Waters at Pen America/Free Expression Literature, May 2014
John Samuel Waters Jr.
April 22, 1946
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
John Samuel Waters Jr. (born April 22, 1946) is an American filmmaker, writer, actor, and artist. Born and raised in Baltimore, Waters rose to fame in the early 1970s for his transgressive cult films, including Multiple Maniacs (1970), Pink Flamingos (1972), and Female Trouble (1974). He wrote and directed the 1988 film Hairspray, which became an international success and turned into a hit Broadway musical. Waters has written and directed other successful films, including Polyester (1981), Cry-Baby (1990), Serial Mom (1994), Pecker (1998), and Cecil B. Demented (2000).
As an actor, Waters appeared in the television series 'Til Death Do Us Part (2007), and in the films Sweet and Lowdown (1999), Seed of Chucky (2004), Excision (2012), and Suburban Gothic (2014). More recently, he performs in his touring one-man show This Filthy World. Waters has often worked with actor Divine and his regular cast of the Dreamlanders.
Waters also works as a visual artist and across different mediums, such as installations, photography, and sculpture. In 2016, he received an honorary degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art. His books Carsick (2015) and Mr. Know-It-All (2020) were both nominated for a Grammy Award. In 2018, Waters was named an Officier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Waters was born in Baltimore, the son of Patricia Ann (née Whitaker; 1924–2014) and John Samuel Waters (1916–2008), who was a manufacturer of fire-protection equipment. His family were upper-middle class Roman Catholics. Waters grew up in Lutherville, Maryland, a suburb of Baltimore. His boyhood friend and muse Glenn Milstead, later known as Divine, also lived in Lutherville.
The film Lili inspired an interest in puppets in the seven-year-old Waters, who proceeded to stage violent versions of Punch and Judy for children's birthday parties. Biographer Robrt L. Pela says that Waters' mother believes the puppets in Lili had the greatest influence on Waters' subsequent career (though Pela believes tacky films at a local drive-in, which the young Waters watched from a distance through binoculars, had a greater effect).
Cry-Baby was also a product of Waters' boyhood, because of his fascination as a 7-year-old with the "drapes" then receiving intense news coverage because of the murder of a young "drapette", coupled with his awed admiration for a young man who lived across the street and who possessed a hot rod.
Waters was privately educated at the Calvert School in Baltimore. After attending Towson Jr. High School in Towson, Maryland, and Calvert Hall College High School in nearby Towson, he ultimately graduated from Boys' Latin School of Maryland. While still a teenager, Waters made frequent trips into the city to visit Martick's, a beatnik bar in downtown Baltimore. He and Milstead met many of their later film collaborators there. Although underage and therefore not admitted into the bar proper, Waters loitered in the adjacent alley, where he relied on the kindness of patrons to slip him drinks.
Extremely influential to his creative mind, Waters said the following about seeing the film,The Wizard of Oz (1939):
"I was always drawn to forbidden subject matter in the very, very beginning. The Wizard of Oz opened me up because it was one of the first movies I ever saw. It opened me up to villainy, to screenwriting, to costumes. And great dialogue. I think the witch has great, great dialogue."
Waters has stated that he takes an equal amount of joy and influence from high-brow "art" films and sleazy exploitation films.
In January 1966, Waters and some friends were caught smoking marijuana on the grounds of NYU; he was soon kicked out of his NYU dormitory. Waters returned to Baltimore, where he completed his next two short films Roman Candles and Eat Your Makeup. These were followed by the feature-length films Mondo Trasho and Multiple Maniacs.
Waters' films became Divine's primary star vehicles. All of Waters' early films were shot in the Baltimore area with his company of local actors, the Dreamlanders. In addition to Divine, the group included Mink Stole, Cookie Mueller, Edith Massey, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, Susan Walsh, and others.
Waters' early campy movies present exaggerated characters in outrageous situations with hyperbolic dialogue. Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, and Desperate Living, which he labeled the Trash Trilogy, pushed hard at the boundaries of conventional propriety and movie censorship.
