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Keep Houston Press Free
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Divine, The Queen Of Trash, Remembered 25 Years After Her Death

On this date in 1988, Harris Glenn Milstead, known as the drag queen Divine to fans of trash cinema and people so filthy that they became glam, was found dead from complications of an enlarged heart. He had died in his sleep. He was just 42.

Divine would star in nine films for director John Waters, a fellow native of Baltimore, Maryland. Divine was there virtually from the beginning of Waters' career.

The most controversial of these movies would be 1972's Pink Flamingos, a tawdry tale of a woman hellbent on maintaining her title as "The Filthiest Person Alive" at any and all costs. It's a fun and dirty exploration of what qualifies as bad taste.

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If you have seen the last few minutes of Flamingos, you know what I mean.

Divine's last Waters role would her turn as Edna Turnblad in 1988's Hairspray. John Travolta would take on that role nearly 20 years for the big-screen musical remake of the flick.

Here are just a handful of great photos from Divine's life, who would have been 68 this coming October.

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