Born in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico, she adopted the name Holly as an homage to the heroine of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and in 1969 added the surname from a sign she saw on an episode of I Love Lucy. Woodlawn grew up in Miami Beach and in 1962 left, heading north. She recollects that “I hocked some jewelery and … made it all the way to Georgia, where the money ran out and … had to hitchhike the rest of the way” to New York.
She met Andy Warhol in the Factory at a screening of Flesh. Through him she met Jackie Curtis, who cast Woodlawn in her play Heaven Grand in Amber Orbit in the autumn of 1969. In October she was assigned a bit role in Trash, but so impressed director Paul Morrissey that she was given a larger role. In 1970 she received word from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that George Cukor, supported by others, was petitioning the Academy to nominate her for Trash however, nothing came of this campaign.
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