Edie Sedgwick

Edith Minturn "Edie" Sedgwick (April 20, 1943 November 16, 1971)[1] was an American actress, socialite, and heiress who starred in many of Andy Warhol's short films in the 1960s.

 
The Warhol days

In January 1965, Sedgwick met artist and avant-garde filmmaker Andy Warhol at Lester Persky's apartment. She began going to The Factory regularly in March of 1965 with her friend, Chuck Wein. During one of those visits, Warhol was filming his interpretation of the novel, A Clockwork Orange, aptly titled, Vinyl. Despite Vinyl's all-male cast, Warhol put Sedgwick in the movie. She also made a small cameo appearance in another Warhol film, Horse, when she and fellow Factory regular Ondine entered towards the end of the film. Although Sedgwick's appearances in both films were brief, they generated so much interest that Warhol decided to create a vehicle in which she would star.

The first of those films, Poor Little Rich Girl, was originally conceived as part of a series featuring Edie called The Poor Little Rich Girl Saga. The series was to include Poor Little Rich Girl, Restaurant, Face, and Afternoon. Filming of Poor Little Rich Girl started in March of 1965 in Sedgwick's apartment. The first reel shows Sedgwick waking up, ordering coffee and orange juice, and putting on her makeup in silence with only an Everly Brothers record playing. Due to a problem with the camera lens, the footage on the first reel is completely out of focus. The second reel consists of Sedgwick smoking cigarettes, talking on the telephone, trying on clothes, and describing how she had spent her entire inheritance in six months.

On April 30, 1965, Warhol took Sedgwick, Chuck Wein and Gerard Malanga to the opening of his exhibit at the Sonnabend Gallery in Paris. Upon returning to New York City, Warhol asked his scriptwriter, Ron Tavel, to write a script for Sedgwick. The result was Kitchen, starring Sedgwick, Rene Ricard, Roger Trudeau, Donald Lyons and Elecktrah. After Kitchen, Chuck Wein replaced Ron Tavel as writer and assistant director for the filming of Beauty No. 2, in which Sedgwick appeared with Gino Piserchio. Beauty No. 2 premiered at the Film-Makers' Cinematheque at the Astor Place Playhouse on July 17.

Although Warhol's films were not generally a commercial success and were rarely seen outside The Factory, as Sedgwick's popularity grew mainstream media outlets began reporting on her appearances in Warhol's underground films and her unusual fashion sense that consisted of black leotards, mini dresses, and large chandelier earrings. Sedgwick also cut her hair short and colored her naturally brown hair with silver spray creating a similar look to the wigs Warhol wore. Warhol christened her his "Superstar" and both were photographed together at various social outings.

Throughout 1965, Sedgwick and Warhol continued to make films together, namely, Outer and Inner Space, Prison, Lupe and Chelsea Girls. However, by late 1965, Sedgwick and Warhol's relationship had deteriorated and Sedgwick requested that Warhol no longer show any of her films. She asked that the footage she filmed for Chelsea Girls be removed. Sedgwick's footage was replaced with footage of Nico with colored lights projected on her face and The Velvet Underground music playing in the background. The edited footage of Edie in Chelsea Girls would eventually become the film Afternoon.

Lupe is often thought to be Sedgwick's last Warhol film, but Sedgwick filmed The Andy Warhol Story with Rene Ricard in 1966, almost a year after she filmed Lupe. The Andy Warhol Story was an unreleased film that was only screened once at The Factory. The film featured Sedgwick, along with Rene Ricard, pretending to be Andy Warhol. It is thought to be either lost or destroyed.