Superstar in a Housedress - Interviewees

Paul Ambrose - Actor

Paul Ambrose met Jackie Curtis (who was appearing at La Mama in "Cockstrong") in the late 1960's shortly after moving to New York City from Tennessee. His first appearance on stage was in Jackie Curtis' "Vain Victory" as Juicy Lucy. In 1970 Paul, Jackie Curtis and Candy Darling auditioned in drag for Busby Berkeley for chorus line parts in the Broadway musical revival of "No, No, Nanette!". Unfortunately, none of the three were cast.

Michael Andre - Poet / Literary Editor

Michael Andre published Jackie Curtis' poem "B-Girls" in "The Poet's Encyclopedia", a 1979 publication of the literary journal "Unmuzzled OX". Jackie's poem is the longest work in the 310 page volume (8 pages). Andre notes that it is based upon Jackie's observations of the barroom denizens of Slugger Ann's, his grandmother's Lower East Side bar.

Penny Arcade - Performance Artist

Penny Arcade appeared in "Women in Revolt" with Jackie in 1972, but the two had been friends for many years. They met when Penny was in high school and shopped thrift stores every weekend looking for thirties cocktail dresses. Penny appeared in many of Curtis' plays, including "Femme Fatale" and "I Died Yesterday". Her latest works, including "Bitch!Dyke!Faghag!Whore!", "Bad Reputation", and " New York Stories" have toured internationally. Penny's website: Click Here.

Michael Arian - Actor

Actor Michael Arian first met Jackie Curtis when he joined John Vaccaro's "Play-House of the Ridiculous" troupe, appearing in Curtis' "Heaven Grand in Amber Orbit". He partied with Curtis in the backroom of Max's Kansas City. Arian lives in New York City and works with Ellen Stewart's La Mama Experimental Theater Club.

Gretchen Berg - Photojournalist

Gretchen Berg met Jackie Curtis in 1965 when she was interviewing and photographing Andy Warhol for "Show" magazine. She took photographs of Jackie for his first portfolio and they became friends. Berg witnessed Jackie's transformation from an idealistic adolescent boy into the drag persona that brought him fame. She lives in Manhattan.

Styles Caldwell - Actor

Styles Caldwell was a devoted friend of Curtis. Curtis lived with Styles in Hollywood in the late 1970s while attempting to land the lead role in "The James Dean Story". Caldwell was in the studio audience during the taping of Valerie Harper's TV show "Rhoda" when Jackie played a man in drag who answers Brenda's ad for a roommate. Unfortunately the scene wound up on the cutting room floor, some say because of Anita Bryant's anti-gay movement. In 1983 Styles appeared in "I Died Yesterday".

Leee Black Childers - Ex-Mgr/Promoter David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Stooges

Leee Black Childers came to New York in the mid-sixties and met Jackie Curtis at Max's Kansas City. Jackie lived with Leee and they were close friends until Leee moved to England in the late 70s. Leee was manager and promoter for David Bowie, Iggy Pop, the Stooges, the Heartbreakers, and Levi and the Rockats. He is a photographer / writer whose work is featured in "PUNK" the definitive record of a revolution (Thunder's Mouth Press, 2001).

Laura de Coppet - Author

Author Laura de Coppet, a journalist who has contributed to many publications including Andy Warhol's Interview, was an assistant at the John Gibson Gallery during the mid-1970s. Laura was a close friend and benefactor of Jackie Curtis. She was also very close to the late Leo Castelli (Warhol's art dealer) and Andy. She is the author of "The Art Dealers" (expanded edition, 2002, Cooper Square Press).

Joe Dallesandro - Actor

By 1968, Joe Dallesandro was the toast of the New York underground film scene. The "Little Joe" of Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side" was the enigmatic, often naked star of eight Paul Morrissey films presented by Warhol between 1967 and 1972 including "Flesh" (1968) which co-starred Jackie Curtis and Candy Darling. His films include Francis Coppola's "The Cotton Club" (1984) and "Beefcake" (1999). He lives in West Hollywood. Joe's website: Click Here.

Harvey Fierstein - Tony Award Winning Actor, Playwright

Harvey's second appearance on stage in a drag role was in Jackie Curtis' "Americka Cleopatra". He played Jackie's mother. Harvey is an award-winning playwright, actor, and gay rights activist. In 1983 he won the Broadway Theater's prestigious Tony Awards for both his starring performance and for Best Play, "Torch Song Trilogy". One of America's few openly gay major celebrities, Fierstein is currently starring (in drag) in the hit Broadway musical "Hairspray".

Joe Franklin - TV Legend

Jackie Curtis had his first TV exposure on Joe Franklin's "Down Memory Lane". Joe Franklin began his New York talk and variety TV show in 1951 and holds the Guinness Book of World Records award for hosting the most TV shows (31,015). He can be heard on Bloomberg Radio and WOR-AM in New York.