Move toward the mainstream
Waters' 1981 film Polyester starred Divine opposite former teen idol Tab Hunter. Since then, his films have become less controversial and more mainstream, although works such as Hairspray, Cry-Baby, Serial Mom, Pecker, and Cecil B. Demented still retain his trademark inventiveness. The film Hairspray, the last movie he produced, was turned into a hit Broadway musical that swept the 2003 Tony Awards, and a film adaptation of the Broadway musical was released in theaters on July 20, 2007, to positive reviews and commercial success. Cry-Baby, itself a musical, was also converted into a Broadway musical.
In 2008, Waters was planning to make a children's Christmas film called Fruitcake starring Johnny Knoxville and Parker Posey. Filming was planned for November 2008, but it was shelved in January 2009. In 2010, Waters told the Chicago Tribune that "Independent films that cost $5 million are very hard to get made. I sold the idea, got a development deal, got paid a great salary to write it—and now the company is no longer around, which is the case with many independent film companies these days."
Waters has often created characters with alliterated names for his films including Corny Collins, Cuddles Kovinsky, Donald and Donna Dasher, Dawn Davenport, Fat Fuck Frank, Francine Fishpaw, Link Larkin, Motormouth Maybelle, Mole McHenry, Penny and Prudy Pingleton, Ramona Ricketts, Sandy Sandstone, Sylvia Stickles, Todd Tomorrow, Tracy Turnblad, Ursula Udders, Wade Walker, and Wanda Woodward.
Since the early 1990s, Waters has been making photo-based artwork and installations that have been internationally exhibited in galleries and museums. In 2004, the New Museum in New York City presented a retrospective of his artwork curated by Marvin Heiferman and Lisa Phillips. His most recent exhibition John Waters: Indecent Exposure was exhibited at the Baltimore Museum of Art from October 2018 to January 2019 and later traveled to the Wexner Center for the Arts. Prior to that, Waters exhibited Rear Projection in April 2009, at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York and the Gagosian Gallery in Los Angeles. Waters has been represented by C. Grimaldis Gallery in Baltimore, Maryland, since 2002 and by Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York since 2006.
Waters' pieces are often comical, such as Rush (2009), a super-sized, tipped-over bottle of poppers (nitrite inhalants) and Hardy Har (2006), a photograph of flowers that squirts water at anyone who traverses a taped line on the floor. Waters has characterized his art as conceptual: "The craft is not the issue here. The idea is. And the presentation."
Waters is a bibliophile, with a collection of over 8,000 books. In 2011, during a visit to the Waters house in Baltimore, Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson observed:
Bookshelves line the walls but they are not enough. The coffee table, desk and side tables are heaped with books, as is the replica electric chair in the hall. They range from Taschen art tomes such as The Big Butt Book to Jean Genet paperbacks and a Hungarian translation of Tennessee Williams with a pulp fiction cover. In one corner sits a doll from the horror spoof Seed of Chucky, in which Waters appeared. It feels like an eccentric professor's study, or a carefully curated exhibition based on the life of a fictional character.
Waters has had his fan mail delivered to Atomic Books, an independent bookstore in Baltimore, for over 20 years.
Puffing constantly on a cigarette, Waters appeared in a short film shown in film art houses announcing that "no smoking" is permitted in the theaters. The 'No Smoking' spot, starring Waters, was directed by Douglas Brian Martin and produced by Douglas Brian Martin and Steven M. Martin along with two other short films, for the Nuart Theatre (a Landmark Theater) in West Los Angeles, California, in appreciation to the theater for showing Pink Flamingos for many years. It is shown immediately before any of his films, and before the midnight movie showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
In 2019, The Film Society of Lincoln Center celebrated its 50th anniversary at a gala where John Waters spoke in tribute to the Center along with Martin Scorsese, Dee Rees, Pedro Almodovar, Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, and Zoe Kazan.
