Today, October 19, would have been Divine’s 64th birthday. Don’t know who Divine is? Leave.
Just kidding! I’m all about educating the ignorant!
See, for the past couple weeks my life has been kind of Divine-centric because I’m doing an informative speech on John Waters for Public Speaking. I love saying “300 pound drag queen” out loud in a classroom setting. I didn’t even realize that Divine’s birthday was coming up, so it’s kind of a nice coincidence. Anyways…
Divine was born Harris Glenn Milstead in a suburb of Baltimore, Maryland. Today he’s best known for eating dog shit at the end of Pink Flamingos.
Chubby and effeminate, he was beat up every day and eventually required a police escort to and from school. Which is where teenage John Waters would see him, standing on the corner every morning, and became fascinated by him.
Oh, I’m sorry. Do you not know who John Waters is? How retarded are you? Seriously, I can’t explain everything. You can just read his Wikipedia page. Jesus.
Anyways, so through the mutual friend of David Lochary, Divine and John met up. John was just starting to make movies, and at first, Divine was a mere back up player.
But noticing the star quality, he soon got all the main parts and was christened “Divine”.
He pretty much always played a woman who was the picture of trashy glamor. Van Smith, Dreamland’s make up artist, would even shave Divine’s hairline back to the center of his head to make enough room for the glamorous eye makeup and high arched eyebrows he imagined:
Divine went on to star in the infamous Pink Flamingos as well as Female Trouble. After taking a break from Waters’ movies to star in some plays in New York and London, he returned to play Tracy Turnblad’s mother in the “accidental family film” Hairspray. (A role recently and embarrassingly reprised by Mr. John Travolta.)
Unfortunately, this leads up to his death. Divine died in his sleep from an enlarged heart the day before he was going to start his part in Married…With Children.
In addition to John Waters movies, Divine made disco music, threw big parties and was an excellent shop lifter. (According to John Waters, he once walked out of a store holding a TV and a chainsaw, so questions asked.)
But anyways, I’m so glad that Divine existed and that he immortalized so many insane characters that will keep people laughing forever. And it’s always nice to have another role model for all the misfits and losers out there.
Happy Birthday, Divine! Wherever you are.