Robert Heide - Playwright / Author

Robert Heide met Jackie Curtis through his close friend, Ron Link, who directed several of Jackie's plays including "Glamour, Glory and Gold". Heide witnessed Curtis's transformation from a shy young playwright into a powerhouse talent destined for stardom. Heide's plays were performed at the Caffe Cino, the Judson Church, Cafe LaMama, and Theater for the New City. He is co-author, with Jon Gilman, of eight books on popular culture in twentieth-century America.

Don Herron - Photographer / Writer / Painter

Don Herron moved to NYC in the late 70s when he began working on a series of portraits of people in their bathtubs, concentrating primarily on performing artists. He currently writes a weekly column for a Hudson Valley newspaper, and divides his time between the East Village apartment (where he photographed Jackie in his own bathtub) and his 1863 townhouse 60 miles north on the Hudson River.

Rev. Timothy Holder - Jackie Curtis' Brother

Reverend Timothy Holder spent summers with his older half-brother Jackie Curtis in Tennessee when he was growing up. Jackie's parents were divorced and he went to live with his mother (and grandmother) in New York City. Jackie's father began a new family in Tennessee. When Tim Holder was an adolescent he was confused by Jackie's ambiguous sexuality which is ironic because today, Reverend Holder is an openly gay Episcopal priest.

Alexis del Lago - Artist and Star

Alexis del Lago met Jackie Curtis in 1968. Alexis and Jackie were close friends for the next 17 years and appeared together in many shows and revues. Jackie cast Alexis in a major role in "Americka Cleopatra" in 1970. A talented dressmaker in her own right, Alexis has vivid memories of the evening Jackie borrowed her scissors and altered three designer originals on loan to her for a photo shoot. Alexis' antiques shop, The Guilded Lily (1986 to 2002) was frequented by many Hollywood stars.

Agosto Machado - Actor

Agosto Machado was a close friend of Jackie Curtis and appeared in many of Jackie's plays, including "Americka Cleopatra" and "Vain Victory". Agosto also worked with John Vaccaro's Playhouse of the Ridiculous, and in many plays at La Mama. He lives in Manhattan.

Sasha McCaffrey - Messenger, Personal Friend

In 1966, Sasha McCaffrey was barely out of high school and had his first job and his first apartment in the West Village. Holly Woodlawn, Candy Darling and Jackie Curtis moved in with him and it was several months before he realized the three were not girls.

Taylor Mead - Poet, Actor, Superstar

Actor, poet, and Warhol superstar Taylor Mead is unequaled as the insouciant pop enigma who's seen everything and done it all. Taylor was in San Francisco in '56 when the beat poetry scene got going and was famous for standing up on a bar and screaming his poetry over the noise all the drunks were making. His films for Warhol include Kiss (1963), Tarzan and Jane Regained... Sort of (1963), Taylor Mead's Ass (1964), Imitation of Christ (1967), and Lonesome Cowboys (1967). Taylor Mead continues to write and perform poetry. During 2003 he will be performing every friday night at The Bowery Poetry Club in New York.

Sylvia Miles - Actress

Born in Greenwich Village, and a lifelong New Yorker, Sylvia Miles was an Academy Award Nominee for her performance as Cass opposite John Voight in "Midnight Cowboy" (1969). Sylvia was very close to Andy Warhol and partied with Jackie, Candy Darling, and Holly Woodlawn. In 1972 she starred in director Paul Morrissey's "Heat" with Joe Dallesandro. Her current roles include appearances in "Sex in the City" and she has made a big splash as Roxy's trashy mom, Stella (a recurring role), on ABCs soap opera "One Life to Live".

Jack Mitchell - Photographer

Jack Mitchell has earned his living as a photographer since the age of fifteen. After serving in World War II, he spent 45 years living and working in his studio on New York City's Upper East Side. His photographs have appeared in most national and international publications covering the Arts. Mitchell photographed Jackie Curtis and other Warhol Superstars extensively during the late sixties and early seventies for After Dark magazine, the New York Times, and other publications. Curtis is featured in his most recent book of photographs, "Icons & Idols" (1998 Amphoto Art). Jack Mitchell's website and galleries: Click Here.

Paul Morrissey - Writer / Director, "Women in Revolt"

Director Paul Morrissey studied literature at Fordham and began directing independent films in the early 1960's. In '65 he took charge of operations at the Warhol studio. Morrissey's direction revitalized the films presented by Andy Warhol--from the arthouse/cult classics "Flesh" (1968), and "Women in Revolt" (1972) which starred Curtis, to his more mainstream successes with "Flesh for Frankenstein" and "Blood for Dracula" (1974). The 55th Cannes Film Festival honored him with an official tribute in 2002. Paul's website: Click Here.

