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Johnny Dodd

Johnny Dodd
John P. Dodd

(1941-06-25)June 25, 1941
DiedJuly 15, 1991(1991-07-15) (aged 50)
New York City, U.S.
OccupationLighting designer

John P. "Johnny" Dodd (June 25, 1941 – July 15, 1991) was a lighting designer for theater, dance and music active in the downtown art scene in Manhattan during the latter half of the 20th century.

Career achievements

During the 1960s, Dodd was resident lighting designer at the Caffe Cino. In 1967, he received an Obie Award for his work on Soren Agenoux's A Christmas Carol, Lanford Wilson's The Madness of Lady Bright and Tom Eyen's White Whore and the Bit Player. Dodd also worked on productions at Judson Memorial Church,[1] La MaMa and Theater Genesis. During the 1970s, he served as lighting director on the New York Dolls tours and worked with theater director Robert Wilson. He later founded and served as the president of the 14th Street Stage Lighting Inc. Towards the end of his life, Dodd worked at The Living Theater.[2] In 2011, Fast Books published the book Johnny! by Michael Townsend Smith that recounts much of the life of Johnny Dodd. [3] In 2017, Fast Books published a book of Johhny Dodd's collages entitled My Funny Valentine Collages under his full name John P. Dodd.[4]

Underground film appearances

Dodd was featured in Andy Warhol's film Haircut No. 3 (1963) and also appeared in Warhol's film Kiss (1964).[5][6]

Fred Herko suicide

On October 27, 1964, strung out and homeless Andy Warhol superstar Fred Herko went to Johnny Dodd's Cornelia Street apartment to take a bath. According to Dodd, Mozart's Coronation Mass was playing as Herko emerged from the bath and danced naked in the loft. As the music climaxed, Herko leapt through the open window and fell to his death five floors down.[7][8]

La MaMa credits

Dodd's credits at La MaMa included extensive lighting work as well as some acting and directing:[9]


Dodd died in 1991, reportedly from AIDS at the age of 50.[2]


  1. ^ Scherman, Tony & Dalton, David, POP: The Genius of Andy Warhol, HarperCollins, New York, N.Y. 2009, p. 203
  2. ^ a b "John P. Dodd Is Dead; Lighting Designer, 50". The New York Times. 1991-07-17.
  3. ^ Johnny! 2011 book by Michael Townsend Smith
  4. ^ My Funny Valentine Collages book of collages by John P. Dodd
  5. ^ Watson, Steven (2003), "Factory Made: Warhol and the Sixties" Pantheon Books, p. 118
  6. ^ Blake Gopnik, Warhol:  A Life as Art London: Allen Lane. March 5, 2020. ISBN 978-0-241-00338-1 p. 409
  7. ^ Watson, Steven (October 1, 2003). Factory Made: Warhol and the Sixties (1 ed.). Pantheon. pp. 172. ISBN 0-679-42372-9.
  8. ^ Blake Gopnik, Warhol:  A Life as Art London: Allen Lane. March 5, 2020. ISBN 978-0-241-00338-1 p. 409
  9. ^ Smith, Michael. Johnny! Silverton: Fast Books Press, 2011.


  • Scherman, Tony & Dalton, David, POP: The Genius of Andy Warhol, HarperCollins, New York, N.Y. 2009

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Johnny Dodd
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