Barbeau started her career in career as a go-go dancer In New York City; where she moved in during the late 1960s. Go-go dancers used to dance for entertaining the Army troops and her experience as a dancer was the curtain raiser of her showbiz career.
In 1968, she was hired for the choir which performed in the musical ‘Fiddler on the Roof’. She was later given the role of Hodel in the same play, which had also marked her acting debut earlier.
She next went onto play the leading role in the off-Broadway musical ‘Stag Movie’ in 1971. The character of Cookie Kovac portrayed by Adrienne, established her as a sex symbol in the industry.
Her performance in the 1972 Broadway musical ‘Grease’ in which she played the part of ‘Rizzo’ a resolute girl, helped her received many accolades including a ‘Tony Award’ nomination.
She appeared in the comic sitcom ‘Maude’ in the role of the daughter of the female lead, during the period 1972 to 1978. Bea Arthur, who played the role of her mother in this series, became a good friend of Adrienne, and the friendship blossomed over the years.
In the late 1970s she appeared on a number of television shows like the ‘The Love Boat’, ‘Fantasy Island’ and ‘Battle of the Network Stars’. She was a part of the CBS Network team in the ‘Battle of the Network Stars’.
The success of the 1980 horror movie ‘The Fog’, which was directed by John Carpenter, opened the doors to a new genre of cinema for Barbeau. The movie which marked her theatre film debut, did well financially too; making over 21 million dollars in US alone.After the success of ‘Fog’, she was cast in numerous science fiction and thriller movies like ‘Escape from New York’, ‘Creep Show’ and ‘Swamp Thing’.
Apart from horror movies, she did a few flicks in the comic genre like ‘The Cannonball Run’, ‘Back to School’ and ‘Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death’, in the 1980s.
Adrienne appeared in the television miniseries ‘The Burden of Proof’, playing the character of Silvia Hartnell in 1992. She next appeared on the ‘Drew Carey Show’ before trying her hands on animation characters. She rendered the voice of Catwoman in the animated Batman series.
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In 1998, she released a folk music album ‘Adrienne Barbeau’. She was also the host of a television and radio talk shows. In the cartoon series ‘Totally Spies’ she was the voice of the villainess Helga Von Guggen.
From 2003 to 2006 she was seen in the television series ‘Carnivale’ and in an off-Broadway play ‘The Property Known as Garland’. She was also working on her biography ‘There Are Worse Things I Could Do’ during this time.
After her biography was published in 2006, she has authored two more novels. Co-authored by Michael Scott, her first novel ‘Vampyres of Hollywood’ was released in 2008. Two years later a sequel titled ‘Love Bites’ was published.
Awards & Achievements
Adrienne was nominated for the Tony Award, in the ‘Best Actress in a Supporting Role’ category, in 1972, for her role in the musical ‘Grease’. She also won a Theatre Guild Award for the role.
In 1977, she received a ‘Golden Globe’ nomination in the ‘Best Actress in Supporting Role for a Television Series’ category.
Personal Life & Legacy
During the shoot of ‘Someone’s Watching Me!’, Adrianne and her director john Carpenter fell in love with each other. Both of them then entered the wedlock in 1979. The couple maintained a low-profile through the course of their marriage, which finally culminated in divorce, shortly after the birth of their son John Cody.
Barbeau remarried in 1992 to producer Billy Van Zandt. The two became really close to each other during the play ‘Drop Dead’.
At the age of 51, Adrienne was blessed with twin sons Walker Steven and William Dalton Van Zandt.