- Category : Writers-Playwright-script
- Type : MGP
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Sleeping Phoenix 1
American drag performer, Warholian superstar, actor, playwright, poet, and cabaret singer. A resident of Manhattan's Lower East Side, Jackie lived and performed - sometimes as a man, sometimes as a woman. He was celebrated as a genius and became a legend, even before his tragic death. Jackie lived with his grandmother above her bar for much of his life.
His friendship and professional association with Andy Warhol began in the mid-1960s. He appeared in Director Paul Morrissey's "Women in Revolt" with Candy Darling and Holly Woodlawn and "Flesh" with Joe Dallesandro and Candy Darling, presented by Andy Warhol. For these unique films, director Morrissey gave the actors information about their character, the scene and suggested lines. The camera (frequently manned by Warhol) rolled and everyone improvised much of the content in a single take. After his death in 1985, a friend found a note Jackie had written reading: "You are not truly a Warhol superstar unless you are dead."
Jackie loved being on stage. His wild creative energies were unleashed on appreciative audiences at venues including Playhouse of the Ridiculous, La Mama E.T.C., the Poetry Project at St. Marks Church, Bastianos Theater, Pyramid, and many other Manhattan theatres.
His talent transcended gender and he reveled in melodramatic female roles. For some of his best roles, Jackie was his own playwright. He began writing plays in the late 1960's in which he usually appeared as the female lead. "Glamour, Glory, and Gold", and "Lucky Wonderful" were produced in 1967 and 1968 at the Bastianos Theater. "Heaven Grand in Amber Orbit" was performed by John Vaccaro's Playhouse of the Ridiculous in 1969. A prolific writer, Jackie was a published poet.
In 1970, Jackie Curtis auditioned in drag for Busby Berkeley's revival of the 1920s musical "No, No, Nanette" - but was ahead of his time to be part of the chorus line. His cabaret performances were stunning. In 1973 he appeared at the New York Cultural Center in "Cabaret in the Sky - an Evening with Holly Woodlawn and Jackie Curtis," an event attended by gay New York and "cafe society" alike. His production of "Vain Victory" appeared at La Mama in 1971. It was an immediate smash hit and ran all summer long to packed houses.
Jackie’s last two productions were "I Died Yesterday" (the Frances Farmer story) in 1984, and "Champagne" in 1985.
Jackie died of an accidental heroin overdose on 5/15/1985. He was just 38 years old.