With the motif "My life is so over-scheduled, what will happen if I give up control?", Waters completed a hitchhiking journey across the United States from Baltimore to San Francisco, turning his adventures into a book entitled Carsick. On May 15, 2012, while on the hitchhiking trip, Waters was picked up by 20-year-old Myersville, Maryland, councilman Brett Bidle, who thought Waters was a homeless hitchhiker standing in the pouring rain. Feeling bad for Waters, he agreed to drive him four hours to Ohio.
The next day, indie rock band Here We Go Magic tweeted that they had picked John Waters up hitchhiking in Ohio. He was wearing a hat with the text "Scum of the Earth". In Denver, Colorado, Waters reconnected with Bidle (who had made an effort to catch up with him); Bidle then drove him another 1,000 miles (1,600 km) to Reno, Nevada. Before parting ways, Waters arranged for Bidle to stay at his San Francisco apartment: "I thought, you know what, he wanted an adventure, too ... He's the first Republican I'd ever vote for."
Bidle later said: "We are polar opposites when it comes to our politics, religious beliefs. But that's what I loved about the whole trip. It was two people able to agree to disagree and still move on and have a great time. I think that's what America's all about."
Although he maintains apartments in New York City and (since 2008) in San Francisco's Nob Hill, and a summer home in Provincetown, his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland has been his main residence for all his life. All his films are set in Baltimore, often in the working-class neighborhood of Hampden. He is recognizable by his trademark pencil moustache.
Waters was a great fan of the music of Little Richard when growing up. Ever since he shoplifted a copy of the Little Richard song "Lucille" in 1957, at the age of 11, Waters asserted, "I've wished I could somehow climb into Little Richard's body, hook up his heart and vocal cords to my own, and switch identities." In 1987, Playboy magazine employed Waters, then aged 41, to interview his idol, but the interview did not go well, with Waters later remarking: "It turned into kind of a disaster."
As director, writer, producer, or editor
|1964||Hag in a Black Leather Jacket||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Short film|||
|1966||Roman Candles||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Short film|||
|1968||Eat Your Makeup||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Short film|||
|1970||The Diane Linkletter Story||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Short film|||
|2000||Cecil B. Demented||Yes||Yes||No||No|||
|2004||A Dirty Shame||Yes||Yes||No||No|||
|2007||Hairspray||No||No||Yes||No||Co-producer and consultant|||
|1969||Mondo Trasho||Reporter||Uncredited voice cameo|
|1972||Pink Flamingos||Mr. J||Uncredited voice|
|1986||Something Wild||Used car salesman||Cameo|||
|1989||Homer and Eddie||Robber #1||Cameo|||
|1994||Serial Mom||Ted Bundy||Uncredited voice cameo|
|1998||Pecker||Pervert on Phone||Uncredited voice cameo|
|1999||Sweet and Lowdown||Mr. Haynes|||
|2000||Cecil B. Demented||Reporter||Uncredited cameo|||
|2002||Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat||The Reverend||Cameo|||
|2004||Seed of Chucky||Pete Peters|||
|2006||Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea||Narrator||Voice; Documentary|||
|2006||This Film Is Not Yet Rated||Himself||Documentary|||
|2007||The Junior Defenders||Narrator||Voice; Direct-to-DVD|||
|2007||In the Land of Merry Misfits||Narrator||Voice|||
|2011||Of Dolls and Murder||Narrator||Voice; Documentary|||
|2015||Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip||Airplane passenger||Cameo|||
|1990||21 Jump Street||Mr. Bean||Episode "Awomp-Bomp-Aloobomb, Aloop Bamboom"|||
|1993, 1995||Homicide: Life on the Street||Bartender
R. Vincent Smith
|1997||The Simpsons||John||Voice; Episode: "Homer's Phobia"|||
|1998||Frasier||Roger||Voice; Episode: "The Maris Counselor"|
|2006–2007||'Til Death Do Us Part||Groom Reaper||14 episodes|||
|2006||John Waters Presents Movies That Will Corrupt You||Himself (host)||13 episodes|||
