On Monday, a star commemorating the accomplishments of filmmaker John Waters was revealed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The unveiling followed the opening of an exhibition at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures dedicated to Waters’ contributions to cinema. Known as “The Pope of Trash,” Waters entertained the crowd by joking, “Here I am, closer to the gutter than ever.” He also reminisced about receiving a jaywalking ticket during his first visit to Los Angeles in 1970. The ceremony was attended by celebrities such as Ricki Lake, Mink Stole, and Greg Gorman.
The location of the star was carefully chosen due to Waters’ love for the Larry Edmunds Bookshop, which specializes in film and theater history. According to Ana Martinez, the producer of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Waters has been visiting this spot for the past 50 years and considers it his favorite place on Hollywood Boulevard.
Mink Stole, a frequent collaborator of Waters, who has appeared in all 12 of his feature films, stood alongside him during the ceremony. She is part of the Dreamlanders, a group of actors who regularly appear in Waters’ movies. Other members of the Dreamlanders include Divine, Mary Vivian Pearce, David Lochary, and Edith Massey.
Ricki Lake, who starred in several of Waters’ films including “Hairspray,” also attended the event. Waters wrote the foreword to photographer Greg Gorman’s book “Inside Life.”
This star honoring Waters is the 2,763rd since the completion of the Walk of Fame in 1961. Waters, who was born in Baltimore on April 22, 1946, drew inspiration from movies at a young age. He was particularly influenced by directors like Jean-Luc Godard, Walt Disney, Andy Warhol, and Ingmar Bergman. Waters’ first underground film, “Hag in a Black Leather Jacket,” was made in 1964 with a budget of only $30.
Waters’ films are known for their irreverence, humor, and heart. His earliest features included “Mondo Trasho,” “Multiple Maniacs,” “Pink Flamingos,” “Female Trouble,” “Desperate Living,” and “Polyester.” In 1988, Waters achieved mainstream success with “Hairspray,” which earned a PG rating and starred Ricki Lake. He continued to direct films such as “Cry-Baby” and “Serial Mom” in the 1990s.
Waters’ most recent films include “Pecker,” “Cecil B. Demented,” and “A Dirty Shame.” Both “Hairspray” and “Pink Flamingos” have been preserved in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry for their cultural and historical significance.
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is currently hosting an exhibition called “John Waters: Pope of Trash,” which explores Waters’ filmmaking process, themes, and style. The exhibition features costumes, set decorations, props, scripts, posters, concept designs, correspondence, scrapbooks, photographs, and film clips. A screening series of Waters’ films will also be held alongside the exhibition.
Named “Pope of Trash” by the late writer and visual artist William S. Burroughs in 1986, John Waters continues to be celebrated for his unique and groundbreaking contributions to American cinema.
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