Viva (actress)

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Born Janet Susan Mary Hoffmann
August 23, 1938
Syracuse, New York

Viva (born August 23, 1938) is an American actress, writer and a former Warhol superstar.

Life and career[edit]

She was born Janet Susan Mary Hoffmann in Syracuse, New York, the daughter of Mary Alice (née McNicholas) and Wilfred Ernest Hoffmann.[1] Hoffmann was the eldest of nine children born into a family of strict Roman Catholics. Her father was a prosperous attorney, and her parents were fervent supporters of the Army–McCarthy hearings held to expose Communist government infiltration. The Hoffmann children were required to watch the televised proceedings.[2] Raised in devout Catholicism, she considered becoming a nun.[3] She was given the name Viva by Andy Warhol before the release of her first film but later used her married last name (Auder). She appeared in several of Warhol's films and was a frequent guest at The Factory. Viva was on the phone with Warhol when he was shot by Valerie Solanas.[4]

After she began making films for other directors she also began writing. Her first book, Superstar, was an insider's look at the Factory scene, a partly fictional autobiographical account of her time there. It was distinguished from other "tell-all" memoirs by virtue of her writing, which incorporated various stylistic effects, including the use of taped conversations, arguably one of the first times such a technique had been used in a novel. She also wrote for various publications, including The Village Voice and New York Woman.

Viva incorporated the use of video tapes into her second book The Baby. These tapes were later released by her former husband, video artist Michel Auder, as Chronicles: Family Diary in three parts.

She was the narrator for Carla Bley's 1971 experimental jazz composition Escalator over the Hill.

Personal life[edit]

Viva was one of the early pioneers in Video art.

During the 1970s Viva was a guest participant in Shirley Clarke's Teepee Video Space Troupe, which she formed in the early 1970s. With husband Michel Auder, she made and kept film diaries which included the birth of her first daughter, Alexandra (Alex) Auder.

Viva[5] married video artist Michel Auder in 1969 and together they had one daughter, Alexandria Auder, in February 1971. She had another child (January 8, 1982), with Anthony Herrera,[6][7] the actress Gaby Hoffmann.[8][9]

She lives in Palm Springs, California, where she paints landscapes.[10]



  • Superstar (1970)
  • The Baby (1974)


  1. ^
  2. ^, retrieved June 15, 2014
  3. ^ Flatley, Guy (November 9, 1969). "How to Be Very Viva - A Bedroom Farce - Article -". Retrieved 2012-08-23. 
  4. ^ The Shot That Shattered The Velvet Underground Village Voice June 3, 1968
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Obituary". San Antonio Express-News. July 3, 2011. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  7. ^ Kennedy, Dana (March 25, 1994). "30 Minutes of Fame". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Anthony Herrera Obituary". San Antonio Express-News. July 3, 2011. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Anthony Herrera Obituary". Stone County Enterprise. July 28, 2011. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  10. ^

External links[edit]