|2007||My Name Is Earl||Funeral Director||Episode "Kept a Guy Locked in a Truck"|||
|2011||Superjail!||Quetzalpocetlan||Voice; Episode "Ghosts"|
|2012||Fish Hooks||The Yeti Lobster||Voice; Episode: "Rock Yeti Lobster"|
|2013, 2018||Mickey Mouse||Wadworth Thorndyke the Third||Voices; 2 episodes|
|2014||Mr. Pickles||Dr. Kelton||Voice; Episode: "Coma"|
|2016||Clarence||Captain Tom||Voice; Episode: "Plane Excited"|
|2016||Hairspray Live!||N/A||Associate producer|
|2017||Feud: Bette and Joan||William Castle||Episode "Hagsploitation"|||
|2018||The Blacklist||Himself||Episode: "Sutton Ross (No. 17)"|||
|2018||Liverspots and Astronots||O-Dor||Voice; Episode: "The Exorcism of O-Dor"|
|2019||Tigtone||Fertile Centaur||Voice; Episode: "...and the Freaks of Love"|
|2020||Law and Order: Special Victims Unit||Pornmonger Man||Episode: "Dance Lies and Video Tape"|||
- American Cinema
- Beautiful Darling
- Celebrity Ghost Stories
- The Cockettes
- Divine Waters
- Divine Trash
- The Drexel Interview
- I Am Divine
- Love Letter to Edie
- E! True Hollywood Story
- Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema
- Le Grand Journal (Canal+)
- Guest of Cindy Sherman
- HBO's First Look
- Here's Looking At You, Boy – The Coming Out of Queer Cinema
- How Porn Conquered the World
- The Incredibly Strange Film Show
- Inside Deep Throat
- Intimate Portrait
- It Came From Kuchar
- Little Castles
- Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream
- Of Dolls and Murder
- Pie in the Sky: The Brigid Berlin Story
- Queens of Disco (BBC Four)
- Tab Hunter Confidential
- The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special – In 3-D! On Ice!
- That Man: Peter Berlin
- This Film Is Not Yet Rated
- VH1 Behind the Music (Blondie)
- William S. Burroughs: A Man Within
- This Filthy World – Waters' touring one-man show, made into a feature film directed by Jeff Garlin
- A John Waters Christmas – A CD of Christmas songs compiled by Waters
- Mommie Dearest (1981) – Audio commentary on film's "Hollywood Royalty Edition" DVD release (2006)
- The Little Mermaid Special Edition DVD (2006) – Interview on 'making of' documentary about Howard Ashman, the theatre (i.e. Little Shop of Horrors), and the inspiration behind the character Ursula: Divine
- A Date with John Waters (2007), a CD collection of songs Waters finds romantic
- Christmas Evil DVD release (2006) – Audio commentary
- Breaking Up with John Waters – Waters' third CD compilation is currently in the works
- The Other Hollywood – Commentary and opinions about pornography throughout the book
- "The Creep" (featuring Nicki Minaj) – Appeared on a television set in The Lonely Island's music video "The Creep", which made its debut on Saturday Night Live. Waters gives the introduction to the song and he is credited as a featured artist on the album.
- Art:21 – Introducing Host for Season Two, "Stories" episode – PBS DVD series
- Waters, John (1981). Shock Value. New York: Dell Pub. Co. ISBN 044057871X.
- Waters, John (1986). Crackpot: The Obsessions of John Waters. New York: Scribner. ISBN 0026244403.
- Waters, John; Hainley, Bruce (2003). Art: A Sex Book. New York: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0500284350.
- Waters, John (2010). Role Models. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 9780374251475.
- Waters, John (2014). Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 978-0374298630.
- Waters, John (2017). Make Trouble. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books. ISBN 978-1616206352.
- Waters, John (2019). Mr. Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 9780374214968.
- Waters, John (1988). Trash Trio: Three Screenplays: Pink Flamingos, Desperate Living, Flamingos Forever. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0394759869.
- Waters, John (2005). Hairspray, Female Trouble and Multiple Maniacs: Three More Screenplays. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press. ISBN 1560257024.
- Photo collections
- Waters, John (1997). Director's Cut. New York: Scalo. ISBN 393114156X.
