- John Waters (filmmaker)
name = John Waters
imagesize = 200px
caption = John Waters, 2007
birthname = John Samuel Waters, Jr.
birthdate = birth date and age|1946|4|22
Maryland, United States
Film director, producer, actorand screenwriter
John Samuel Waters, Jr. (born
April 22, 1946) is an American filmmaker, actor, writer, celebrity, visual artistand art collector, who rose to fame in the early 1970s for his transgressive cult films. Waters' 1970s and early '80s films feature his regular troupe of actors known as Dreamlanders— among them Divine — often committing cinematic crimes. Starting with " Desperate Living" (1977), Waters began casting real-life convicted criminals ( Liz Renay, Patricia Hearst) as well as famous ( Sonny Bono, Debbie Harry, Tab Hunter) and infamous people ( Traci Lords, a former underage porn star).
Waters skirted mainstream filmmaking with "Hairspray" (1988), which introduced
Ricki Lakeand 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 which earned more than $200 million worldwide. After the crossover success of the original film version of "Hairspray", Waters' 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 Turnerand Tracey Ullman.
Although he has apartments in
New York City, San Franciscoand a summer homein Provincetown, Waters still mainly resides in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, where all his films are set. He is recognizable by his trademark pencil-thin moustache.
Waters was born in Baltimore,
Maryland, the son of Patricia Ann (née Whitaker) and John Samuel Waters, who was a manufacturer of fire-protection equipment. [ [http://www.filmreference.com/film/8/John-Waters.html John Waters Biography (1946-) ] ] Waters grew up in Lutherville, Maryland, a suburb of Baltimore. His boyhood friend and muse Glenn Milstead, later known as Divine, also lived in Baltimore County, Maryland, a short distance away.
The movie "
Lili" inspired an interest in puppets in the seven-year-old Waters, who proceeded to stage violent versions of " Punch and Judy" for children's birthday parties. Biographer Robert L. Pela says that Waters' mother believes the puppets in "Lili" had the greatest influence on Waters' subsequent career (though Pela believes tacky films at a local drive-in, which the young Waters watched from a distance through binoculars, had a greater effect). [cite book | last = Pela|first=Robert L |year=2002|title=Filthy: The Weird World of John Waters|publisher=Alyson Publishing|id=ISBN 1-55583-625-9]
Waters attended Calvert Hall College for High School. For his sixteenth birthday, Waters received an 8mm movie camera from his maternal grandmother, Stella Whitaker.
His first movie was "Hag in a Black Leather Jacket". According to Waters, the film was shown only once in a "beatnik coffee house" in Baltimore.
Waters was a student at
New York University(NYU) in New York City. The school, however, was not what Waters had in mind:
Waters has credited his influences among others as
Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Federico Fellini, and Ingmar Bergman. He has stated that he takes an equal amount of joy and influence from high-brow "art" films and sleazy exploitation films: "I love Bergman and " I Dismember Mama".
In January 1966, Waters and some friends were caught smoking marijuana on the grounds of NYU; they were soon expelled. Waters returned to Baltimore, where he began work on his next film, "Eat Your Makeup", which was filmed that year. Waters' films would become Divine's primary
star vehicles. Waters' early films were all shot in the Baltimore area with his company of local actors, the Dreamlanders. In addition to Divine, the group included Mink Stole, Cookie Mueller, Edith Massey, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, Susan Walsh, and others. These early films were among the first picked up for distribution by the fledgling New Line Cinema. Waters' films premiered at the Baltimore Senator Theatreand sometimes at the Charles Theatre.
Waters' early campy movies present filthily lovable characters in outrageous situations with hyperbolic dialogue. "
Pink Flamingos", " Female Trouble", and " Desperate Living", which he labeled the "Trash Trilogy", pushed hard at the boundaries of conventional propriety and movie censorship. A particularly notorious scene from "Pink Flamingos", simply added as a non sequitur to film's end, featured — in one continuous take without special effects — a small dog defecating and Divine eating its feces.
Move towards mainstream
Waters' 2004 film, the NC-17-rated "
A Dirty Shame", is a return to his earlier, more controversial work of the 1970s. He also had a cameo in "", which starred "Dirty Shame" co-star Johnny Knoxville. Waters has stated that his next movie will be a children's film titled "Fruitcake". It began shooting in January 2008. [ [http://www.sfbg.com/entry.php?entry_id=2407&catid=85&volume_id=254&issue_id=273&volume_num=41&issue_num=12 San Francisco Bay Guardian : Article : Keeping up with John Waters ] ]
Waters is currently a professor of cinema and subcultural studies at the
European Graduate School. [ [http://www.egs.edu/faculty/johnwaters.html John Waters - Professor of Film and Subculture - Bibliography ] ] In 2007, he also became the host (as "The Groom Reaper") of "'Til Death Do Us Part", a program on America's " Court TV" network featuring dramatizations of real-life marriages that soured and ended in murder. As a gay American, Waters is an avid supporter of gay rights and gay pride. [ [http://www.dreamlandnews.com/fans/grizelda.shtml Dreamland News: Fans ] ]
Waters has been known to create characters with alliterated names for his movies including Bo-Bo Belsinger, Corny Collins, Donald Dasher, Donna Dasher,
Dawn Davenport, David Divine, Fat Fuck Frank, Francine Fishpaw, Link Larkin, Mona Malnorowski, Motormouth Maybelle, Mole McHenry, Penny Pingleton, Prudy Pingleton, Ramona Rickettes, Sandy Sandstone, Sylvia Stickles, Sandra Sullivan, Todd Tomorrow, Tony The Tickler, Tracy Turnblad, Ursula Udders, Wade Walker, and Wanda Woodward.
