|Born||December 31, 1924
Grosse Pointe, Michigan, U.S.A.
|Died||May 8, 2013
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
|Occupation||Actor, writer, performer|
Taylor Mead (December 31, 1924 – May 8, 2013) was an American writer, actor and performer. Mead appeared in several of Andy Warhol's underground films filmed at Warhol's Factory, including Tarzan and Jane Regained... Sort of (1963) and Taylor Mead's Ass (1964).
Born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan and raised by wealthy parents, he appeared in Ron Rice's beat classic The Flower Thief (1960), in which he "traipses with an elfin glee through a lost San Francisco of smoke-stuffed North Beach cafes.. ." Film critic P. Adams Sitney called The Flower Thief "the purest expression of the Beat sensibility in cinema." Village Voice film critic J. Hoberman called Mead "the first underground movie star."
In 1967 Taylor Mead played a part in the surrealistic play Desire Caught by the Tail by Pablo Picasso when it was set for the first time in France at a festival in Saint-Tropez, among others with Ultra Violet.
In the mid-1970s, Gary Weis made some short films of Mead talking to his cat in the kitchen of his Ludlow Street apartment on Manhattan's Lower East Side called Taylor Mead's Cat. One film of Mead extemporizing on the virtues of constant television watching aired during the second season of Saturday Night Live.
In 1995 Mead spent eight hours a day for a week at the Bon Temps bar, New Orleans, being documented in the photobooth costumed as a series of Warholian characters for Blake Nelson Boyd's documentary Photobooth Trilogy. Characters included Superman and Mickey Mouse from Warhol's Myth series and references to Mead's performances in Lonesome Cowboys and Nude Restaurant.
While living on Ludlow Street, Mead read his poetry regularly at The Bowery Poetry Club. His last book of poems (published by Bowery Poetry Books) is called A Simple Country Girl. He was the subject of a documentary entitled Excavating Taylor Mead, which debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2005. The film shows him engaging in his nightly habit of feeding stray cats in an East Village cemetery after bar-hopping, and features a cameo by Jim Jarmusch, in which Jarmusch explains that once, when Mead went to Europe, he enlisted Jarmusch's brother to feed the cemetery cats in Mead's absence.
Mead was displaced from Ludlow Street in April 2013, receiving a settlement to move out, after many years of a dispute with his landlord. He lived with his niece, Priscilla Mead, in Denver and was planning to return to New Orleans on May 21 to prepare for the opening of his exhibition at the Boyd Satellite Gallery on Julia Street in that city, but he died on May 8, 2013 in Denver. He was 88.
- The Flower Thief directed by Ron Rice (1960)
- Lemon Hearts directed by Vernon Zimmerman (1962)
- Too Young, Too Immoral directed by Raymond Phelan (1962)
- Hallelujah the Hills directed by Adolfas Mekas (1963)
- Queen of Sheba Meets the Atom Man directed by Ron Rice (1963)
- Tarzan and Jane Regained...Sort Of directed by Andy Warhol (1963)
- Babo 73 directed by Robert Downey, Sr. (1964)
- Couch directed by Andy Warhol (1964)
- Taylor Mead's Ass directed by Andy Warhol (1964)
- The Illiac Passion directed by Gregory Markopoulos (1967)
- Imitation of Christ directed by Andy Warhol (1967–69)
- The Nude Restaurant directed by Andy Warhol (1967–68)
- Lonesome Cowboys directed by Andy Warhol (1967–68)
- San Diego Surf directed by Andy Warhol (1968)
- The Secret Life of Hernando Cortez directed by John Chamberlain (1969)
- Brand X directed by Wynn Chamberlain (1970)
- Underground U.S.A. (1980) directed by Eric Mitchell
- C'est vrai! (One Hour) directed by Robert Frank (1990)
- Last Supper directed by Robert Frank (1992)
- Taylor Mead Unleashed (1996) directed by Sebastian Piras
- Ecstasy In Entropy directed by Nick Zedd (1999)
- Coffee and Cigarettes directed by Jim Jarmusch (2003)
- Excavating Taylor Mead directed by William A. Kirkley (2005)
- Electra Elf: The Beginning directed by Nick Zedd (2005)
- Man Under Wire directed by Josh Bishop (2006)
- The Party in Taylor Mead's Kitchen directed by Jeffrey Wengrofsky (2011)
- Martin, Douglas (May 9, 2013). "Taylor Mead, Bohemian and Actor, Dies at 88". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- Ed Halter (2005). "Tracking shots: The Flower Thief". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2006-09-21.
- C. Carr (Oct 23, 2002). "Buried Alive". Village Voice. Retrieved 2006-09-21.
- ISBN 097643590X
- Dan Glass (2005). "Taylor Mead, Superstar". The L Magazine. Retrieved 2006-09-21.
- The Lo-Down: News From the Lower East Side (May 9, 2013)
- Christopher Harrity, The Advocate (May 9, 2013)
- "Taylor Mead". The Daily Telegraph (London). May 10, 2013.
Mead, Taylor (1961). excerpts from the anonymous diary of a new york youth. (Self-published, 41pp)
- Excavating Taylor Mead, 2005, William A. Kirkley
- Artist bio from the Whitney Museum 2006 Biennial, "Day for Night."
- Taylor Mead at the Internet Movie Database
- Reginald Gay collection of Taylor Mead and related materials, 1941-1991 (bulk 1960-1990), held by the Billy Rose Theatre Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts