Warhol Superstar Fred Herko was born on February 23, 1936. Herko was always musically/rhythmically inclined, and his talent on the piano and flute got him into the Julliard Performing Arts school. Soon realizing he did not want to perform music, but instead, wanted to practice dance. He was awarded a four-year scholarship to study dance. His father didn’t approve of his desire to practice dance and beat him when he learned the news. Herko went on to find the Judson Dance Theatre and became a leading figure in what would be considered avant-garde dancing.
Fred Herko started coming around The Factory between 1963 and 1964. Out of all of the Judson dancers, Warhol became the most fascinated with Herko. He starred in Warhol’s earliest films, such as Jill and Freddy Dancing, Kiss, and Haircut. His addiction to drugs, especially Speed, would eventually lead to his downfall. His drug addiction became so bad that his bones were too brittle to dance, and his teeth began falling out. Herko committed suicide on October 27, 1964, by dancing out of the window of his friend, Johnny Dodd’s apartment. It has never been clear if he actually intended to kill himself.