25 Andy Warhol Diary Entries That Capture Memorable Moments in Pop Culture


Before your aunt posted what she had for lunch on Facebook or Instagram celebrity was a thing, Andy Warhol was sharing the boring details of his life in his diaries. The pop art icon shared all things banal and his everyday routines in his posthumously published diaries, including the cost of New York City cabs, his sleeping habits, and more. The charm in reading these details comes when Warhol casually mentions now iconic celebrities and pop culture-defining moments alongside his entires on fast food and . . . whatever. Warhol’s diary was over 20,000 pages long and chronicled an 11-year span of his life (1976-1987). The published diaries were condensed, but certainly never lack for excitement. Warhol would have been 89 years old today. We’re celebrating with a few quotes from the diaries that capture the spirit of Warhol’s obsession with celebrity and the mundane.

“Susan Blond called to invite me backstage to see Michael Jackson on Tuesday and Wednesday and she wants me to get Liza Minnelli, but I haven’t been able to. I’ll try again, though.” 8/17/81

“Went to Studio 54 where there was a birthday party for the black star on Saturday Night Live who’s just signed to do a movie with Paramount. Eddie Murphy.” 4/3/82

“I told Jack I loved Body Heat. Because he’s out here in the sticks and so he doesn’t see anything. I said it was a real hot movie. He kept asking about the girl, Kathleen Turner, and I said that she’d never be remembered.” 8/31/81

“At 12:00 I had an appointment to meet Debbie Harry at the office (cab $4). I was early and Debbie and Chris were on time. We worked all afternoon. Debbie was sweet, and every picture came out perfect.” 8/12/80

“Tina Turner was great. I thought she was copying Mick Jagger then somebody told me she taught him how to dance.” 8/2/85

“Gee, I’m looking at MTV right now and they use my paintings in a lot in videos.” 7/11/84

“Cabbed to see Blade Runner. The movie was dark. I don’t know if it’s really abstract or really simple.” 6/27/82

“Danny DeVito is so cute, we should all marry him, really. He’s just adorable.” 6/25/86

“Jack Nicholson came, he’s in London doing The Shining, and I guess we forgot to invite Shelley Duvall.” 6/21/78

“We went into Sean’s bedroom — and there was a kid there setting up the Apple computer that Sean had gotten as a present, the Macintosh model. I said that once some man had been calling me a lot wanting to give me one, but that I’d never called him back or something, and then the kid looked up and said, “Yeah, that was me. I’m Steve Jobs.” 1984

“Travolta’s so good. In some camera angles he looks like a turtle, but with the right ones, he looks like the new Rudolph Valentino.” 6/13/78

“Gee, Madonna was just a waitress at the Lucky Strike a year ago.” 5/9/85

“Ran into Bill Cunningham on his bike, I just wish I could do what he does, just go everywhere and take pictures all day.” 5/17/84

“I wonder if I’m still having lunch with David Bowie.” 5/8/78

“I had the first really nice talk with Jackie O. but I don’t remember too much. . . . The Magic of People in the Movies, or something.” 4/13/77

“I decided to go see Cat People. I loved the arm being bitten off and how they did it and the snap when it came out of the socket.” 4/7/82

“Finally the pope was coming our way . . . he shook my hand and I said I was from New York.” 4/2/80

“Dali was really sweet, he’d brought a plastic bag full of his used-up palettes as a present to me.” 3/19/78

“Divine really is the only one who you can’t tell if it’s a boy or a girl. Because of the long earrings, maybe.” 3/18/80

“We got to Studio 54 for Liz Taylor’s party. Liz looked like a — bellybutton.” 3/6/78

“Spielberg…said that he saw my movie Sleep when he was about twelve and that inspired him to make a movie called Snore.” 2/19/82

“The Oscar nominations came out. And Faye didn’t get nominated for Mommie Dearest. If *that* isn’t acting . . . ” 2/11/82

“Joan Rivers came on with her boa, and she’s funny, but I don’t know how she can say the things she does and get away with it.” 2/4/83

“Grace Jones was refusing to sign autographs. She explained that her public liked it better when she treated them that way.” 2/3/83

“Mary Tyler Moore . . . walks fast and never looks at anybody so nobody ever stops her. She’s a dynamo.” 2/23/81