"Fruitcake" is Waters' next film. Production is due to begin in the fall of 2008. [ [http://perezhilton.com/2008-05-08-yay] .
Perez Hilton. "Jesus Is Magic". May 8 2008]
Puffing constantly on a cigarette, Waters appeared in a short film shown in movie art houses announcing that "no smoking" is permitted in the theatres. This short spot was filmed by Waters for the
Nuart Theatre(a Landmark Theater) in West Los Angeles, California, in appreciation to the theater for showing "Pink Flamingos" for many years. It is shown immediately before one of his movies, and before the Midnight movieshowing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Waters is an avid fan of "
Court TV" and has attended several high-profile court cases as an observer. Waters has been quoted as saying that he saw many of the same people who were court observers at different trials all around the country. Waters eventually stopped going to trials when fans started recognizing him and went to trials to meet him. He didn't feel it was appropriate given the seriousness of the court system.Fact|date=March 2008
He played a minister in "", directed by one of his idols,
Herschell Gordon Lewis. Waters owns one of John Wayne Gacy's paintings, which Waters says he hangs in his guest bedroom "so people don't stay too long"fact|date=May 2008.
Hag in a Black Leather Jacket" (8 mm) (1964)
*"Roman Candles" (1966)
Eat Your Makeup" (16mm) (1968)
Mondo Trasho" (16mm) (1969)
The Diane Linkletter Story" (16mm) (1969)
Multiple Maniacs" (16mm) (1970)
Pink Flamingos" (16 & 35 mm) (1972)
Female Trouble" (16 & 35 mm) (1974)
Desperate Living" (16 & 35 mm) (1977)
Serial Mom" (1994)
Cecil B. Demented" (2000)
A Dirty Shame" (2004)
*"Fruitcake" (2008) (in production)
This Filthy World" (2006)
Pink Flamingos" (1972) - Mr. Jay
Serial Mom" (1994) - Ted Bundy(uncredited)
*"Pecker" (1998) - Pervert on phone
Hairspray (musical)" (2002) - Voice on Maybelle's TV
Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea" (2007) - Narrator
The Junior Defenders" (2007) - Narrator
*"Something Wild" (1986) - Used Car Salesman
*"Hairspray" (1988) - Dr. Fredrikson
Divine Trash" (1998) - Himself
Sweet and Lowdown" (1999) - Mr. Haynes
Cecil B. Demented" (2000) - Reporter
Seed of Chucky" (2004) - Pete Peters
*"" (2006) - Himself
This Film Is Not Yet Rated" (2006) - Himself
Each Time I Kill" (2006/2007)
The Junior Defenders" (2007) - Narrator
*"Hairspray" (2007) - Flasher
In the Land of Merry Misfits" (2007) - Narrator
My Name is Earl", episode " Kept a Guy Locked in a Truck" - Funeral Director
*"'Til Death Do Us Part" - Groom Reaper
*"" - Bartender, R. Vincent Smith
21 Jump Street", episode "Awomp-Bomp-Aloobomb, Aloop Bamboom" - Mr. Bean
Frasier", episode " The Maris Counselor" - Roger
The Simpsons", episode " Homer's Phobia" - John
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"
Dinner for Five"
The Graham Norton Show"
Graham Norton's Bigger Picture"
The Graham Norton Effect"
The Henry Rollins Show"
Last Call with Carson Daly"
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson"
Late Night with Conan O'Brien"
Late Show with David Letterman"
Real Time with Bill Maher"
The Roseanne Show"
So Graham Norton"
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno"
V Graham Norton"
E! True Hollywood Story"
*"Le Grand Journal"
*"HBO First Look"
*"The Incredibly Strange Film Show"
This Film Is Not Yet Rated
*"VH1 Behind the Music"
*"Guest of Cindy Sherman" [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0443524/] IMDb]
Waters has published collections of his writings including:
*"Shock Value" (1981)
*"Crackpot: The Obsessions of John Waters" (1987, Revised Edition 2003)
*"Trash Trio: Three Screenplays: Pink Flamingos, Desperate Living, Flamingos Forever" (1988)
*"Art: A Sex Book" (2003) (with Bruce Hainley)
*"Hairspray, Female Trouble, and Multiple Maniacs: Three more screenplays" (2005)
Waters has published collections of his photos including:
*"Director's Cut" (1997)
*"John Waters: Change of Life" (2004)
Since the early 1990s, Waters has been making photo-based artwork and installations that have been internationally exhibited in galleries and museums. In 2004, the
New Museumin NYC presented a retrospective of his artwork curated by Marvin Heiferman and Lisa Phillips.
