Lil' Blonde Darling: Candy Darling!

Blonde Beauty Icon Candy Darling
November 24, 1944 – March 21 1974

Words cannot describe my love, respect and fascination with Candy Darling!! Candy was a model, actress, muse to The Velvet Underground and Lou Reed, and was part of Andy Warhol's Factory scene in NYC during the late 60's/early 70's. She was also transgendered. In 1963. That must have taken some pretty big balls! Raised on Long Island, she grew up watching old Hollywood movies and impersonating her favorite actresses like Jean Harlow, Marilyn Monroe, Lana Turner and Kim Novak. As a teenager, she would take the LIRR into Manhattan and go to gay bars in the West Village. She went through several name changes: Hope Slattery, Hope Dahl, Candy Dahl, and Candy Cane. She finally chose the last name Darling after friends affectionately called her Candy "darling" so often it stuck. After meeting Pop Artist Andy Warhol in 1967, she became one of his "Warhol Superstars" and he cast her in several of his films like Flesh and Women In Revolt. Candy wanted desperately to be taken seriously as an actress and have a legit career as a female model. Unfortunately, her career never really took off due to the stigma of being transgendered (a term that was just starting to come into the mainstream). Even to this day, being transgendered seems to be the only socially "acceptable" form of discrimination. Candy Darling died from leukemia, a result of the shady hormone pills she began taking for her transition from male to female. She was 29.

I've been told that I look like "just like Candy Darling" for years (basically since the moment I moved to NYC), even by people that knew her! It wasn't until I researched her and received her posthumously published diary, "My Face For The World To See" as a gift from Heatherette's Richie Rich, that I truly began to appreciate the compliment. She was an artist, constantly sketching woman's faces, fashion designs and makeup looks. She yearned for a real, loving relationship yet was disillusioned with men. She was ethereally beautiful even without taking hormones or having plastic surgery. She was a pioneer. I wish I could have met her. We would have A LOT to talk about.

"Hello, this is GLAMOUR speaking"

"Darling, boys all love her...."

Candy and Andy Warhol.

"When I was a child, I used to fill up the bathtub and put blue food coloring in, to make the water blue like in Technicolor."- Candy Darling

"Women In Revolt" 1971

Little Black Dress

I'm ready for my close-up.

Little Black Barets. Get. Into. It.

"When depressed- make yourself as pretty as possible. #1 Get hair done. No money? Do it yourself." - diary entry from "My Face For The World To See" by Candy Darling

Andy and his "Superstars" (including Donna Jordan).


"Candy came from out on the island. In the back room, she was everybody’s Darling. But she never lost her head, even when she was giving head. She said 'hey babe, take a walk on the wildside'.”
-"Walk On the Wildside" by Lou Reed 1972

I love that Candy nonchalantly narcs out Andy about his not really doing half the stuff he got credit his own exhibit!!!

'Be good, good, good, better, better, best, best, best you can be. Real, real, very real." - diary entry from "My Face For The World To See" by Candy Darling




Candy and her BFF Jeremiah Newton

"No romance in my life, so I feel it is best that he does not call. Even though I long to be loved by a man, I know it cannot be. I must live without love. It is the cross I must bear. I must accept what is." - diary entry from "My Face For The World To See" by Candy Darling

Work that lash curler!!

"...gorgeous and passed out on the cement..."

She means business!

"Money doesn't buy everything but it does buy some nice goodies" - diary entry from "My Face For The World To See" by Candy Darling


Note to self: start wearing head scarfs.

big hair.

"I feel like I'm living in a prison. There are so many things I may not experience. I cannot go swimming, can't visit relatives, can't go out without makeup, can't wear certain clothes, can't get a boyfriend, can't get a job. I see so much of life I can not have. I am living in a veritable prison."- diary entry from "My Face For The World To See" by Candy Darling


Beautiful Darling

 Silver Screen

"I will not cease to be myself for foolish people,  for foolish people make harsh judgments on me. You must always be yourself no matter what the price. It is the highest form of morality." - Candy Darling

EVERYONE should watch this!

"I'm a thousand different people. Every one is real." - diary entry from "My Face For The World To See" by Candy Darling

Candy Darling on her Deathbed 1974

"By the time you read this I will be gone. Unfortunately before my death I had no desire left for life. Even with all my friends and my career on the upswing I felt too empty to go on in this unreal existence. I am so bored by everything. You may say bored to death." - Candy Darling's goodbye letter to Andy and friends 1974

Go to Candy Darling Superstar for more info.