Adrienne Barbeau is an American author and actress with a career spanning four decades. She has four books – a biography and three novels – and is considered a classic star of the cult horror film genre. Adrienne has explored all facets of the show industry, from Broadway to television to the glossy screen. She even had a short stint as a singer and released a folk music album.
Adrienne came into the limelight in the 1970s when she gave a wonderful theatrical performance as the character of her beloved Rizzo in the Broadway musical Grease. You may recognize her from the popular sitcom Maude, in which she played Carol Traynor, the divorced daughter of the titular Maude.
Adrienne Barbeau Bio
Born in Sacramento on June 11, 1945, the daughter of an Armenian mother and a father who worked as an executive at Mobil Oil, Adrienne had a fairly normal childhood. She attended Del Mar High School in San Jose, California, and moved to New York in the late 1960s. She worked as a go-go dancer, entertained troupes, and performed in various venues. During this time she fell in love with show business and decided to pursue an acting career.
Her big breakthrough came when she got a job as a chorus singer in the Broadway musical The Fiddler on the Roof in 1964. She remained with the play until she was offered the lead role in another musical called Stag Movie. Although she had to stand naked on stage for her role as Cookie Kovac, Adrienne’s performance was critically acclaimed.
She then starred in over 25 musicals and plays, including Grease, which earned her a Tony Award nomination and a Theater World Award for her performance as determined Rizzo. After entering the television scene with Maude in the 1970s, Adrienne was cast in other television series such as Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Battle of the Network Stars, Burden of Proof, Spies, Carnivale, and in Batman: The Animated Series, where she sang Catwoman. During this time she was a guest star on several popular hit shows such as Dexter and Grey’s Anatomy.
Her Love Life (Husband, Divorce, and Kids)
During the shooting of his TV movie Someone’s Watching Me, Adrienne met John Carpenter and fell in love with him. The two married on 1 January 1975, a relationship that lasted five years. They were divorced in 1984, shortly after their son John Cody was born. On December 31, 1992, she married Billy Van Zandt, a Hollywood actor/producer/screenwriter. The couple has twin sons – William Dalton and Walker Steven Van Zandt.
Adrienne switched to the silver screen when her then-husband John Carpenter cast her in his horror movie The Fog. It was her first appearance in a film, and it established her as a star of the genre. She then appeared in other sci-fi and horror films, including her most famous works Swamp Thing, Creepshow, and Escape From New York.
In 1998, Adrienne released her debut album of folk music, Adrienne Barbeau, which was very well received. In 2006 she published her memoirs There Are Worse Things I Could Do, which recorded her personal and professional life. She climbed to number 11 on the Los Angeles bestseller list. Her first novel Vampyres of Hollywood was released in 2008, followed by a sequel Love Bites in 2010, and the second sequel Make Me Dead was released in 2015.
5 Interesting Facts You Need To Know About The Actress
1. Adrienne became a sex symbol in the 1970s when she appeared on a cheesecake poster in a tight purple corset. Her voluptuous figure made her very popular in American households, and that fame grew when the critic Joe Bob Briggs noticed that she had two enormous talents, a cunning allusion to her breasts. The poster was a bestseller.
2. She gave birth to her twin sons when she was 51 years old, an age at which most women were just before or already in menopause. In her autobiography, she wrote that she was the oldest person in the hospital ward on that day.
3. Adrienne Barbeau shot a nude scene in the film Swamp Thing. Although it was only made for a European audience, the scene eventually found its way onto an American DVD. The DVD was later recalled after a Texas woman complained that her son had seen a nude scene in an adult film.
4. Although Adrienne is a horror movie star, she does not watch the genre and gets very scared of it.
5. During the shooting of the film The Fog, Adrienne Barbeau, who was a religious non-smoker, had to smoke several packs of cigarettes a day to learn how to do it right. The heavy smoking endangered her health.