Candy Darling was an actress. Her friend Jackie Curtis invited pop artist Andy Warhol to a play that Curtis had written starring Candy and a young actor named Robert DeNiro. Warhol was impressed and cast Candy in his film Flesh in 1968 and then in a more substantial role in his film, Women in Revolt in 1971. She later appeared in the horror film Silent Night, Bloody Night, Klute with Jane Fonda and Lady Liberty with Sophia Loren. Excessive campaigning resulted in rejection for a role in the controversial film Myra Breckenridge. However, Candy was hand-picked by playwright Tennessee Williams to appear in his 1972 play Small Craft Warning.
At 29, Candy was diagnosed with lymphoma. On her deathbed at New York’s Columbia University Medical Center, she wrote a letter to Andy Warhol and his minions. The letter read: “Unfortunately before my death I had no desire left for life … I am just so bored by everything. You might say bored to death. Did you know I couldn’t last. I always knew it. I wish I could meet you all again.” She passed away in March 1974.
Actress Julie Newmar delivered a eulogy at Candy’s funeral. Warren Law, Candy’s estranged half-brother, was visibly shaken by Candy’s appearance. The last time Warren had seen her, Candy was James Lawrence Slattery. That name — her birth name — was not spoken by the minister nor by any of those who delivered a eulogy.
Candy and her friends and fellow actors Jackie Curtis, Holly Woodlawn, Joe Campbell and Joe Dallesandro were immortalized in the 1972 song “Walk on the Wild Side,” by Lou Reed.