John Waters

John Waters

Apr. 22nd, 1946
Born in
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
6' 2"

John Waters' Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Offspring (AU) TV Show
Offspring (AU)
'Til Death Do Us Part TV Show
'Til Death Do Us Part
Homicide (AU) TV Show
Homicide (AU)
Ryan (AU) TV Show
Ryan (AU)

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


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 (I)'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.

  • Waters has always been very gracious in acknowledging his creative influences, such as 'Russ Meyer (I)' (qv), 'Otto Preminger' (qv), 'Liberace (I)' (qv), 'William Castle' (qv), 'Herschell Gordon Lewis' (qv), 'Jayne Mansfield' (qv), 'Robert Bresson' (qv), and 'Pier Paolo Pasolini' (qv).
  • There is a special section of his immense book collection devoted to 'Liberace (I)' (qv).
  • As a youth, he made as much as $50 a week doing puppet shows for the neighborhood children, and was often hired to entertain at birthday parties. He stated that many of his puppet shows were inspired by the gimmick-heavy films of 'William Castle' (qv).
  • Attended Calvert Hall College High School in Towson, Maryland.
  • He is obsessed with true-crime and used to regularly attend gory trials all over the US, where he often saw the same faces in the public galleries.
  • Subscribes to more than 80 magazines. Also goes to see just about every movie that comes out and hardly ever rents movies.
  • Turned down the opportunity to direct _Forrest Gump (1994)_ (qv).
  • Has taught classes at the Patuxent Institution, a correctional facility located halfway between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The classes are meant as rehabilitation therapy for convicted killers, in which they learn to write about their violent fantasies rather than act them out.

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