(November 24, 1944 - March 21, 1974) U.S.A.
When Candy Darling, who would turn seventy-two today, was in her teens, her mother confronted her about rumors regarding an inclination toward cross-dressing; in response, Candy left the room and reappeared in full gender-affirming attire. "I knew then," her mother later said, "that I couldn't stop Jimmy [Candy's birth name]. Candy was just too beautiful and talented."
By the mid-1960s, Darling was a fixture in Greenwich Village, where she had roles in various experimental theatre projects, including Jackie Curtis's 1967 play Glamour, Glory and Gold , starring Darling and a young Robert DeNiro. After seeing Darling in that role, Andy Warhol cast her in Flesh (1968), and as a lead in Women In Revolt (1971). In addition to the Warhol films, Darling appeared in several other independent movies, though her attempts to break into the mainstream were unsuccessful.
Candy Darling died of lymphoma; she was just twenty-nine. "Unfortunately before my death," Darling wrote on her deathbed in a letter intended for Warhol, "I had no desire left for life... I am just so bored by everything. You might say bored to death. Did you know I couldn't last. I always knew it. I wish I could meet you all again."
Darling's funeral drew thousands, including several of the film icons she admired most; Julie Newmar, for example, read the eulogy, and Gloria Swanson saluted Darling's coffin.
Andy Warhol and Candy Darling , 1969. Photo by Cecil Beaton