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Donyale Luna
Born Peggy Anne Freeman
January 1, 1945(1945-01-01)
Detroit, Michigan, US
Died May 17, 1979 (aged 34)
Rome, Italy

Donyale Luna (1 January 1945 - 17 May 1979) was a model and cover girl. She also appeared in several films, most notably as the title character in Salome, a 1972 film by director Carmelo Bene, and several films by Andy Warhol.

Contents

Birth and childhood

She was born Peggy Anne Freeman in Detroit, Michigan.[1] Her parents were Peggy and Nathaniel Freeman; her father, who was reportedly abusive, was murdered when she was 18. Luna's mother wanted her to become a nurse.

Despite the parentage stated on her birth certificate, she insisted that her biological father was a man with the surname Luna and that her mother was Indigenous-Mexican and of Afro-Egyptian lineage. According to the model, one of her grandmothers was reportedly an Irish former actress who married a black interior decorator. Whether any of this background is true is uncertain. In the mid 1960s, a relative described Luna as being "a very weird child, even from birth, living in a wonderland, a dream."[2]

Modeling career

After being discovered by the photographer David McCabe, she moved from Detroit to New York City to pursue a modeling career. In January 1965, a sketch of Luna appeared on the cover of Harper's Bazaar.[3][4] She became the first African American model to appear on the cover of British Vogue[5] (March 1966); the photograph was by David Bailey. According to The New York Times, she was under exclusive contract to the photographer Richard Avedon for a year at the beginning of her career.[6]

An article in Time magazine published on 1 April 1966, "The Luna Year", described her as "a new heavenly body who, because of her striking singularity, promises to remain on high for many a season. Donyale Luna, as she calls herself, is unquestionably the hottest model in Europe at the moment. She is only 20, a Negro, hails from Detroit, and is not to be missed if one reads Harper's Bazaar, Paris Match, Britain's Queen, the British, French or American editions of Vogue."[7]

In 1967, the mannequin manufacturer Adel Rootstein created a mannequin in Luna's image, a follow-up to the company's Twiggy mannequin of 1966.

Luna appeared in a nude photo layout in the April 1975 issue of Playboy; the photographer was Luigi Cazzaniga.

Acting career

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Luna appeared in several films.

She appeared in several movies produced by Andy Warhol. These included Screen Test: Donyale Luna (1964), in which critic Wayne Koestenbaum described Luna as "pure diva, presenting a delicious mobile excess of mannerism";[8] Camp (1965), and Donyale Luna (1967), a 33-minute color film in which the model starred as Snow White.

In Federico Fellini's Fellini Satyricon (1970), she portrayed the witch Oenothea, "who in a trade-off with a wizard long ago ended up with fire between her legs. And it's real fire too, because Fellini shows us a scene in which a long line of foolish-looking peasants wait with unlit torches at Oenothea's bed. When their time comes, each devoutly places his torch between her legs to her sex, and, Poof."[9]

Luna also appeared in The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, the Otto Preminger comedy Skidoo (in which she was featured as the mistress of crime boss "God", who was portrayed by Groucho Marx), and the British documentary Tonite Let's All Make Love in London.[10]

In 1972 Luna starred as the title character in the 1972 Italian film Salome, by director Carmelo Bene.

Racial identity issues

According to the journalist Judy Stone, who wrote a profile of Luna for The New York Times in 1968, the model was "secretive, mysterious, contradictory, evasive, mercurial, and insistent upon her multiracial lineage -- exotic, chameleon strands of Indigenous-Mexican, Indonesian, Irish, and, last but least escapable, African." A London magazine hailed her as "the completely New Image of the Negro woman. Fashion finds itself in an instrumental position for changing history, however slightly, for it is about to bring out into the open the veneration, the adoration, the idolization of the Negro ... "[11]

When Stone asked her about whether her appearances in Hollywood films would benefit the cause of black actresses, Luna answered, "If it brings about more jobs for Mexicans, Asians, Native Americans, Africans, groovy. It could be good, it could be bad. I couldn't care less."[12]

Romantic relationships

In the mid 1960s, Luna was married to an actor for 10 months.[13] Later she reportedly was engaged to the Austrian actor Maximilian Schell, to an unnamed Danish photographer, and to Georg Willing, a German actor who appeared in European horror films (such as 1970's "Necropolis") and with the Living Theatre.[14]

Around 1969 Luna was also romantically involved with German actor Klaus Kinski. Both posed together on several photographs. The relationship ended abruptly when Kinski asked her to leave his house in Rome after being annoyed by her drug abuse.[15]

Luna married the Italian photographer Luigi Cazzaniga.[16] In 1977 they had a child: Dream Cazzaniga.

