Andy Warhol's actor muse Taylor Mead has died at the age of 88.

He passed away on Wednesday (08May13) after suffering a stroke while visiting relatives in Denver, Colorado, according to his niece, Priscilla.

Born in Michigan, Mead launched his screen career after moving to New York and became a fixture on the underground film scene in the 1960s.

His early roles included appearances in Ron Rice's art house classic The Flower Thief and The Queen of Sheba Meets the Atom Man in 1963, and he became famed for his work with Warhol on projects like Tarzan and Jane Regained... Sort Of, and Lonesome Cowboys.

Mead, who was openly gay, also featured in Babo 73, directed by Robert Downey, Sr., father of the Iron Man star, and in 2003 made a cameo in indie filmmaker Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes.

He later turned his attention to his poetry and would regularly stage readings in Manhattan's Lower East Side neighbourhood, while he became the subject of Excavating Taylor Mead, a 2005 documentary by William A. Kirkley, which followed the ageing artist as he tried to maintain his care-free lifestyle.