


Candy Darling on her Deathbed, 1974 (Peter Hujar)

“Unfortunately before my death

I had no desire left for life . . .

I am just so bored by everything.

You might say bored to death.”


Candy Darling (born James Lawrence Slattery on November 24, 1944—March 21, 1974) was an American Warhol superstar. A pre-operative transsexual, she starred in Andy Warhol’s films Flesh (1968) and Women in Revolt (1971), and was a muse of the protopunk band The Velvet Underground.

Jimmy spent much of her childhood absorbing the influences of US television and old Hollywood movies, from which she learned to impersonate her favorite actresses, such as Joan Bennett and Kim Novak.

She claimed to have “learned about the mysteries of sex from a salesman in a local children’s shoe store” and finally revealed an inclination towards dressing as a female when her mother confronted her about local rumours which described her dressed as a girl frequenting a local gay bar called The Hayloft.

In response Jimmy left the room and reappeared in full feminine attire. Her mother later said, “I knew then… that I couldn’t stop Jimmy. Candy was just too beautiful and talented.”




~ by eaesthete on 02/23/09.

2 Responses to “Final Act”

  1. I’m always drawn to this image in spite of myself. For me it’s so decadent (if Huysmans’ Des Essenties was a Warhol superstar) but embarrassingly mawkish.

    From Candy’s goodbye letter:

    “By the time you read this I will be gone. Unfortunately before my death I had no desire left for life. Even with all my friends and my career on the upswing I felt too empty to go on in this unreal existence. I am just so bored by everything. You might say bored to death.”

  2. Thank you sublime femme (wonderful name by the way), for enriching this post with an excerpt from Candy’s goodbye letter. And, I agree, about the image. It is both decadent (particularly in the luxuriousness of her pose), and excessively mawkish.

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