Baby Jane Holzer
By: Lynn Peril | Categories: HiLo Heroes

The white screen turns to a kaleidoscope of grey and white shards before coalescing to sharp black and white. A young woman with a mane of teased hair, multiple sets of false eyelashes, and perfect Sixties swoops of Cleopatra eyeliner is brushing her teeth and flirting with the camera, at least as much as one can with a growing mouthful of toothpaste foam. This is BABY JANE HOLZER (born 1940), Girl of the Year 1964, in one of Andy Warhol’s infamous series of “screen tests.” Domiciled in a twelve-room Park Avenue apartment, the wife and daughter of real estate tycoons, Holzer wasn’t the first socialite to toddle downtown and mingle with the artists — Peggy Guggenheim blazed a trail — but Holzer did so at a time when the media was there to watch. Nor did it hurt that the slender blonde was born to wear micro-minis, hip-hugging pants, and other kicky mod fashions. Appearances in Warhol films and a 45 rpm record, “You’re Gonna Hurt Yourself,” followed. Tom Wolfe swooned. She was, he wrote in 1965, “the most incredible socialite in history … a living embodiment of almost pure ‘pop’ sensation.” More fittingly for our day and age, Wolfe noted that Holzer’s “style of life … created her fame,” a wide-eyed description of what might now be considered kandy-kolored Kardashianism.

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On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Weird Al Yankovic.

READ MORE about members of the Anti-Anti-Utopian Generation (1934-43).

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Lynn Peril is the author of Swimming in the Steno Pool: A Retro Guide to Making It in the Office. She lives in Oakland, California.