She starred in many of director John Waters's early underground films and also wrote for several magazines.
At age 11, she wrote her first book - a 321 page account of Johnstown Flood of 1889, which she carefully bound and put on the shelves of her local library.
She had a health column in the local East Village Eye, later serving as an art critic for Details magazine.
She was born Dorothy Karen Mueller and acquired the nickname Cookie from her days growing up in Maryland.
John Waters credited her for inspiring the title of his 1974 film Female Trouble.