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Overview for John Waters
John Waters

John Waters


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Also Known As: John Samuel Waters Jr. Died:
Born: April 22, 1946 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Baltimore, Maryland, USA Profession: Cast ... screenwriter director author actor director of photography editor producer lecturer puppeteer artist


Transgressive filmmaker John Waters remained on the cinematic fringe for more than a decade before his outrageous and intentionally offensive movies gradually met with a sort of begrudging critical and commercial acceptance. Operating from his home base of Baltimore, the pencil-mustached Waters arrived on the scene with his barely-seen short "Hag in a Black Leather Jacket" (1964), before ultimately moving on to such monuments of bad taste as "Mondo Trasho" (1969) and the notorious "Pink Flamingos" (1972). His muse and star in these early efforts was the portly female impersonator Divine, with whom he would make a total of six feature films. Other frequent collaborators like Mink Stole and Mary Vivian Pearce - known collectively as the Dreamlanders - became staples of Waters' exorcises in outré behavior. A spoof of the "women's films" of the 1950s, "Polyester" (1981) was the first of Waters' films to receive wider distribution and a long-denied R rating. Gradually, the filmmaker achieved a semblance of respectability with the publication of his first book, 1981's Shock Value, and later made a name for himself as an admired and innovative photographic artist. He moved further into the mainstream with movies like "Hairspray" (1988), "Cry Baby" (1990) and "Serial Mom" (1994), starring the likes of Johnny Depp and Kathleen Turner. After Waters' 1988 film had been adapted into a successful stage play, the smash hit musical version of "Hairspray" (2007) seemed to complete his transformation from eccentric Hollywood outsider to pop culture icon.

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