Cult movie director John Waters, 77, was yesterday honored with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Waters attended the unveiling. Guest speakers at the ceremony included Mink Stole, who has appeared in several of Waters’ movies, photographer Greg Gorman, and Ricki Lake, who got her breakout role in the 1988’s Hairspray.
Waters made a name for himself with low-budget, trashy B-movies in the late 1960s and 1970s. Many starred his good friend, Harris Glenn Milstead, otherwise known under their drag name, Divine.
Waters enjoyed an unexpected hit with Hairspray, which catapulted him into the mainstream. The movie spurned a hit stage show that continues to play around the world today and spawned a second movie version in 2007.
“Closer to the gutter”
In a speech, Waters prompted laughter by saying his star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood brought him “closer to the gutter than ever!”
Waters said the Walk of Fame was the very first place he visited when he came to LA in 1970. He also suggested it was time Divine received a star, to cheers from the assembled crowd.
He also held up a photo of his late parents, Patricia and John S. Waters, and paid tribute to them. He said they, “despite being horrified by my early films and some of the last ones, too, encouraged me to continue because I guess they thought what else could I possibly do but be in show business?”
The ceremony was sponsored by Warner Bros. and Outfest. Waters thanked the latter organization, which runs one of the world’s biggest LGBTQ+ film festivals, for thinking he was “gay enough to receive” the star.
“The Hollywood Walk of Fame, you’re the best,” he continued. “And I hope the most desperate showbiz rejects walk over me here and feel some sort of respect and strength. The drains on this magic boulevard will never wash away the gutter of my gratitude, the flotsam of my film career or the waste of Waters’ appreciation.
“Thank you Hollywood, this time I’ve finally gone beyond the valley of the dolls.”
Waters’ star is located at 6644 Hollywood Boulevard, in front of Larry Edmunds Bookstore.
New movie in the works
Waters hasn’t made a movie since 2004’s A Dirty Shame. However, last year he announced he was adapting his own novel, Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance, for the screen.
Waters’ star unveiling coincides with a major exhibition on his life and career at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. ‘John Waters: Pope of Trash’ will continue until August 2024.
“He was an overweight, kind of feminine nerd. And the rage he built up from being abused so much by the students and the teachers led to Divine.”
Porter gave a moving speech about his career and journey to fame.