Andy Warhol’s Utah Stand-In

Pair of former student reporters chat with KSL-TV about the 1967 lecture that never was.

Fun piece from Salt Lake City NBC affiliate KSL-TV.

Reporter Sloan Schrage sat down with a couple of former University of Utah student reporters to revisit the time Andy Warhol was booked for an October 2, 1967 lecture at the school but instead, sent an imposter. In those days, there was no Google, so as suspicions grew after the event, it took longer than it would have today for the detective work:

At the end of October, a New York-based photographer came to Salt Lake to take photographs of the University of Utah Repertory Dance Theater for national publications. “[Lectures director] Paul Cracroft showed the picture [student reporter Joe] Bauman had taken of the supposed Warhol to this guy,” said [former student reporter Angelyn] Hutchinson. “And he said, ‘No, that’s not Warhol. I know Warhol and that’s not Warhol.’ ”

In early December 1967, Cracroft was to go to New York City on an unrelated business trip. He contacted Warhol’s manager, Paul Morrissey, and asked if he could meet him and Warhol while there. “They said, ‘Oh, of course,’ ” remembered Hutchinson, “and they stood him up.”

A few weeks later, a University of Utah student returned from a visit to New York with a photo of Warhol that had run in The Village Voice. It was published in the Daily Utah Chronicle student paper alongside Bauman’s snap, and the poll consensus was that the man who came to campus that day was not Warhol.

Allen Midgette, the actor who turned out to be the fake Warhol for the Utah lecture and similar events at schools in Montana and Oregon, did not respond to multiple KSL-TV inquiries. Too bad, as it would have been really fun to hear his side of the story.

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.