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Jackie Curtis Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trivia (2)  | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (3)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Died in New York City, New York, USA  (drug overdose)
Birth NameJohn Holder Jr.

Mini Bio (1)

Jackie's friendship and professional association with Andy Warhol began in the mid-1960s. He appeared in director Paul Morrissey's Women in Revolt (1971) with Candy Darling and Holly Woodlawn and Flesh (1968) with Joe Dallesandro and Candy Darling, presented by Andy Warhol. For these unique films, director Paul Morrissey gave the actors information about their character, the scene and suggested lines. The camera rolled and everyone improvised much of the content in a single take.

Jackie was perhaps happiest on stage. His wild creative energies were unleashed on appreciative audiences at venues including Playhouse of the Ridiculous, La Mama E.T.C., the Poetry Project at St. Marks Church, Bastianos Theater, Pyramid, and many other Manhattan theaters. His talent transcended gender and he reveled in melodramatic female roles.

In 1970, Jackie Curtis auditioned in drag for Busby Berkeley's revival of the 1920s musical "No, No, Nanette" - too bad Busby Berkeley and Broadway weren't ready for Curtis in the chorus line! Jackie's cabaret performances were stunning. In 1973 he appeared at the New York Cultural Center in "Cabaret in the Sky - an Evening with Holly Woodlawn and Jackie Curtis", an event attended by gay New York and "cafe society" alike.

Fortunately, Jackie's singing talents were documented on video in the 1970s and also on recently rediscovered studio recordings of songs from "Vain Victory" - which are to be released on CD in the near future! Jackie Curtis began writing plays in the late 1960s in which he usually appeared as the female lead. "Amerika Cleopatra" ran during the summer of 1968. Jackie's co-stars included Alexis del Lago and Harvey Fierstein, who played "Cleo's Jewish Mother".

'Robert de Niro' made his first appearance on the stage opposite Candy Darling during the first run of "Glamour, Glory, and Gold" in 1967. Jackie's musical "Lucky Wonderful", with music composed by Paul Serrato, was produced in 1968 at the Bastianos Theater. "Heaven Grand in Amber Orbit" was performed by John Vaccaro's Playhouse of the Ridiculous in 1969 and toured internationally for two years. Jackie Curtis' "Vain Victory" was produced at La Mama in 1971. It was an immediate smash hit and ran all summer long to packed houses.

Jackie was a prolific writer and a published poet. Jackie's poetry focuses on his fascination with stardom, glamorous divas, and broken dreams. He was proudest of his inclusion in "The Poets' Encyclopedia" published by the editors of the literary journal "Unmuzzled OX" in 1979. The poem "B-Girls" is the longest work in the 310 page volume (8 pages). It is based upon Jackie's observations of the barroom denizens of "Slugger Ann's", his grandmother's bar. (Jackie lived above the bar with his grandmother for much of his life.)

Jackie died of an accidental heroin overdose on May 15, 1985. He was just 38 years old. At his wake, friends filled his casket with photographs and mementos of his career, packs of Kool cigarettes, a magic wand, a cocktail shaker full of martinis, and sprinkled his face and body with glitter.

Later, after the funeral, friends covered his burial mound with so much red glitter that it was visible in the distance from the highway. Jackie's unique talents and his wonderful friendship and spirit will always be sorely missed by those who had the good fortune to know him.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Craig Highberger <chighberger@cinci.rr.com>

Trivia (2)

Is portrayed by Jamie Harrold in I Shot Andy Warhol (1996)
Referenced in verse five of Lou Reed's "Take a Walk on the Wild Side": "Jackie is just speeding away, Thought she was James Dean for a day, Then I guess she had to crash, Valium would have helped that bash, She said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side".

Personal Quotes (1)

I am not a boy, not a girl, I am not gay, not straight, I am not a drag queen, not a transsexual - I am just me, Jackie.

See also

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