John Waters

Biography

Growing up in Baltimore in the 1950s, 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-'60s; he screened these in rented Baltimore church halls to underground audiences drawn by word of mouth and street leafleting campaigns. As his filmmaking 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 1970s 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.

Growing up in Baltimore in the 1950s, 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-'60s; he screened these in rented Baltimore church halls to underground audiences drawn by word of mouth and street leafleting campaigns. As his filmmaking 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 1970s 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.

View Profile Images

Personal Info

Gender Male

Known Credits 77

Birthday 1946-04-22

Place of Birth Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Adult Actor False

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • -

Known For

Acting TV ShowsMovies

2015 The 1000 Eyes of Dr Maddin
2015 Tab Hunter Confidential as Himself
2014 Suburban Gothic as Cornelius
2013 The Sarnos: A Life in Dirty Movies as Himself
2013 I Am Divine as Himself
2012 The Mystery of a Hansom Cab as Mark Frettlby
2012 Paul Bowles: The Cage Door Is Always Open
2012 Excision as William
2012 Mansome as Himself
2012 Centre Place
2011 The Advocate for Fagdom as Himself
2011 Kapyong as Narrator
2011 These Amazing Shadows as himself
2011 Mangus!
2010 William S. Burroughs: A Man Within as Himself
2010 Offspring(99 episodes)
2010 Herschell Gordon Lewis: The Godfather of Gore
2010 Beautiful Darling as Himself
2009 It Came from Kuchar as Himself
2008 The Wild World of Ted V. Mikels as The Narrator
2008 Obscene: A Portrait of Barney Rosset and Grove Press as Himself
2007 Jackass 2.5 as Himself
2007 'Til Death Do Us Part(13 episodes)
2007 Schau mir in die Augen, Kleiner as Himself
2006 This Filthy World as Himself
2006 The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players: Off & On Broadway as Himself
2006 I Love the '70s: Volume 2(10 episodes)
2006 The Henry Rollins Show(1 episode)
2006 Plagues & Pleasures On the Salton Sea as Narrator
2006 This Film Is Not Yet Rated as Himself - Director of 'A Dirty Shame'
2006 Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema as Himself
2005 Stealth as Black Ops Doctor
2005 All the Dirt on 'A Dirty Shame' as Himself
2005 Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream as Himself
2005 That Man: Peter Berlin as Himself
2004 Seed of Chucky as Pete Peters
2004 Thinking XXX as Himself
2004 Fireflies(22 episodes)
2003 A History of Sex as Himself
2002 Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat as The Reverend
2000 In Bad Taste as Himself
1999 Sweet and Lowdown as Mr. Haynes
1998 So Graham Norton(1 episode)
1998 Divine Trash as Himself
1996 The Daily Show with Trevor Noah(2 episodes)
1996 E! True Hollywood Story(1 episode)
1993 Frasier(1 episode)
1993 Homicide: Life on the Street(2 episodes)
1989 The Simpsons(1 episode)
1989 Homer and Eddie as Robber #1
1987 21 Jump Street(1 episode)
1986 Something Wild as Used Car Guy
1985 Divine Waters as Himself
1980 Breaker Morant as Captain Alfred Taylor
1975 Love Letter to Edie
1969 Mondo Trasho as Reporter (voice)
1900 At the Video Store as Himself
1900 New Line Cinema: The First Generation and the Next Generation
1900 John Waters Presents Movies That Will Corrupt You(0 episodes)

Directing

2004 A Dirty Shame … Director
2000 Cecil B. Demented … Director
1998 Pecker … Director
1994 Serial Mom … Director
1990 Cry-Baby … Director
1988 Hairspray … Director
1981 Polyester … Director
1977 Desperate Living … Director
1974 Female Trouble … Director
1972 Pink Flamingos … Director
1970 Multiple Maniacs … Director
1969 The Diane Linkletter Story … Director
1969 Mondo Trasho … Director
1968 Eat Your Makeup … Director
1968 Dorothy, the Kansas City Pot Head … Director
1966 Roman Candles … Director
1964 Hag in a Black Leather Jacket … Director

Writing

2007 Hairspray … Screenplay
2006 This Filthy World … Screenplay
2004 A Dirty Shame … Screenplay
2000 Cecil B. Demented … Screenplay
1998 Pecker … Screenplay
1994 Serial Mom … Screenplay
1990 Cry-Baby … Screenplay
1988 Hairspray … Screenplay
1981 Polyester … Screenplay
1977 Desperate Living … Screenplay
1974 Female Trouble … Screenplay
1972 Pink Flamingos … Screenplay
1970 Multiple Maniacs … Screenplay
1969 The Diane Linkletter Story … Writer
1969 Mondo Trasho … Screenplay
1968 Dorothy, the Kansas City Pot Head … Writer
1966 Roman Candles … Writer

Production

1972 Pink Flamingos … Producer
1970 Multiple Maniacs … Producer
1969 The Diane Linkletter Story … Producer
1969 Mondo Trasho … Producer

Camera

1972 Pink Flamingos … Director of Photography
1970 Multiple Maniacs … Director of Photography
1969 The Diane Linkletter Story … Director of Photography
1969 Mondo Trasho … Director of Photography

Editing

1972 Pink Flamingos … Editor
1970 Multiple Maniacs … Editor
1969 The Diane Linkletter Story … Editor
1969 Mondo Trasho … Editor

Crew

2007 An American Crime … Thanks
1977 Desperate Living … Series Writer

By signing up for an account on TMDb, you can post directly to Twitter and Facebook.

You need to be logged in to continue. Click here to login or here to sign up.