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John Samuel Waters, Jr. (born April 22, 1946) is an American filmmaker, actor, stand-up comedian, writer, journalist, visual artist, and art collector, who rose to fame in the early 1970s for his transgressive cult films. Waters' 1970s and early '80s trash films feature his regular troupe of actors known as Dreamlanders—among them Divine, Mink Stole, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, and Edith Massey. Starting with Desperate Living (1977), Waters began casting real-life convicted criminals (Liz Renay, Patricia Hearst) and infamous people (Traci Lords, a former porn star).