Drug use and death

In the late 1960s, in an interview, Luna expressed her fondness for LSD: "I think it's great. I learned that I like to live, I like to make love, I really do love somebody, I love flowers, I love the sky, I like bright colors, I like animals. [LSD] also showed me unhappy things -- that I was stubborn, selfish, unreasonable, mean, that I hurt other people."

Luna died in Rome, Italy, in a clinic, after an accidental drug overdose.[17]

Film and television

References

  1. ^ Some sources give her birth name as Peggy Anne Donyale Aragonea Pegeon Freeman, the name on her birth certificate is Peggy Anne Freeman.
  2. ^ Judy Stone, "Luna, Who Dreamed of Being Snow White", The New York Times, 19 May 1968
  3. ^ Judy Stone, "Luna, Who Dreamed of Being Snow White", The New York Times, 19 May 1968
  4. ^ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,840625,00.html
  5. ^ Naomi Sims, First Black Supermodel And Business Woman, Dead At 61 Rod Hagwood Sun Sentinal August 4, 2009 10:11 AM
  6. ^ Judy Stone, "Luna, Who Dreamed of Being Snow White", The New York Times, 19 May 1968
  7. ^ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,840625,00.html
  8. ^ http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0268/is_2_42/ai_109023349/pg_1
  9. ^ David R. Ignatius, "The Moviegoer: Fellini Satyricon at the Cheri 3", The Harvard Crimson, 6 April 1970
  10. ^ The role of God's mistress was originally written for Faye Dunaway.
  11. ^ Judy Stone, "Luna, Who Dreamed of Being Snow White," The New York Times, 21 May 1968, page D19.
  12. ^ Judy Stone, "Luna, Who Dreamed of Being Snow White," The New York Times, 21 May 1968, page D19.
  13. ^ [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,840625,00.html The Luna Year - TIME
  14. ^ Judy Stone, "Luna, Who Dreamed of Being Snow White," The New York Times, 21 May 1968, page D19.
  15. ^ Christian David: Kinski: Die Biographie. Aufbau Verlag, Berlin 2006, p. 194-195.
  16. ^ Luigi Cazzaniga:::Photographer
  17. ^ "Donyale Luna", The New York Times, 22 May 1979, page C16.

External links


Donyale Luna
Born Peggy Ann Freeman
August 31, 1945(1945-08-31)
Detroit, Michigan, US
Died May 17, 1979 (aged 33)
Rome, Italy

Donyale Luna (31 August 1945 - 17 May 1979) was a model and cover girl. She also appeared in several films, most notably as the title character in Salomé, a 1972 film by director Carmelo Bene, and several films by Andy Warhol.

Contents

Birth and childhood

She was born Peggy Ann Freeman in Detroit, Michigan.[1] Her parents were Peggy and Nathaniel Freeman; her father, who was reportedly abusive, was murdered when she was 18. Luna's mother wanted her to become a nurse.

Despite the parentage stated on her birth certificate, she insisted that her biological father was a man with the surname Luna and that her mother was Indigenous-Mexican and of Afro-Egyptian lineage. According to the model, one of her grandmothers was reportedly an Irish former actress who married a black interior decorator. Whether any of this background is true is uncertain. In the mid 1960s, a relative described Luna as being "a very weird child, even from birth, living in a wonderland, a dream."[2]

Modeling career

After being discovered by the photographer David McCabe, she moved from Detroit to New York City to pursue a modeling career. In January 1965, a sketch of Luna appeared on the cover of Harper's Bazaar.[3][4] She became the first African American model to appear on the cover of British Vogue[5] (March 1966); the photograph was by David Bailey. According to The New York Times, she was under exclusive contract to the photographer Richard Avedon for a year at the beginning of her career.[6]

An article in Time magazine published on 1 April 1966, "The Luna Year", described her as "a new heavenly body who, because of her striking singularity, promises to remain on high for many a season. Donyale Luna, as she calls herself, is unquestionably the hottest model in Europe at the moment. She is only 20, a Negro, hails from Detroit, and is not to be missed if one reads Harper's Bazaar, Paris Match, Britain's Queen, the British, French or American editions of Vogue."[7]

In 1967, the mannequin manufacturer Adel Rootstein created a mannequin in Luna's image, a follow-up to the company's Twiggy mannequin of 1966.[citation needed]

Luna appeared in a nude photo layout in the April 1975 issue of Playboy; the photographer was Luigi Cazzaniga.

Acting career

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Luna appeared in several films.

She appeared in several movies produced by Andy Warhol. These included Screen Test: Donyale Luna (1964), in which critic Wayne Koestenbaum described Luna as "pure diva, presenting a delicious mobile excess of mannerism";[8] Camp (1965), and Donyale Luna (1967), a 33-minute color film in which the model starred as Snow White.

