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.

Read More

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.

Personal Info

Gender Male

Known Credits 90

Birthday 1946-04-22

Place of Birth Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • -

Acting TV ShowsMovies

2017 Mansfield 66/67
2016 Whatever Happened to Gelitin as Himself
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 Blank City as Himself
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
2008 New Line Cinema: The First Generation and the Next Generation
2007 Jackass 2.5 as Himself
2007 Hairspray as Flasher
2007 Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis as Himself
2007 Each Time I Kill as Movie Watcher
2007 'Til Death Do Us Part(13 episodes)
2007 The Graham Norton Show(2 episodes) as Himself
2007 Schau mir in die Augen, Kleiner as Himself
2006 John Waters: This Filthy World as Himself
2006 Jackass Number Two as Himself
2006 The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players: Off & On Broadway as Himself
2006 I Love the '70s: Volume 2(10 episodes)
2006 Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream as Himself
2006 The Henry Rollins Show(1 episode)
2006 Busby Berkeley's Kaleidoscopic Eyes
2006 Footlight Parade: Music for the Decades
2006 (buz'be bur'kle) n. A Study in Style
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 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 Welcome to Hollywood as John Waters
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) as Guest Caller - Roger
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 TURA!
1900 John Waters Presents Movies That Will Corrupt You(0 episodes)

Directing

2015 Kiddie FlamingosDirector
2004 A Dirty ShameDirector
2000 Cecil B. DementedDirector
1998 PeckerDirector
1994 Serial MomDirector
1990 Cry-BabyDirector
1988 HairsprayDirector
1981 PolyesterDirector
1977 Desperate LivingDirector
1974 Female TroubleDirector
1972 Pink FlamingosDirector
1970 Multiple ManiacsDirector
1969 The Diane Linkletter StoryDirector
1969 Mondo TrashoDirector
1968 Eat Your MakeupDirector
1968 Dorothy, the Kansas City Pot HeadDirector
1966 Roman CandlesDirector
1964 Hag in a Black Leather JacketDirector

Writing

2015 Kiddie FlamingosWriter
2007 HairsprayScreenplay
2006 John Waters: This Filthy WorldScreenplay
2004 A Dirty ShameScreenplay
2000 Cecil B. DementedScreenplay
1998 PeckerScreenplay
1994 Serial MomWriter
1990 Cry-BabyScreenplay
1988 HairsprayScreenplay
1981 PolyesterScreenplay
1977 Desperate LivingScreenplay
1974 Female TroubleScreenplay
1972 Pink FlamingosScreenplay
1970 Multiple ManiacsScreenplay
1969 The Diane Linkletter StoryWriter
1969 Mondo TrashoScreenplay
1968 Dorothy, the Kansas City Pot HeadWriter
1966 Roman CandlesWriter

Production

1972 Pink FlamingosProducer
1970 Multiple ManiacsProducer
1969 The Diane Linkletter StoryProducer
1969 Mondo TrashoProducer

Camera

1972 Pink FlamingosDirector of Photography
1970 Multiple ManiacsDirector of Photography
1969 The Diane Linkletter StoryDirector of Photography
1969 Mondo TrashoDirector of Photography

Editing

1972 Pink FlamingosEditor
1970 Multiple ManiacsEditor
1969 The Diane Linkletter StoryEditor
1969 Mondo TrashoEditor

Crew

2007 An American CrimeThanks
1977 Desperate LivingSeries 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.