Metro Weekly

John Waters hospitalized; misses own Christmas party

Baltimore filmmaker is home recovering and is doing "fine"

John Waters By Todd Franson

John Waters – Photo: Todd Franson

For those concerned about celebrity deaths in 2016, don’t despair: Baltimore filmmaker and author John Waters is going to be just fine.

Known for his love of the bizarre, the director of Baltimore cult films including Hairspray, Pink FlamingosFemale Trouble and Serial Mom, Waters was hospitalized for undisclosed causes on Dec. 23, forcing him to miss his annual Christmas party.

According to Baltimore Fishbowl, party guests learned that Waters would not be present and were apparently told that he was being treated for kidney stones. The 70-year-old had recently wrapped an 18-city tour of his holiday comedy show, A John Waters Christmas, with a performance in Baltimore two days prior to his hospitalization.

“It was a very weird Friday evening,” one guest said. “A John Waters party without John.”

Guests and fans fretted about the hospitalization, noting the number of prominent celebrities who have died this year: Prince, David Bowie, Gene Wilder, Carrie Fisher, and George Michael.

As it turned out, Waters’ hospitalization was temporary. A man at Waters’ home declined to reveal any additional information to Baltimore Fishbowl’s Ed Gunts other than confirm that the filmmaker had returned home. Gunts left a note for Waters, which the filmmaker later responded to.

“Since my party has always been private and off the record, I think I’ll just keep it that way,” Waters wrote in an email. “I am fine and it’s a new concept in home entertainment — the host doesn’t show up. All is well.”

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at

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