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Mary Woronov Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (9) | Personal Quotes (11)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 8 December 1943Palm Beach, Florida, USA
Nicknames Penny Arcade
Mary Might
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Mary Woronov was born on December 8, 1943, at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida (some sources cite New York as her birthplace). She was raised by her mother, Carol (Eschholz), and her stepfather, Victor D. Woronov, a surgeon, who adopted her. She grew up in Brooklyn Heights and attended Cornell University as a sculpting major. After a class trip to Andy Warhol 's Silver Factory, she joined Warhol's entourage and starred in a number of his underground films and appeared as a go-go dancer in the Velvet Underground's Exploding Plastic Inevitable shows. She left the Factory in the late 1960s and, after recovering from a heavy methamphetamine addiction, spent two years in Europe with a friend; during this time, Warhol was shot by Valerie Solanas, and with the altered Factory dynamic, "there was nothing to go back to." She supported herself with work in off-Broadway and off-off- Broadway theater, then "got scared and got married" to director/producer Theodore Gershuny. She appeared in three of his films, Kemek (1970), Silent Night, Bloody Night (1972), and Sugar Cookies (1973). After the marriage broke up, Woronov moved to Los Angeles at the invitation of friend Paul Bartel, where she appeared on the daytime soap Somerset (1970) and had a memorable role in Bartel's Death Race 2000 (1975). Her best and most famous role came in 1982, with the part of Mary Bland in Bartel's black comedy Eating Raoul (1982). A major cult figure as an actress, she is also an accomplished painter and writer, having published three books--Wake for the Angels: Paintings and Stories, the autobiography Swimming Underground: My Years in the Warhol Factory, and the novel Snake.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (1)

Theodore Gershuny (1970 - 1973)

Trade Mark (2)

Statuesque, model-like figure
Husky resonant voice

Trivia (9)

Was the childhood sweetheart of folk singer/filmmaker Harry Chapin.
She remained at the Factory while her classmates went back to Cornell University without her. When she returned to Cornell, she began taking the Greyhound bus to New York as often as possible. She eventually left Cornell permanently when Andy Warhol invited her on a trip to California with other Factory regulars in 1966.
Was friends with Hervé Villechaize.
Interviewed in the book "Invasion of the B-Girls" by Jewel Shepard.
Currently lives in Los Angeles, California acting, writing and painting (2002). She is also a graduate writing instructor at Otis College of Art and Design. Her independent film, The New Women (2001) (directed by Todd Hughes) opened in Canada on March 15, 2002.
Has appeared with Dick Miller in eight films: Cannonball! (1976), Hollywood Boulevard (1976), The Lady in Red (1979), Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979), Get Crazy (1983), Chopping Mall (1986) Motorama (1991) and Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003).
Best known by the public for her role as Mary Bland in the black comedy Eating Raoul (1982).
Attended and graduated from Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, New York in 1962.

Personal Quotes (11)

I knew what was art and what was shit. But sometimes the shit was more interesting.
I'm thrilled to be a cult queen. Cult movie fans are good people. It isn't fair to denigrate them for having no taste or for liking weird films because they're twisted. Actually, the fans have better taste than the general audience. They like movies for very special reasons. And they're immensely loyal and understanding.
[on Andy Warhol] I was interested in art, and he was an artist. I did not think of it as acting. They had just started doing what's now called "performance art",­ then they were called "happenings". I thought of it in that way. I was an object that was being used, not an actress giving a performance. He went for that. That's why everybody thinks of all of us that were in the films as being freaks.
It's great that the fans think I'm sexy. But I'm not a traditional sex symbol by any means. I don't have big boobs, an hourglass figure and bubbly blonde hair. In fact, I hardly have any boobs at all.
Once upon a time, I thought I would become a star. It took me six months to realize that wasn't going to happen. Eventually, I knew that I would never become a star -- but I would make a lot of films and I would earn little bits of money here and there, which would support me.
I don't know what "respectable" means anymore. I've always been used in odd roles.
[on being cast in oddball roles] I don't seek out these roles, they're given to me. I would love to play Lassie's mom, and I'd be good at it. They [filmmakers] see me as a weirdo. I go to an audition and the people vying for my part are tough guys, gigantic fat women, or extremely ugly people. The director hands me a whip... so stupid! They say, "Now Mary! We want this character to be really, really bad! Be really, really bad!". No one is bad like I am.
[on Andy Warhol being an "evil opportunist"] No! He's not an evil opportunist! What's an evil opportunist? There's an opportunist, and there are people who think opportunism is evil. That's their problem! He did what he did and took what he took! He was very fair to me and very fair to a lot of people. He wasn't some ringleader abusing people. I liked him... I still like him.
[on her role in Chelsea Girls (1966)] Of all the girls at Andy Warhol's Factory, I was the butch one. [Warhol] put in his Screen Test and I spent my nights at Max's Kansas City... I was the strong girl at the Factory.
With most of the movies, they asked for me specifically. A lot of the movie auditions I did, I never got. But the TV stuff I would get, because they needed certain types and I just started filling a niche. Strong and domineering, or lesbian, whatever. But TV then was nothing like TV now, which is just incredibly subtle and very well-written and just amazing. TV was really deadly boring back then. Now you do movies to get your TV series.
It's not that I am happy not acting as much. It's that I don't have to act. I mean, if a role comes my way that I'm really interested in, I'll try it. But I've done enough movies, I think. I've done a bizarre range of movies. Maybe I haven't done 2,000 movies, and maybe I haven't become a star, but at least my movies are different. Plus, to do movies, you have to be young and beautiful. Not that I'm not beautiful, but I certainly wouldn't say I'm young. Now I'm beautiful and cranky.

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