- Waters, John (2006). Unwatchable. New York: Marianne Boesky Gallery. ISBN 0977950301.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
Awards and nominations
In 1999, Waters was honored with the Filmmaker on the Edge Award at the Provincetown International Film Festival. In September 2015, the British Film Institute ran a programme to celebrate 50 years of Waters films which included all of his early films, some previously unscreened in the UK.
In 2014, Waters was nominated for a Grammy for the spoken word version of his book, Carsick. His follow-up record, Make Trouble, was produced by Grammy-winning producer, Ian Brennan, and released on Jack White's Third Man Records in the fall of 2017.
In 2016, Waters received an honorary degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore during the college's undergraduate commencement ceremony. In 2018, Waters was named an Officier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, a cultural award from the French government.
|1988||Sundance Film Festival||Grand Jury Prize||Hairspray||Nominated|||
|1989||Independent Spirit Awards||Best Feature||Nominated|
|2015||Grammy Awards||Best Spoken Word Album||Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America||Nominated|||
Recurring cast members
Waters often casts certain actors/actresses more than once in his films.
|Frequent actor collaborations|
|Actor||Mondo Trasho (1969)||Multiple Maniacs (1970)||Pink Flamingos (1972)||Female Trouble (1974)||Desperate Living (1977)||Polyester (1981)||Hairspray (1988)||Cry-Baby (1990)||Serial Mom (1994)||Pecker (1998)||Cecil B. Demented (2000)||A Dirty Shame (2004)|
|Mary Vivian Pearce|
|Alan J. Wendl|
- LGBT culture in New York City
- List of self-identified LGBTQ New Yorkers
- Biography portal
- Film portal
- LGBT portal
- United States portal
- "John Waters Biography (1946–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- "John Waters – Biography". Movies.nytimes.com. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- Kaltenbach, Chris. "Divine fans want to build a monument to late actor". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
- Pela 2002
- Kay, Kimberley (April 3, 2008). "Cry-Baby and John Waters' Journey to Broadway". Broadway.com. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
- Waters, John (2010). Role Model. MacMillan. p. 105. ISBN 978-1429944571.
- Towsontown Jr. High Yearbook, "The Key". Towson, Maryland 1959–1960, p. 33
- "Noteworthy Alumni". Boys' Latin School of Maryland. Archived from the original on June 29, 2018. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- Waters, John (1981). Shock Value. New York: Dell Pub. Co. p. 42. ISBN 044057871X.
- Lewis, John (August 8, 2013). "Seeing Red" (text/html). Baltimore magazine. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
- Ryzik, Melena (September 4, 2014). "John Waters Riffs on His 50-Year Retrospective". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
- Waters, John. Interview by Robert K. Elder. The Film That Changed My Life by Robert K. Elder. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2011. N. p281. Print.
- Cills, Hazel (February 18, 2012). "Teenage Girls Assaulted by Wild Animals! An Interview With John Waters". Rookie. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
- Carrier, Shannon (October 14, 2018). "John Waters Takes Us on a Funny, Filthy Tour of His Fine Art". Retrieved April 9, 2019.
- Polyester (1981), retrieved August 29, 2019
- Jones, Kenneth (June 9, 2003). "Take Me Out, Hairspray Are Top Winners in 2003 Tony Awards; Long Day's Journey, Nine Also Hot". Playbill. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
- Hairspray (2007), retrieved August 29, 2019
- Cry-Baby (1990), retrieved August 29, 2019
- Smith, Zack. "Interview". Indyweek.com. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- Guarino, David R. (May 22, 2008). "Yuletide Indigestion: John Waters Makes Fruitcake". Gay Chicago. pp. 56–61.
- Stewart, Sara (June 15, 2008). "John Waters. The director comes to New York for his one-man show, and savors another big night at the Tonys". New York Post. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
- "Waters' Kids Movie Scrapped". Contactmusic. January 16, 2009. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
- Metz, Nina (December 3, 2010). "John Waters loves Christmas. Really". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
- "The John Waters Interview". Stuff. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
You can feel the influence of rock'n'roll in so many of Waters' films. Hairspray and Cry Baby might seem the obvious candidates, but his filmography is littered with litanies, strewn with sharp-talking teens with alliterative names.