This Filthy World" - Waters' touring one-man show, recently made into a feature filmdirected by Jeff Garlin
A John Waters Christmas" - A CD of Christmas songs compiled by Waters
John Waters Presents Movies That Will Corrupt You" - TV show for the here!network
Mommie Dearest" (1981) - Audio commentary on film's "Hollywood Royalty Edition" DVDrelease (2006)
*"The Little Mermaid" Special Edition DVD (2006) - Interview on 'making of' documentary about Howard Ashman, the theatre (i.e. "
Little Shop of Horrors"), and the inspiration behind the character Ursula: Divine
*"A Date with John Waters" (2007), a CD collection of songs Waters finds romantic
Christmas Evil" DVDrelease (2006) - Audio commentary
* Narrated the award-winning 2006
documentary film[http://www.saltonseadoc.com/ "Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea"]
* Featured in the documentary film "
This Film Is Not Yet Rated" (2006)
*"Breaking Up with John Waters" - Waters' third CD compilation is currently in the works
*"The Other Hollywood" - Commentary and opinions about
pornographythroughout the book
*"'Til Death Do Us Part" - A "
Court TV" series hosted by Waters surrounding stories of marriage murder
*imdb name|0000691|John Waters
* [http://www.egs.edu/faculty/waters.html John Waters Faculty Website, European Graduate School]
* [http://baltoco.org/waters John Waters page on the Baltimore Collective]
* [http://www.amoeba.com/video-player/john-waters.html/Amoeba's Date with John Waters] video interview at
* [http://www.newmuseum.org/more_exh_j_waters.php# John Waters art retrospective] at the New Museum
* [http://www.feastoffools.net/gay-fun-show/2005/06/21/fof-94-the-fellini-of-freaks-062105/ Interview with John Waters] on the
Feast of Fools (podcast)
* [http://www.dreamlandnews.com/print/articles/ Dreamland archive of John Waters related articles]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
John Waters — is a name shared by the following individuals:Film and television personalities*John Waters (assistant director) (1893 ndash;1965), American director of 14 films (1926 ndash;47); Oscar as assistant director on 1934 s Viva Villa *John Waters… … Wikipedia
Waters — is a surname, and may refer to:* Alice Waters (born 1944), American chef * Allan Waters (1921–2005), Canadian businessman * Anthony Waters (born 1985), American football linebacker * Beau Waters (born 1986), Australian rules footballer * Brian… … Wikipedia
Steve Yeager (filmmaker) — Steve Yeager is a documentary filmmaker from Baltimore, Maryland. He is best known for his film on the life of fellow director John Waters, Divine Trash, which won the Filmmakers Trophy for Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival in… … Wikipedia
This Film Is Not Yet Rated — Infobox Film name = This Film Is Not Yet Rated caption = The official poster director = Kirby Dick producer = Eddie Schmidt starring = Kirby Dick Jack Valenti Kimberly Peirce Alison Anders John Waters cinematography = Shana Hagan Kirsten Johnson… … Wikipedia
List of people from Maryland — Marylander redirects here. For the train, see Marylander (train). The Flag of Maryland The following are some notable or famous people from the U.S. state of Maryland, listed by field of their endeavor. (This list may not include Federal… … Wikipedia
Lettuce — Taxobox name = Lettuce image width = 260 px image caption = Iceberg lettuce field in Northern Santa Barbara County regnum = Plantae divisio = Magnoliophyta classis = Magnoliopsida ordo = Asterales familia = Asteraceae genus = Lactuca species = L … Wikipedia
Buddy Deane Show — The Buddy Deane Show was a teen dance television show, similar to Philadelphia s American Bandstand , that aired on WJZ TV in Baltimore, Maryland from 1957 until 1964. The show was taken off the air because home station WJZ was unable to… … Wikipedia
The Yuppie Pricks — Infobox musical artist | Name = The Yuppie Pricks Background = group or band Origin = flagicon|USA Austin, Texas Genre = Punk Rock Comedy Years active = 1999 ndash;present Label = Alternative Tentacles Chicken Ranch Current members = Trevor… … Wikipedia
KCLA — Infobox Radio station name = KCLA city = Pine Bluff, Arkansas area = branding = The Fan SportsRadio 1400 slogan = airdate = frequency = 1400 kHz format = Sports power = 1,000 watts (unlimited) class = C facility id = 33725 coordinates =… … Wikipedia
KOTN — For the game sometimes called KotN , see . Infobox Radio station name = KOTN city = Pine Bluff, Arkansas area = branding = slogan = Information Radio airdate = 1934 frequency = 1490 kHz format = News/Talk/Sports power = 1,000 watts class = C… … Wikipedia