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Taylor Mead, 88; artist collaborated with Andy Warhol in moviemaking

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NEW YORK — Taylor Mead, a poet, actor and exuberant Bhemian who colluded with Andy Warhol in the 1960s to nurture a new approach to making movies — sometimes spontaneously, always inexpensively (hand-held 16-millimeter cameras sufficed) and brashly experimental (one film consisted of an hourlong shot of Mead’s bare posterior) — died Wednesday in Colorado. He was 88.

Rachel Churner, an owner of Churner and Churner, a Manhattan gallery that has exhibited Mead’s paintings, confirmed the death, saying she had no further details. Some websites said he had died in Denver of a stroke.

Mead was the quintessential downtown New York figure. He read his poems in a Bowery bar, walked as many as 80 blocks a day and fed stray cats in a cemetery, usually after midnight. His last years were consumed by a classic Gotham battle against a landlord, which ended in his agreeing to leave his tenement apartment in return for money. At his death, he had been intending to return to New York after visiting a niece in Colorado.

It was as an actor in what was called the New American Cinema in the 1960s that he made his biggest mark. Warhol recruited him as one of his first ‘‘superstars,’’ and from 1963 to 1968 he made 11 films with Mead. In all, Mead figured that he had made about 130 movies, many of them so spontaneous that they involved only one take.

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