- "John Waters: Indecent Exposure". Baltimore Museum of Art. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
- "John Waters: Indecent Exposure". Wexner Center for the Arts. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
- Waters 2006
- "John Waters". C. Grimaldis Gallery. Archived from the original on September 6, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- "John Waters". Marianne Boesky Gallery. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
- Levi, Lawrence (2009-09). "Inside Man". Modern Painters, September 2009. Retrieved from http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/32381/inside-man/.
- Edgecliffe-Johnson, Andrew (November 18, 2011). "John Waters on the couch". FT (Financial Times) Magazine.
- "John Waters Fan Mail". Atomic Books. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
- Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat (2003), retrieved August 29, 2019
- "Board Members". MdFF. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
- Waters, John. "Contributors". Artforum.
- "John Waters' gift to San Francisco: Demented holiday cheer". SFChronicle.com. November 21, 2018. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
- Itzkoff, Dave (May 25, 2012). "John Waters Tries Some Desperate Living on a Cross-Country Hitchhiking Odyssey". The New York Times. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
- Wilson, Ike (May 24, 2012). "A hitchhiker's guide ...: Myersville man gives filmmaker John Waters a ride". FrederickNewsPost.com. Archived from the original on May 26, 2012. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
- Rosen, Jill (May 18, 2012). "Baltimore Insider". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
- "Leslie Van Houten: A Friendship". Huffingtonpost.com. August 3, 2009. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- "John Waters Gets Serious". Baltimore Sun. August 9, 2009. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- "John Waters Argues For Murderer's Release". Wbur.org. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- LaRocca, Lauren (September 21, 2018). "John Waters Shares Highlights from Baltimore Museum of Art Retrospective". Baltimore magazine. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
- "John Waters Is the Godfather of Baltimore's Art Scene". www.vulture.com. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
- "Fans". Dreamland News. Archived from the original on June 15, 2009. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- Waters, John (November 28, 2010). "When John Waters met Little Richard". The Guardian. London. Retrieved November 30, 2009.
- "Hag in a Black Leather Jacket (1964)". British Film Institute. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- Levy, Ariel (March 24, 2008). "Still Waters". New York. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- "Mondo Trasho, directed by John Waters". Time Out London. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- Blevins, Joe (April 22, 2016). "Revisit the raw, early films of John Waters, Baltimore's Pope Of Trash". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- "Pink Flamingos". American Film Institute. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- "Female Trouble". American Film Institute. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- Hoberman, J.; Rosenbaum, Jonathan (1983). Midnight Movies. Harper & Row. p. 165.
- Maslin, Janet (May 29, 1981). "'POLYESTER', AN OFFBEAT COMEDY". The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- "Hairspray". American Film Institute. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- "Cry-Baby". American Film Institute. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- "Serial Mom". American Film Institute. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- "Pecker". American Film Institute. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- "Cecil B. Demented". American Film Institute. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- "A Dirty Shame". American Film Institute. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- Johnson, Caitlin (July 22, 2007). "John Waters Stays True To His Roots". CBS News. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
- Spitz, Marc (May 13, 2011). "Something Genre Crossing, Something Bold". The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- "Homer and Eddie (1989)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- Stratton, David (September 13, 1999). "Sweet and Lowdown". Variety. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- Harvey, Dennis (July 15, 2003). "Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat". Variety. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- "Chucky kills John Waters in movie". United Press International. April 13, 2004. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- "John Waters Narrates Offbeat Documentary on an Environmental Catastrophe, the Salton Sea". Open Culture. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
- French, Philip (September 3, 2006). "This Film is No Yet Rated". The Guardian. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
- Harrison, Margot (August 29, 2007). "Lights, Camera... Action?". Seven Days. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
- Menounos, Maria (May 2, 2007). "Making In The Land Of Merry Misfits". The Huffington Post. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
- Anderson-Minshall, Diane (December 3, 2011). "Come to Jesus With Star Heather Matarazzo". The Advocate. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
- "New Documentary 'Of Dolls & Murder' Explores Macabre in Miniature". PBS NewsHour. October 13, 2010. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
- Murray, Noel (October 31, 2012). "Excision". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
- McMahon, Oliver (July 14, 2014). "Watch: Kat Dennings Fails to Seduce John Waters In NSFW Trailer for 'Suburban Gothic'". Indiewire. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
- "John Waters has a cameo in latest 'Alvin and the Chipmunks' movie". Chris Kaltenbach. The Baltimore Sun. December 17, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
- Walker, Jennifer (2014). Moon Baltimore. Avalon Publishing. ISBN 9781612387963.
