Candy Darling and Tennessee Williams
While many Warhol fans know about Candy Darling’s significant part in the Tennessee Williams play, Small Craft Warnings; many of them don’t know that Darling was cast looong past the golden period of Williams’ career. After the death of a beloved ex-boyfriend from lung cancer in 1963 (a man who Williams had cared for from diagnosis to death, despite their recent break-up), Williams’ life was marked by alcoholism, drug abuse, and depression. He never reclaimed the success of his earlier career, and was often strung out, even in public.
In the clip below, (an excerpt from the slightly low-rent, but super-informative A & E special, Tennessee Williams: Wounded Genius), you can watch a moment from the play’s infamous press conference. While Williams slurs and fawns all over his actors, Darling looks on in what appears to be obvious discomfort. Small Craft Warnings opened off-Broadway in 1972 to lukewarm reviews. In a painful blur of art and life, Williams actually took over the role of an alcoholic doctor practicing medicine without a license—a change he made in the middle of the play’s run.