My Son Divine

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Overview

This remarkable biography-written by Divine's mother Frances Millstead, with Kevin Heffernan and Steve Yeager, the award-winning filmmakers whose documentary film Divine Trash won the Filmmakers Trophy at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival-reveals a never-before-seen side of the internationally renowned actor and drag performer. As she tells of his childhood, their long estrangement, and a heart-warming reconciliation before his death, Frances Millstead brings a mother's love and insight to the story of Glenn Harris...

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Overview

This remarkable biography-written by Divine's mother Frances Millstead, with Kevin Heffernan and Steve Yeager, the award-winning filmmakers whose documentary film Divine Trash won the Filmmakers Trophy at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival-reveals a never-before-seen side of the internationally renowned actor and drag performer. As she tells of his childhood, their long estrangement, and a heart-warming reconciliation before his death, Frances Millstead brings a mother's love and insight to the story of Glenn Harris Millstead, who would shock his way to international stardom as Divine, the star of John Waters cult films Female Trouble, Pink Flamingos, Polyester, and his breakthrough hit, Hairspray. Following him as he grows from angelic choirboy to troubled teen to flamboyant adult, this account reconciles for the first time the two sides of Divine-outrageous performer and loving son-as the legendary star's humanity is lovingly and movingly revealed through words and heretofore unpublished photos.

Features:

Hundreds of previously unpublished photographs.

8 page full color insert

Frances Millstead lives in Florida, wher she is active in a variety of civic and religious groups and works to increase acceptance for the gay and lesbian members of the Southern Baptist Convention. Kevin Heffernan is assistant professor of cinema at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where he lives with his wife and daughter. Steve Yeager is the director of Divine Trash, On the Block, and In Bad Taste. He lives in Baltimore.

An Excerpt

Thursday, October 18, 1945, was a beautiful fall day. The doctor had told me Iwould give birth around the 19th. I decided to go to my mother-in-law's house so I wouldn't be alone if I went into labor. Harris dropped me off there on his way to work. Mom and I prepared dinner, and we talked and laughed about my having the baby.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This loving, photo-filled tribute to the 350-pound female impersonator/disco chanteuse/ character actor Divine (born Harris Glenn Milstead) offers cult movie fans an intimate biography of the star of Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Lust in the Dust and other films, and stands as an excellent companion to John Waters's Shock Value. Thanks to an ideal matching of coauthors, there is a satisfying balance between "Glenny at home" anecdotes from Divine's mother and detailed coverage of his career from coauthors Heffernan and Yeager (writer and director, respectively, of Divine Trash, the award-winning documentary about the early films of Waters and Divine). Born to doting parents, Glenn was a complicated child: he struggled with his weight, and with his social life; he could be moody and occasionally demanding. His habit of charging purchases to his parents' credit cards eventually led to a nine-year estrangement. During that time, Waters rechristened Glenn "Divine" and created a midnight matinee star. "I wanted him to be the Godzilla of drag queens," said Waters, who, along with costars and friends, is extensively interviewed throughout. Later, happily reunited with his family, Divine found mainstream success with 1988's Hairspray; a few weeks later, at 42, he died of cardiac arrest. Many quoted within this volume decry the negativity of Not Simply Divine, the lively 1993 memoir by Divine's manager Bernard Jay. But the portraits resemble one another, in that each is a warts-and-all biography of an artist who was larger than life in both talent and temperament. Color and b&w photos. (Nov.) Forecast: With hundreds of never-before-published photos and the ace credentials of the authors, fans ofthe flamboyant star will find this package hard to resist. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555835941
  • Publisher: Alyson Publications
  • Publication date: 10/15/2001
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 177
  • Product dimensions: 8.48 (w) x 10.99 (h) x 0.51 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2007

    A reviewer

    Wonderful book! A must-have for all Divine fans.

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