- "21 Jump Street - Season 4 Episode 18". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
- Dyess-Nugent, Phil (July 29, 2011). "Homicide: Life On The Street: "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
- Siegel, Alan (February 8, 2017). "When 'The Simpsons' Came Out of the Closet". The Ringer. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
- Bellafante, Gina (March 19, 2007). "Love? Obey? These Vows Are to Nag or to Shoot". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
- ZURAWIK, DAVID. "John Waters to host weeks of corruption". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
- Iverson, Dan (January 19, 2007). "My Name Is Earl: "Kept a Guy Locked in a Truck" Review". IGN. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
- Miller, Liz Shannon (April 9, 2017). "'Feud': John Waters on Becoming William Castle and His Love of Great Gimmicks". IndieWire. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
- Lambe, Stacey (May 14, 2018). "First Look: John Waters Brings Some Style to 'The Blacklist' Finale (Exclusive)". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
- Dry, Jude (March 26, 2020). "John Waters Dishes on His Upcoming 'Law and Order: SVU' Episode". IndieWire. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
- "The Drexel InterView - Pennoni Honors College".
- "Guest of Cindy Sherman (2008)". www.imdb.com. Retrieved September 8, 2009.
- "Tab Hunter Confidential (2015) - Full Cast & Crew". www.imdb.com. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
- Genzlinger, Neil (November 24, 2006). "This Filthy World - John Waters - Review - Movies". The New York Times. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
- Trebay, Guy (December 6, 2013). "John Waters Offers Season's Greeting With a Wink". The New York Times. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
- "'Mommie Dearest' meets John Waters". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
- Himes, Geoffrey (February 11, 2007). "A Date With John Waters - Music". The New York Times. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
- "A deep dive into 'Christmas Evil', the warped 1980 psychological horror film with a cult following". Far Out Magazine. December 24, 2018. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
- Raihala, Ross (December 13, 2004). "Director John Waters does a Christmas CD". The Seattle Times. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
- Rouner, Jef (March 23, 2012). "Low Budget Hell: The Other Side of John Waters". Houston Press. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
- Sragow, Michael. "John Waters talks about appearing in SNL's 'The Creep'". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
- Sconce, Jeffrey (2007). Sleaze Artists: Cinema at the Margins of Taste, Style, and Politics. Duke University Press. p. 3.
- "In Conversation: Ian Brennan & John Waters". DrownedInSound. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
- Robinson, Shannon (October 14, 2018). "John Waters Takes Us on a Funny, Filthy Tour of His Fine Art". Retrieved December 8, 2019.
- "John Waters - Awards". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
- "John Waters - Artist". Grammys.com. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
- Ives, John G. (1992). John Waters. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press. ISBN 156025033X.
- Stevenson, Jack (1996). Desperate Visions 1: Camp America: The Films of John Waters & the Kuchar Brothers: Interviews & Essays. London: Creation Books. ISBN 1871592348.
- Pela, Robrt L. (2002). Filthy: The Weird World of John Waters. Alyson Publishing. ISBN 1-55583-625-9.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Phillips, Lisa; Solondz, Todd (2004). John Waters: Change of Life. ISBN 0810943069.
- Maier, Robert (2011). Low Budget Hell: Making Underground Movies with John Waters. Davidson, N.C.: Full Page Publishing. ISBN 9780983770800.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to John Waters.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: John Waters|