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Adrienne Barbeau Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (5)  | Trivia (30)  | Personal Quotes (15)

Overview (4)

Born in Sacramento, California, USA
Birth NameAdrienne Jo Barbeau
Nickname The Scream Queen
Height 5' 3½" (1.61 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Adrienne Jo Barbeau is an American actress and author best known for her roles on the TV series Maude (1972) and in horror films, especially those directed by John Carpenter, with whom she was once married. She was born on June 11, 1945 in Sacramento, California, the daughter of an executive for Mobil Oil. Early on in her career, she starred in Someone's Watching Me! (1978), The Fog (1980), Escape from New York (1981) and Swamp Thing (1982), all John Carpenter-related projects. She has collaborated with George A. Romero on occasion, such as the Stephen King-scripted Creepshow (1982) and Two Evil Eyes (1990). Her work with other horror directors includes the Wes Craven comic book monster movie Swamp Thing (1982). During the 1990s, she became best known for providing the voice of Catwoman on Batman: The Animated Series (1992).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Matt Lee-Williams

Spouse (2)

Billy Van Zandt (31 December 1992 - present) ( filed for divorce) ( 2 children)
John Carpenter (1 January 1979 - 14 September 1984) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trade Mark (5)

The voice of Catwoman on Batman: The Animated Series
Often cast by her ex-husband John Carpenter
Natural brunette hair
Voluptuous figure
Seductive deep voice

Trivia (30)

Made her Broadway debut in "Fiddler on the Roof" (1968), where she met another young, up-and-coming actress named Bette Midler. "I guess I adopted some of her enthusiasm and hopefully her street smarts," said Barbeau.
At age 51, she gave birth to identical twin boys, Walker Steven and William Dalton Van Zandt, on March 17, 1997. Their father is her husband, Billy Van Zandt.
Has one son with John Carpenter: Cody Carpenter.
Her father was of three quarters German ancestry, with his other roots being French-Canadian and Irish. Her mother was of Armenian ancestry.
Worked as a New York City go-go dancer in a Mafia-run nightclub from 1964-1967 while breaking in on Broadway. She quit after the owner decided to turn the place into a bikini bar.
In 1978, a poster of Adrienne Barbeau wearing a tight purple corset was a bestseller. The poster's image later served as a cover photo for her autobiography.
Nominated for a 1972 Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Musical) for her portrayal of bad-girl Betty Rizzo in the original Broadway production of "Grease".
Her roles in the horror film The Fog (1980) and Escape from New York (1981) were written specifically with her in mind.
Because of her busy scheduling, she missed most of the episodes of the sitcom Maude (1972), during the last two seasons.
Won the prestigious Theater Guild Award for her portrayal of bad-girl Betty Rizzo in the original Broadway production of "Grease".
Her nude scene in Swamp Thing (1982) was intended only for European release but eventually made its way onto an American DVD of the movie -- until a Texas housewife complained of her sons' inadvertently viewing nudity in a PG-rated movie, at which point the DVD was recalled.
Sister-in-law of musician and actor Steven Van Zandt.
Returned to the New York stage for first time in 34 years to portray Judy Garland in "The Property Known as Garland" written by her husband, playwright Billy Van Zandt.
The winner of The Cannonball Run (1981), she also won the heart of her co-star, Burt Reynolds, who was then at the height of his popularity.
Her role in the horror remake Halloween (2007) was ultimately deleted from the final finished film, but was included on the DVD Special Edition.
Her memoir, "There Are Worse Things I Could Do", went to #11 on the Los Angeles Times Bestseller list.
In the horror film The Fog (1980), the two leads, Adrienne Barbeau and Jamie Lee Curtis, do not appear in any scenes together.
Has appeared with Tom Atkins in four films: The Fog (1980), Escape from New York (1981), Creepshow (1982) and Two Evil Eyes (1990).
Has appeared in three films directed by her ex-husband John Carpenter: Someone's Watching Me! (1978), The Fog (1980), Escape from New York (1981).
She was considered for the role of the mythic being Ardra in the fourth season episode Star Trek: The Next Generation: Devil's Due (1991), which went to Marta DuBois.
In her autobiography, Barbeau says that she first caught the show business bug while entertaining troops at army bases throughout Southeast Asia, touring with the San Jose Civic Light Opera.
Her acting mentor is the late Bea Arthur, whom she credits as her favorite acting mentor/best friend. Many years before Maude (1972), they performed in the original Broadway production of "Fiddler on the Roof".
Her acting mentor and former series' lead, Bea Arthur, passed away on April 25, 2009, two weeks before her 87th birthday.
Revealed that she had a wonderful working relationship with Bea Arthur on Maude (1972).
Surrogate daughter of Bea Arthur, who took her under her wing, since she was age 27.
Attended and graduated from Del Mar High School in San Jose, California.
Attended and graduated from Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California.
As an actress, she was highly influenced by Bea Arthur.
On account of her busy scheduling, she had to missed the majority of the episodes of [Maude (1972)], for the last two seasons.
According to [Bea Arthur], she said in an interview that she would've had [Marcia Rodd] to play the role of Carol Traynor, rather than Barbeau, herself. Rodd played Carol in the [All in the Family (1971)] spin-off episode stronger with "more of a mouth", which made their fight scenes more exciting. When [Maude (1972)] became it's own series they hired Barbeau, who played the role "softer" much to Bea's dismay.

