Taylor Mead, a fixture in the Lower East Side as well as Andy Warhol's Factory scene back in the day, died yesterday while in Colorado. According to the Lo-Down, "the legendary Lower East Side artist and actor, died after suffering a stroke." The news spread after Mead's family alerted LES documentarian Clayton Patterson last night. The 88-year-old was temporarily living in Colorado after vacating his longtime Ludlow Street apartment in April.
The rent-stabilized space, which he lived in for 34 years, was costing him just $380 a month. He "was battling with a developer who is converting the rest of the building's apartments into market rate apartments. Mead said loud construction occurred every morning in the building starting at 7 a.m. until evening along with dust problems from the construction. His apartment was in disrepair before the construction began and Mead finally reached an agreement with the landlord before moving out April 9th." Click through for a look at Mead's apartment and his last days in New York City.
Coincidentally, some of his films were screened at 139 Ludlow Street just last night. And last month, he appeared at a screening of the 1970 cult film Cleopatra, which he starred in alongside Nico. The Village Voice's J. Hoberman once called Mead "the first underground movie star," so let's look back at his life on film (one of his most-talked about Warhol films was Taylor Mead's Ass, which is nowhere to be found.)
In Jim Jarmusch's Coffee & Cigarettes, 2003
Excavating Taylor Mead, 2005
Talking about Warhol, 2012