John Waters, cult film director

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John Samuel Waters, Jr.

Also Known As: "Pope of Trash", "Prince of Puke"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Samuel Waters, Sr. and Patricia Ann Waters
Brother of Stephen Bosley Waters; Private and Private

Occupation: Cult film maker, comedian, etc
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About John Waters, cult film director

Growing up in Baltimore in the 1950's, John Waters was not like other children; he was obsessed by violence and gore, both real and on the screen. With his weird counter-culture friends as his cast, he began making silent 8mm and 16mm films in the mid-60's; he screened these in rented Baltimore church halls to underground audiences drawn by word of mouth and street leafleting campaigns. As his film-making grew more polished and his subject matter more shocking, his audiences grew bigger, and his write-ups in the Baltimore papers more outraged. By the early 1970's he was making features, which he managed to get shown in midnight screenings in art cinemas by sheer perseverance. Success came when Pink Flamingos (1972) - a deliberate exercise in ultra-bad taste - took off in 1973, helped no doubt by lead actor Divine's infamous dog-crap eating scene.

Waters continued to make low-budget shocking movies with his Dreamland repertory company until Hollywood crossover success came with Hairspray (1988), and although his movies nowadays might now appear cleaned up and professional, they retain Waters' playfulness, and reflect his lifelong obsessions.

John Samuel Waters Jr. (born April 22, 1946) is an American film director, screenwriter, actor, stand-up comedian, journalist, visual artist, and art collector, who rose to fame in the early 1970s for his transgressive cult films. Waters's 1970s and early '80s trash films feature his regular troupe of actors known as the Dreamlanders—among them Divine, Mink Stole, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, and Edith Massey. Starting with Desperate Living (1977), Waters began casting real-life convicted criminals (Liz Renay, Patty Hearst) and infamous people (Traci Lords, a former pornographic actress).

Waters dabbled in mainstream filmmaking with Hairspray (1988), which introduced Ricki Lake and earned a modest gross of $8 million domestically. In 2002, Hairspray was adapted to a long-running Broadway musical, which itself was adapted to a hit musical film that earned more than $200 million worldwide. After the crossover success of the original film version of Hairspray, Waters's films began featuring familiar actors and celebrities such as Johnny Depp, Edward Furlong, Melanie Griffith, Chris Isaak, Johnny Knoxville, Martha Plimpton, Christina Ricci, Lili Taylor, Kathleen Turner, and Tracey Ullman.

Although he maintains apartments in New York City and San Francisco, and a summer home in Provincetown, Waters still mainly resides in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, where all his films are set. Many of his films take place in a neighborhood called Hampden. He is recognizable by his trademark pencil moustache, a look he has retained since the early 1970s. (Wikipedia)


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John Waters, cult film director's Timeline

1946
April 22, 1946
Baltimore, Maryland, United States