Personal Quotes (15)

Who knew at the time? It's the same as my horror films. It's wonderful at this point in my career to realize there are pieces of work that have sustained themselves all this time. I'll run into people who say, "We watch Swamp Thing (1982) once a month!".
[on her role in The Cannonball Run (1981)]: All the talent I needed was in my breastbone.
[on the remake The Fog (2005)]: I have not seen it and I have no desire to see it, either.
I'm realizing that a soap offers so many opportunities for a woman my age. At this stage in my career, the roles that are available tend to be the judge or the doctor or somebody's mother - that's what happens when you're the guest star of the week. But GH reminds me in a way of Carnivale, where we never knew what was coming next and it was always exciting and fascinating. There's a lot of meat on this soap!
[In describing Bea Arthur as a private lady, in real-life]: She wasn't interested in the notoriety. She wasn't interested in celebrity. She was interested in making people laugh and doing good work.
[on her role on Maude (1972)]: If the producers needed information in a scene, my character was the one to do it. What I didn't know is that when I said those things, I was usually walking down a flight of stairs and no one was even listening to me. They were just watching my breasts precede me.
[If her own fans from Maude (1972) were everywhere]: I think General Hospital (1963) is probably reaching new people for me, plus people who grew up watching Maude. I have so many people come up to me when I'm at an autograph signing; I have a picture of Bea and Rue McClanahan from Maude. People say, "Oh, I didn't know you were on The Golden Girls (1985).".
[When she started out as a talented actress years before General Hospital (1963)]: I just had my first sighting. I was in a department store, and a woman came up to me and said, "Excuse me, can you tell me where General Hospital films?".
[on the death of Bea Arthur in 2009]: I loved her dearly, and I think she loved me.
[on her on- and off-screen chemistry with Bea Arthur, who played Maude Findlay]: She was fantastic. She is fantastic... It was a great experience, all six years. Wonderful people to work with and something to be so incredibly proud of, which I took for granted at the time because I came from stage, so I didn't know television at all. I didn't even know what was on. I didn't know Norman Lear's reputation or anything like that. It took me awhile to realize that I had fallen into such a fantastic work situation. And most of that was because of Bea - because she's such a professional, such a great woman to work with. We had a great time.
[Of Bea Arthur]: I don't think Bea understood just how loud her voice could be. During intermission, we met in the center aisle, right down by the stage. And she said, "Adrienne, this is the worst piece of shit I've ever seen! I'd leave, but they're all my friends!".
[from her memoir "There Are Worst Things I Could Do" (2006)]: It's not easy, though, singing upside down in a headstand on a raised platform with your unfettered breasts hitting you in the chin. I'm a short woman with a pretty good body and large breasts - that's not what I think of as sexy.
[on horror films]: I love doing them -- well, the suspenseful, tense, well-written ones; not the slasher, senseless violence, let's get as much blood on the screen as possible ones -- but I don't enjoy watching them. So I can't speak to what sets The Fog (1980) apart from the other films of that era, but I do think that one of the reasons The Fog (1980) is so successful is that John [John Carpenter] wrote fully realized, quirky characters that the audience cares about and identifies with. People remember Stevie Wayne. They love her voice, they love the lighthouse where she works, and they love her heroism.
[on how the horror genre has changed over the years]: I sense, from reading scripts for roles I'm offered -- most of which are plotless and illogical and nothing more than an excuse to show blood and gore -- that the artistry that colored the genre twenty or thirty years ago has pretty much succumbed to slashers' knives. It's a different kind of horror, that's for sure.
[on her real-life relationship with [Bea Arthur], on [Maude (1972)]]: I was doing an interview for this one-woman show that I am doing and the interviewer asked that... she asked "What do people usually ask you," and I said "They always want to know... What it was like working with Bea?" She was fantastic and you know, I realized years later, how much I took it for granted, because it was my first experience on television... I just assumed that everyone was as giving as she was, as professional a she was that everyone who was doing a TV show, showed up, knowing their lines and showed up on time and was willing to say to the writers: "I think this line was funnier if Adie had said it, or Conrad had said it or Bill had said it," I mean, she was just the best, she was the best, very funny, she was not "Maude", when she wasn't saying those lines. I don't know if I say she was quiet, she was a homebody. She had her sons, her dog and her cooking and she wasn't into the celebrity scene and she was a great lady. I loved her dearly, and we had a great cast and they were my family for six years that I loved each of them and all of them and it was the best experience anyone could've had, being introduced to television, like that!

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