Pioneering filmmaker John Waters was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday.
The director of cult classics including Polyester, Crybaby and Pink Flamingos was honored at the ceremony by Ricki Lake, who starred in his 1988 film Hairspray.
The film was an unexpected critical and commercial success for Water, who had been better known for making raunchy and surreal underground films in the previous decade.
Other honorees included his regular actress Mink Stole and photographer Greg Gorman.
Standing out as usual in an eye-catching sports coat, Waters, 77, paid touching tribute to his late parents Patricia and John S. Waters at the ceremony as he posed with his new star and held a photo of the two.
Following Patricia’s death in 2014 at the age of 89, the iconic filmmaker paid tribute to her The Washington Post for teaching him ‘the articles of good taste’, which he said ‘changed his career’, although his filmography has primarily focused on exploring bad taste.
Waters wore a striking gray striped sports coat that was covered in red and orange spots and accessorized with a crimson tie.
His jacket also featured a striking knit collar to complement the red motif.
The Female Trouble director toned down the rest of his look with navy blue trousers and tan leather boots.
As usual, he sported his instantly identifiable pencil mustache that has been worn for decades.
Waters was joined by his former leading lady Lake, who glowed in a beautiful emerald green satin dress.
She glowed as she showed off her natural salt and pepper hair and added an extra touch of class with long black gloves that reached down to her arms.
She starred as Tracy Turnblad, a spirited high school student who dreams of dancing on TV before a social awakening leads her to push for racial integration at her school.
Lake’s role led to an acting career and minor roles in most of Waters’ subsequent films.
Her profile rose in 1993 with the launch of her eponymous talk show, which remained on the air until 2004.
Another member of his regular cast, actress Mink Stole (real name: Nancy Paine Stoll), also paid tribute to Waters.
She put on a brightly colored coat, which she wore with a white blouse and dark trousers.
Photographer Greg Gorman wore a smart black suit with a gray tieless shirt.
Waters, who is openly gay, is considered a major influence on subsequent generations of queer filmmakers, with his films openly discussing various sexualities and sexual acts, albeit usually in an absurd and surrealist style.
“God, here I am, closer to the gutter than ever,” quipped the self-destructive filmmaker at the reveal. The Hollywood Reporter.
He paid tribute to his parents, “who, although they were appalled by my early films and also some of the last ones, encouraged me to continue because I think they thought what else could I do but be in show business?”
The ceremony was sponsored by Warner Bros. and Outfest, and he thanked the organizations for their longtime support while joking that he was glad they thought he was “gay enough to accept” the star.
“On the Hollywood Walk of Fame, you’re the best, and I hope that the most desperate show business rejects will walk past me here and feel some respect and strength. The sewers on this magical boulevard will never wash away the sewers of my gratitude, the remnants of my film career or the waste of Waters’ recognition,” he continued.
“Thanks Hollywood, this time I finally got past the valley of the dolls.
He also recalled a run-in with the law during an early trip to California after leaving his home turf of Baltimore, Maryland, where most of his movies were shot.
“I got out of my car in 1970 at Hollywood and Vine and ran across the street and got a jaywalking ticket, my first one, and never looked back,” he said proudly.
Waters hasn’t made a film since 2004’s A Dirty Shame, which starred Johnny Knoxville, Selma Blair and Tracey Ullman, among others.
However, last year it was announced that he was finally returning to the director’s chair with Liarmouth, an adaptation of his novel of the same name.
The unveiling of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame also coincides with the John Waters: Pope of Trash exhibit at the Academy Museum of Movies.
The museum is billing it as the first “comprehensive exhibition” to explore his history, filmmaking and artistic style.
The exhibition, which opened on Sunday and runs until August 4, 2024, includes a series of screenings of Waters’ films, which continues until October 28.