DATELINE: MOVIE MASHUP
Sweet and gentle, Candy Darling smashed the molds most people have for female impersonators. To a degree nearly all have a travesty about them that satirizes femininity. Candy Darling was lovely and could pass the vulnerability test.
Andy Warhol’s superstar that actually had the aura of Kim Novak and Marilyn Monroe was little Jimmy Slattery who transformed himself into Candy Darling. He was beautiful and exuded glamour that Jean Harlow and Lizbeth Scott would aim for in the real Hollywood.
Candy Darling was limited to the New York glitzy life of fame unearned. She wanted to be famous, but it was only acting without much satisfaction.
Her longtime friend Jeremiah Newton, her companion and hanger-on, helped produce this documentary called Beautiful Darling. If ever there was a tragic heroine of the Warhol stable, it was Candy.
She could be called a sham and a fake. Yet, she was pleasant, according to Tennessee Williams. Perhaps all she wanted was to be loved—and it seemed to escape her grasp. Finally, Warhol too seemed to jettison her.
When Warhol finally left behind his male ‘women’ icons, Candy probably was most bereft, but she suddenly discovered she was terribly ill. She did not kill herself with drugs, drinking, or wild living. She developed a tumor when she was 29—and like another darling creature and cultural phenomenon, Klaus Nomi, a few years later, she simply died prematurely and mostly alone.
Her story is unbearably sad, and this documentary notes her impact on Lou Reed, Truman Capote, Warhol, and others of the satiric age of glamour, The Sixties.
Forty years after her untimely disappearance from the Scene, people like filmmaker John Waters pay attention.
Yes, attention should be paid. Darling Candy deserved so much more. It’s the least we can give her memory.