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.

Personal Info

Known For Directing

Gender Male

Known Credits 107

Birthday 1946-04-22

Place of Birth Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • -

Directing TV ShowsMovies

2015 Kiddie Flamingos Director
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
1932 The Mask of Fu Manchu Assistant Director

Acting

TURA!
At the Video Store as Himself
2018 Sickies Making Films as Self
2017 Mansfield 66/67
2016 Whatever Happened to Gelitin as Himself
2016 The New Yorker Presents (1 episode) as Himself
2015 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip as First Class Passenger
2015 The 1000 Eyes of Dr Maddin
2015 Tab Hunter Confidential as Himself
2014 Suburban Gothic as Cornelius
2013 The Blacklist (1 episode) as Himself
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 Charles Manson, The Church of Satan, The Universal Order & The Process Church of Final Judgment
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 Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story as Himself
2007 Indie Sex (1 episode) 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 Here's Looking at You, Boy 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 Footlight Parade: Music for the Decades
2006 (buz'be bur'kle) n. A Study in Style as Himself
2006 Busby Berkeley's Kaleidoscopic Eyes
2006 Plagues & Pleasures On the Salton Sea as Narrator
2006 This Film Is Not Yet Rated as Himself - Director of 'A Dirty Shame'
2006 Meet The Kuchar Brothers
2006 I, of the Cyclops
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 It Came from... Baltimore!! as Himself
2005 Inside Deep Throat 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 Abby Singer as Himself
2003 A History of Sex as Himself
2002 Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat as The Reverend
2001 Memories of Oz as Himself
2000 Pie in the Sky: The Brigid Berlin Story
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)
1993 Growing Up with John Waters as Himself
1991 Gastronomic Getaway
1989 The Simpsons (1 episode)
1989 Homer and Eddie as Robber #1
1988 Way USA!
1987 21 Jump Street (1 episode)
1986 Something Wild as Used Car Guy
1985 Divine Waters as Himself
1976 Edith's Shopping Bag as Himself
1975 Love Letter to Edie as Himself
1972 Pink Flamingos as Narrator
1969 Mondo Trasho as Reporter (voice)

Writing

2015 Kiddie Flamingos Writer
2007 Hairspray Screenplay
2006 John Waters: This Filthy World Screenplay
2004 A Dirty Shame Screenplay
2000 Cecil B. Demented Screenplay
1998 Pecker Screenplay
1994 Serial Mom Writer
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

1981 Polyester Producer
1972 Pink Flamingos Producer
1970 Multiple Maniacs Producer
1969 The Diane Linkletter Story Producer
1969 Mondo Trasho Producer

Editing

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

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

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.

Global

s focus the search bar
p open profile menu
esc close an open window
? open keyboard shortcut window

On media pages

b go back (or to parent when applicable)
e go to edit page

On TV season pages

(right arrow) go to next season
(left arrow) go to previous season

On TV episode pages

(right arrow) go to next episode
(left arrow) go to previous episode

On all image pages

a open add image window

On all edit pages

t open translation selector
ctrl+ s submit form

On discussion pages

n create new discussion
w toggle watching status
p toggle public/private
c toggle close/open
a open activity
r reply to discussion
l go to last reply
ctrl+ enter submit your message
(right arrow) next page
(left arrow) previous page