In Federico Fellini's Fellini Satyricon (1970), she portrayed the witch Oenothea, "who in a trade-off with a wizard long ago ended up with fire between her legs. And it's real fire too, because Fellini shows us a scene in which a long line of foolish-looking peasants wait with unlit torches at Oenothea's bed. When their time comes, each devoutly places his torch between her legs to her sex, and, Poof."[9]

Luna also appeared in The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, the Otto Preminger comedy Skidoo (in which she was featured as the mistress of crime boss "God", who was portrayed by Groucho Marx), and the British documentary Tonite Let's All Make Love in London.[10]

In 1972 Luna starred as the title character in the 1972 Italian film Salomé, by director Carmelo Bene.

Racial identity issues

According to the journalist Judy Stone, who wrote a profile of Luna for The New York Times in 1968, the model was "secretive, mysterious, contradictory, evasive, mercurial, and insistent upon her multiracial lineage -- exotic, chameleon strands of Indigenous-Mexican, Indonesian, Irish, and, last but least escapable, African." A London magazine hailed her as "the completely New Image of the Negro woman. Fashion finds itself in an instrumental position for changing history, however slightly, for it is about to bring out into the open the veneration, the adoration, the idolization of the Negro ... "[11]

When Stone asked her about whether her appearances in Hollywood films would benefit the cause of black actresses, Luna answered, "If it brings about more jobs for Mexicans, Asians, Native Americans, Africans, groovy. It could be good, it could be bad. I couldn't care less."[12]

Romantic relationships

In the mid 1960s, Luna was married to an actor for 10 months.[13] Later she reportedly was engaged to the Austrian-born Swiss actor Maximilian Schell, to an unnamed Danish photographer, and to Georg Willing, a German actor who appeared in European horror films (such as 1970's "Necropolis") and with the Living Theatre.[14]

Around 1969 Luna was also romantically involved with German actor Klaus Kinski. Both posed together on several photographs. The relationship ended abruptly when Kinski asked her to leave his house in Rome after being annoyed by her drug abuse.[15]

Luna married the Italian photographer Luigi Cazzaniga.[16] In 1977 they had a child: Dream Cazzaniga.

Drug use and death

In the late 1960s, in an interview, Luna expressed her fondness for LSD: "I think it's great. I learned that I like to live, I like to make love, I really do love somebody, I love flowers, I love the sky, I like bright colors, I like animals. [LSD] also showed me unhappy things -- that I was stubborn, selfish, unreasonable, mean, that I hurt other people."

Luna died in Rome, Italy, in a clinic, after an accidental drug overdose.[17]

Film and television

References

  1. ^ While some sources give her birth name as Peggy Anne Donyale Aragonea Pegeon Freeman, the name on her birth certificate is Peggy Ann Freeman.
  2. ^ Judy Stone, "Luna, Who Dreamed of Being Snow White", The New York Times, 19 May 1968
  3. ^ Judy Stone, "Luna, Who Dreamed of Being Snow White", The New York Times, 19 May 1968
  4. ^ "Fashion: The Luna Year". Time. 1 April 1966. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,840625,00.html. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  5. ^ Naomi Sims, First Black Supermodel And Business Woman, Dead At 61 Rod Hagwood Sun Sentinal August 4, 2009 10:11 AM
  6. ^ Judy Stone, "Luna, Who Dreamed of Being Snow White", The New York Times, 19 May 1968
  7. ^ "Fashion: The Luna Year". Time. 1 April 1966. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,840625,00.html. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  8. ^ Koestenbaum, Wayne (2003). ""Andy Warhol: Screen Tests": Moma Qns, New York - Critical Essay". ArtForum. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0268/is_2_42/ai_109023349/pg_1. 
  9. ^ David R. Ignatius, "The Moviegoer: Fellini Satyricon at the Cheri 3", The Harvard Crimson, 6 April 1970
  10. ^ The role of God's mistress was originally written for Faye Dunaway.
  11. ^ Judy Stone, "Luna, Who Dreamed of Being Snow White," The New York Times, 21 May 1968, page D19.
  12. ^ Judy Stone, "Luna, Who Dreamed of Being Snow White," The New York Times, 21 May 1968, page D19.
  13. ^ [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,840625,00.html The Luna Year - TIME
  14. ^ Judy Stone, "Luna, Who Dreamed of Being Snow White," The New York Times, 21 May 1968, page D19.
  15. ^ Christian David: Kinski: Die Biographie. Aufbau Verlag, Berlin 2006, p. 194-195.
  16. ^ Luigi Cazzaniga:::Photographer
  17. ^ "Donyale Luna", The New York Times, 22 May 1979, page C16.

External links








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