Michael Musto - Entertainment Journalist

Michael Musto is one of the leading entertainment journalists and cultural critics in the United States. Noted for his wit and sardonic humor, he writes the popular Village Voice entertainment column "La Dolce Musto", and contributes to Interview, Out, and the New York Times. His books include "Downtown" and "Manhattan on the Rocks". Musto is a regular on E-TV and his film appearances include "Resident Alien", a documentary on the life of Quentin Crisp.

Joey Preston - Jackie Curtis' Cousin

Joey Preston's mother Josephine was a featured cast member of Curtis' "Vain Victory". When Joey was a young boy, Jackie, Holly Woodlawn, and Candy Darling came to the apartment in full drag to visit his mother. Joey did not recognize his older cousin. As an adolescent, Preston and Curtis sometimes hung out in Slugger Ann's, their grandmother's bar on the Lower East Side. Joey Preston was stage manager and assistant to Curtis for the last six years of his life. He is Associate Producer of "Superstar in a Housedress".

Joey has commissioned a painting of Jackie Curtis by Edward Burns Snyder which will be offered for sale on eBay sometime in late 2004. For more information click here.

Rose Royalle - Transgendered Entertainer

As soon as she was old enough to get a drug connection, Rose ran away to live with bohemians, alcoholics and street people. She became a close friend of Jackie Curtis and joined the Ridiculous Theater Company. Charles Ludlam cast her as the Turtle Woman in "Turds in Hell" (1969) but as was her custom, Miss Royalle was too bombed to perform. Today, after rehab, Rose Royalle is one of New York's most popular and influential transgendered performers, noted for her over-the-top outfits.

Paul Serrato - Musician / Composer

Paul Serrato met Jackie Curtis in 1967. He composed music for Curtis' "Lucky Wonderful" (1968) and "Vain Victory" (1970). One song from Vain Victory "White Shoulders, Black and Blue" became a cult classic and was Jackie's favorite standard. Paul acted as musical director for Jackie's 1974 performance in "Cabaret in the Sky". Serrato's recent work includes the highly reviewed jazz CD "More Than Red". Paul's website: Click Here.

Ellen Stewart - Founder, LaMama

Ellen Stewart is Founder and Director of the La MaMa Experimental Theater Club., which began in October 1961. To date, La MaMa has presented more than 1,900 productions. Its resident theatre troupes have performed throughout the world. Jackie Curtis premiered many of his plays at La Mama, including "Heaven Grand in Amber Orbit", "Vain Victory" and his final work, "Champagne" (1985).

Lily Tomlin - Tony & Mark Twain Award-Winning Comedienne

Hailed as "New Queen of Comedy" in 1977 on the cover of Time Magazine, Lily Tomlin is the 2003 winner of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. One of America's foremost comedic entertainers, Tomlin has enjoyed an extraordinary career spanning all facets of the entertainment industry including feature films, television and theatre. She made her film debut as Linnea, a gospel singer and mother of two 2 deaf children in Robert Altman's "Nashville" and was nominated for an Academy Award and voted Best Supporting Actress by both the New York Film Critics and the National Society of Film Critics. Lily was a great friend and admirer of Jackie Curtis, and is both the narrator and an interviewee for "Superstar in a Housedress".

John Vaccaro - Founder, Play-House of the Ridiculous

John Vaccaro founded the groundbreaking avante garde theater company "Play-House of the Ridiculous" in 1965. Jackie Curtis performed in many works directed by Vaccaro including "Cockstrong" and "The Life of Lady Godiva". Vacarro's experimental theater troupe performed several of Jackie Curtis' plays including "Heaven Grand in Amber Orbit" which played at La Mama in 1970 and toured internationally for two years.

Steven Watson - Author

Author Steven Watson's newest work is "Factory Made: Warhol and the Sixties" (to be published in 2003) which chronicles the lives of Warhol Superstars (including Jackie Curtis) and hangers-on. He first met Jackie and began to interview him in the late 1960s. Watson's other works include "Harlem Renaissance" (1996) and "The Birth of the Beat Generation" (1998) which explores the life and times of Beat writers William Burroughs, Allen Ginsburg, Jack Kerouac, and others.

Holly Woodlawn - Superstar

Actress Holly Woodlawn achieved instant stardom for her performance as a drug addict in "Trash" (1970) presented by Andy Warhol and directed by Paul Morrissey. Holly lived with Jackie Curtis and appeared in the film "Women in Revolt" (1972) and the revue "Cabaret in the Sky" (1974). She has appeared in more than twenty films and television programs. Holly's autobiography, "A Lowlife in High Heels", was published in 1998. Holly's website: Click Here.