Beautiful Darling, James Rasin’s documentary about the life of Candy Darling, the gorgeous, transgender Andy Warhol superstar who died tragically young at 29, opens today at the IFC Center in Manhattan. Comprised of archival footage, interviews with Factory regulars and underground celebrities (John Waters, Fran Lebowitz), and Darling’s writings (read by Chloë Sevigny), the film celebrates its subject’s daring quest to become the person she knew she was.
Although many other Warhol superstars have already passed away — Jackie Curtis, Edie Sedgwick, Paul America, Ondine, and more — several others are still alive and working, keeping the creative spirit of their ’60s heyday alive. After the jump, we update you on where some of our favorite superstars are now.
Janet Susan Mary Hoffmann met Andy Warhol in 1963 and showed up at the Factory begging for money in ’65 but didn’t strike up a friendship until two years later, when he agreed to put her in his next film, The Loves of Ondine. Warhol christened her Viva and went on to feature her in such movies as Tub Girls and Nude Restaurant.
As her fame grew, Viva appeared in other films, from Midnight Cowboy to Play It Again, Sam to Paris, Texas. In 1969, she married (but later divorced) the video artist Michel Auder and played a vital role in the founding of video as a fine-art medium. Viva published her first novel, Superstar, a semi-autobiographical account of life at the Factory, in 1970. The Baby, a “video novel” followed in 1974. Her daughter, the actress Gaby Hoffmann (yes, of Now and Then fame) was born in 1982.
Now 72, Viva lives in Palm Springs, where she continues to make art. In 2007, the former Chelsea Hotel resident weighed in on the displacement of the building’s longtime manager, Stanley Bard: “Without Stanley the Chelsea loses its soul and West 23rd street can welcome the New World Order where profit is the only virtue,” she wrote.