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November 16, 2019

Drag Queen of the Century and Inspiration for Ursula: Divine in Photos

A drag queen (dubbed the “Drag Queen of the Century” by People) that broke every rule with her uncommon and disdainful style, an inspiration for Disney’s iconic villain Ursula the Sea Witch, the ever muse of filmmaker John Waters, several disco hits such as You Think You’re a Man and I’m So Beautiful, there are many things to remember of Divine, born Harris Glenn Milstead on October 19, 1945 in Baltimore. “I think with John wanted a very large woman, because he wanted the exact opposite of what normally would be beautiful,” Milstead told NPR’S Fresh Air about Divine’s one-of-a-kind trait in 1988. “He wanted a 300-pound beauty, as opposed to a 110-pound beauty. He wanted, as I've been called, inflated Jayne Mansfield. And also, it's ironic that he would say the most beautiful woman in the world turns out to be a man.”

Let’s take a look back at the subversive artist during the 1970s and 1980s:

1972. Divine as Babs Johnson in 'Pink Flamingos.'

1970s. Divine attending an event in New York. Photo by Art Zelin.

January 1975. Lady Divine in New York City. Photo by Ron Galella.

January 1975. Photo by Leee Black Childers.

February 1975. Close-up portrait of Divine at the theatrical premiere of 'Female Trouble,' New York. Photo by Fred W. McDarrah.

February 1975. Divine with costar Edith Massey at the theatrical premiere of 'Female Trouble,' New York. Photo by Fred W. McDarrah.

March 1975. Lady Divine during After Dark Ruby Awards at Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Photo by Ron Galella.

1978. Divine poses for a portrait in New York City. Photo by Stephanie Chernikowski.

June 1978. Lady Divine during Birthday Celebration for Grace Jones at Xenon Disco in New York City. Photo by Ron Galella.

June 1978. Lady Divine during Birthday Celebration for Grace Jones at Xenon Disco in New York City. Photo by Ron Galella.

May 1980. Andrew Logan and Divine on the beach of Cannes with their suite. They are attending the 33rd Cannes Film Festival. Photo by Gysembergh Benoit.

1980. Divine on stage in London. Photo by Gabor Scott.

1981. Portrait of Divine, New York. Photo by Marcia Resnick.

1981. Divine at the premiere of 'Polyester.' Photo by Baltimore Sun.

September 1981. Divine performing at Heaven nightclub, London. Photo by David Corio.

January 1983. Divine performs at the Red Parrot nightclub in New York City. Photo by Tom Gates.

February 1988. John Waters and Divine share a light moment outside the Senator Theatre at the world premiere of 'Hairspray.' Photo by Amy Davis.


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