Divine was a famous drag queen. He was born 1945 in Baltimore, Maryland and died in 1988 in L.A. from a heart attack and respiratory failure caused by weight and sleep apnea.
His parents named him Harris Glen Milstead. As a child he wanted a lot of flowers in his bedroom all the time. Having no money of his own, he stole them from the nearby graveyard.
He met John Waters at high school in Baltimore. The two combined to star in and direct several ultra low budget, ultra trashy (in content and quality) films of the early 1970s. Their first efforts included Roman Candles (1966), Eat Your Makeup (1968) and Mondo Trasho (1969). Then they did the ultimate icon of cult trash Pink Flamingos (1972). Divine starred as "Babs Johnson", the "filthiest person alive". "She" lived in a pink trailer with other odd characters .
After a few other cheap films, Divine starred as Rikki Lake's mother in Hairspray (1988). That film was John Water's most polished to date, and became a mainstream hit.
He had been contracted to play a recurring role as the Uncle in "Married with Children" but died the day before the shooting of the episode.
He had a successful singing career doing gar bar disco and toured the world's clubs, and released numerous albums.
"All my life I wanted to look like Elizabeth Taylor. Now Elizabeth Taylor looks like me."
"He's one of my finest leading ladies." - Tab Hunter [who co-starred with Divine in Polyester (1981)]
"People who use to make fun are now fans. I had the last laugh."
"Of course the last thing my parents wanted was a son who wears a cocktail dress that glitters, but they've come around to it."