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Divine

Actor | * 10/19/1945 († 42, 03/07/1988) | Towson, Maryland, USA
Harris Glenn Milstead (October 19, 1945 – March 7, 1988), better known by his stage name Divine, was an American actor, singer, and drag queen. Closely associated with the independent filmmaker John Waters, Divine was a character actor, usually performing female roles in cinematic and theatrical productions, and adopted a female drag persona for his music career. Born in Baltimore, Maryland to a conservative middle-class family, Milstead developed an early interest in drag while working as a women's hairdresser. By the mid-1960s he had embraced the city's countercultural scene and befriended Waters, who gave him the name "Divine" and the tagline of "the most beautiful woman in the world, almost." Along with his friend David Lochary, Divine joined Waters' acting troupe, the Dreamlanders, and adopted female roles for their experimental short films Roman Candles (1966), Eat Your Makeup (1968), and The Diane Linkletter Story (1969). Again in drag, he took a lead role in both of Waters' early full-length movies, ()
Photo of Divine

Divine (19 October 1945 – 7 March 1988), né Harris Glenn Milstead, was an American actor, singer and drag queen. Described by People magazine as the "Drag Queen of the Century", Divine often performed female roles in both cinema and theater and also appeared in women's clothing in musical performances. Even so, he considered himself to be a character actor and performed male roles in a number of his later films. He was often associated with independent filmmaker John Waters and starred in ten of Waters's films, usually in a leading role. Concurrent with his acting career, he also had a successful career as a disco singer during the 1980s, at one point being described as "the most successful and in-demand disco performer in the world." Born in Baltimore, Maryland, into a conservative, wealthy middle class family, he became involved with John Waters and his acting troupe, the Dreamlanders, in the mid-1960s and starred in a number of Waters's early films such as Mondo Trasho, Multiple Maniacs, Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble. These films have since become cult classics. In the 1970s, Milstead made the transition to theater and appeared in a number of productions, including Women Behind Bars and The Neon Woman, while continuing to star in such films as Polyester, Lust in the Dust and Hairspray. The New York Times said of Milstead's '80s films: "Those who could get past the unremitting weirdness of Divine's performance discovered that the actor/actress had genuine talent, including a natural sense of comic timing and an uncanny gift for slapstick." He was also described as "one of the few truly radical and essential artists of the century… was an audacious symbol of man's quest for liberty and freedom." Since his death, Divine has remained a cult figure, particularly with those in the LGBT community.

Most frequent genres for this person: Comedies | Documentaries | Music

Known for these Movies & Shows

Lust in the Dust

Certification unknown

1985 | 2.8/5 | 1h 24min
available on:

Pink Flamingos

Certification unknown

1972 | 3.2/5 | 1h 32min

Hairspray

PG

1988 | 3.4/5 | 1h 32min
available on:

Female Trouble

NC-17

1974 | 3.6/5 | 1h 38min
available on:

Movies with Divine as Actor(23)

as Herself (archive footage)2013 I Am Divine
as himself2010 Uncle Bob
as Herself (archive footage)2002 The Cockettes
as himself1998 Divine Trash
as Herself (Archival)1992 Rhythm Divine - History of Disco Music
as Edna Turnblad1988 Hairspray
as Det. Langella1988 Out of the Dark
as Rosie Velez1985 Lust in the Dust
as Hilly Blue1985 Trouble in Mind
as himself1985 Divine Waters
as Francine Fishpaw1981 Polyester
as Dawn Davenport / Earl Peterson1974 Female Trouble
as Divine / Babs Johnson1972 Pink Flamingos
as Lady Divine1970 Multiple Maniacs
as Diane Linkletter1969 The Diane Linkletter Story
as Divine / Greaser in Alley1969 Mondo Trasho

TV Shows/Series with Divine as Actor(1)

Movies with Divine as Crew(1)

Writing/Writer1969 The Diane Linkletter Story

Additional Information

Full Name: Harris Glenn Milstead
Born: 10/19/1945 in Baltimore
Died: 03/07/1988 in Los Angeles (aged: 42)
Zodiac sign: Libra (Chinese zodiac sign: Rooster)
Educated at: Towson High School
Record Label: Situation Two
Partner (current/former): Leo Ford
Other names for Divine (nicknames, foreign languages etc.):
"Harris Glenn Milstead"
"Divine (performer)"
WatchPlayStream ID: PEOPLE:286046, Added: 08/10/2018, Last updated: 03/13/2019