Warhol icon to receive Berlinale award for gay cinema

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The smoldering Dallesandro is credited with changing male sexuality on the screen.

Berlin -- Andy Warhol's cinematic muse will accept a prize for lifetime achievement in gay films at the 59th Berlin Film Festival, organizers said last month.

Joe Dallesandro, who smoldered as a hunky sex symbol in countless camp pictures made by Warhol in the late 1960s and 1970s, is expected in the German capital to pick up the honorary Teddy Award, the head of the selection committee said.

"Dallesandro was not only the most beautiful man in his media generation, but also put his erotic appeal out to consciously be objectified," Wieland Speck said in a statement. "He has this physical appearance you never get tired of watching. This is true for the moving picture as well as photographs -- and for men as well as for women."

The statement also quotes American cult director John Waters as calling Dallesandro "a wonderful actor who forever changed male sexuality on the screen."

Warhol discovered Dallesandro, now 60, in the late 1960s when he was working the New York streets as a hustler and occasional gay porn star.

With his chiseled physique and ease with nude scenes, he was an object of desire for his male and female co-stars and became, along with Edie Sedgwick, the most memorable of the figures to emerge from Warhol's Factory.

Though he never made it big in Hollywood, Dallesandro quickly became a pop icon -- with Warhol using a photograph of his crotch as cover art on the Rolling Stones' album "Sticky Fingers." He also earned a mention as "Little Joe" in the Lou Reed hit "Walk on the Wild Side."

Dallesandro has played bit parts in Hollywood films and television series in recent years.

The Berlinale, one of the world's top three film festivals, runs February 5 to 15.


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