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Mary Woronov

Mary Woronov

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Also Known As: Penny Arcade, Mary Woronow Died:
Born: December 8, 1943 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Profession: actor, painter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This tall, leggy and strikingly attractive performer has built a cult following with three decades of appearances in some decidedly off-center films. Sometimes lesbian, often formidable and usually sexually aggressive, Woronov has played leads and supporting roles in more than 40 films ranging from low-budget horror, sci-fi and actioners to soft-core adult fare to major Hollywood releases. She seems most comfortable on the margins however; her best work has been done for actor-writer-director Paul Bartel.Woronov came to NYC in the early 1960s to be a painter. She hooked up with the artistic crowd at Andy Warhol's Factory and subsequently became a "superstar" in several of the celebrated pop artist's experimental 1960s films, notably "The Chelsea Girls" (1966) where, as Hanoi Hannah, she berated a room full of fashion victims. Woronov segued to the NYC stage, winning a Theatre World Award for her Broadway debut in David Rabe's "Boom Boom Room" (1974). Her film career picked up with roles in relatively mainstream fare with a strong exploitation angle, She earned good notices playing a scheming gold digger wife of an arrogant millionaire in "Seizure" (1974), a gory horror flick from neophyte helmer...

This tall, leggy and strikingly attractive performer has built a cult following with three decades of appearances in some decidedly off-center films. Sometimes lesbian, often formidable and usually sexually aggressive, Woronov has played leads and supporting roles in more than 40 films ranging from low-budget horror, sci-fi and actioners to soft-core adult fare to major Hollywood releases. She seems most comfortable on the margins however; her best work has been done for actor-writer-director Paul Bartel.

Woronov came to NYC in the early 1960s to be a painter. She hooked up with the artistic crowd at Andy Warhol's Factory and subsequently became a "superstar" in several of the celebrated pop artist's experimental 1960s films, notably "The Chelsea Girls" (1966) where, as Hanoi Hannah, she berated a room full of fashion victims. Woronov segued to the NYC stage, winning a Theatre World Award for her Broadway debut in David Rabe's "Boom Boom Room" (1974). Her film career picked up with roles in relatively mainstream fare with a strong exploitation angle, She earned good notices playing a scheming gold digger wife of an arrogant millionaire in "Seizure" (1974), a gory horror flick from neophyte helmer Oliver Stone. Woronov seemed to find her spiritual home at producer Roger Corman's New World Pictures appearing in such memorable cheapies as Bartel's "Death Race 2000" (1975), as racecar driver Calamity Jane, and Allan Arkush's boisterous "Rock 'n' Roll High School" (1979), as a tough principal. Woronov truly shone in Bartel's deadpan sick comedy "Eating Raoul" (1982), a cult classic which Corman refused to finance. As the prudish Mary Bland, she helped her equally strange husband (Bartel) pursue his culinary dreams in a memorably twisted manner. Woronov was again delicious as a pretentious divorcee in Bartel's "Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills" (1989).

In recent years, Woronov has successfully resumed her art career as a painter, with exhibits in New York and London. She still turns up on film and TV, typically in small parts and cameos, often in gay-themed indies like Gregg Araki's "The Living End" (1992) and Richard Glatzer's "Grief" (1993), and sometimes in such unlikely multiplex fodder as Warren Beatty's "Dick Tracy" (1990). Woronov even lent her ineffable cool to a tiny but memorable guest shot as a no-nonsense doctor on the acclaimed teen/family drama "My So-Called Life". She has authored a 1995 memoir entitled "Swimming Underground: My Years in the Warhol Factory".

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
4.
5.
 I Pass For Human (2004)
6.
 Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003) Acme Vp, Bad Ideas
7.
 New Women, The (2001) Lisa Lastrada
8.
 Straight Right (2000)
9.
 Invisible Mom 2 (1999)
10.
 Sweet Jane (1997)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1964:
Moved to New York City; became involved with Andy Warhol's Factory
1964:
Film acting debut, Warhol's "Screen Test"
1967:
Portrayed Hanoi Hannah in Warhol's cult hit feature "Chelsea Girls"
:
Toured with the Velvet Underground, a leading "underground" rock group of the 1960s
1970:
Played a supporting role in the Italian production "Kemek", a surreal sci-fi mystery written and directed by Theodore Gershuny (her husband until 1969)
1974:
First Broadway lead, played Susan in "Boom Boom Room"
1975:
First feature lead, played Calamity Jane in Paul Bartel's "Death Race 2000"; first collaboration with actor-writer-director Bartel
1977:
TV-movie debut, "In the Glitter Palace", an NBC crime melodrama
1983:
Played a recurring role on the Fox sitcom "Flying Blind"
1982:
Co-starred as Mary Bland in "Eating Raoul", perhaps her best known role
1985:
First TV special, "Cheech and Chong Get Out of My Room" on Showtime
1986:
Appeared in "The Secret Cinema", an episode of "Amazing Stories" written and directed by Bartel
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Cornell University: Ithaca , New York -

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Theodore Gershuny. Stockbroker, director, screenwriter. Divorced in 1969.
husband:
Ted Whitehead. Race car driver, agent.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Victor D Woronov. Doctor.
mother:
Carol Woronov.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Swimming Underground: My Years in the Warhol Factory" Journey Editions

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