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The storyline of hairspray and what it's about

In 1960s Baltimore, dance-loving teen Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky) auditions for a spot on "The Corny Collins Show" and wins. She becomes an overnight celebrity, a trendsetter in dance, fun and fashion. Perhaps her new status as a teen sensation is enough to topple Corny's reigning dance queen and bring racial integration to the show.

In 1988, Pope of Trash John Waters surprised fans by releasing his tamest cult movie to date. Hairspray told the story of Tracy Turnblad, a "pleasantly plump" teenager in 1962 Baltimore who dreams of dancing on The Corny Collins Show. But she soon aims for the nobler goal of integration after befriending a group of black students and their matriarch, Motormouth Maybelle.

Mere weeks after Hairspray hit theaters, Divine was found dead in a Los Angeles hotel room. The actor, whose real name was Harris Glenn Milstead, had suffered a heart attack. At the time of his death, Divine was earning excellent reviews for Hairspray and had just nabbed a role on Married With Children. "I've never seen him happier," his manager Bernard Jay toldPeople. "His career was taking off. He was actually going to play a very good character role on a network television show. That's what he wanted. To show them that he didn’t have to play women, that he was respected as an actor, that he was not regarded as a freak. But he didn't make it."


Pictures from hairspray

The fictional The Corny Collins Show within the Hairspray universe is actually based on the real life The Buddy Deane Show. The dance variety show was Baltimore's answer to Philadelphia's American Bandstand and like The Corny Collins Show it featured a committee that would teach viewers at home all the hip dances of the time.

It aired from 1957 to 1964 but was canceled because it was unable to integrate white and black dancers.

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