From Broadway, to classic sitcoms, to the biggest horror, action, and comedy hits of the 1980’s, Adrienne Barbeau is an iconic part of American pop culture. Before all of that, however, she worked at Joe Allen! We were so lucky to spend some time with this gracious lady, discussing the late night, party vibe of New York in the late 1960’s, the close knit ties forged among the up and coming casts of “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Grease,” her brisk transition from Broadway Rizzo to TV stardom, the ass kicking Howard Hawks inspired horror heroines she popularized, and the fascinating world of “Carnivale." It took us a while to get this “wishlist” guest, and it was well worth it. Cheers!
Adrienne Barbeau began her career in 1963 with the San Jose Civic Light Opera. After graduating high school, she traveled with a musical comedy revue, entertaining our servicemen on Army bases throughout Southeast Asia. In 1965, she moved to New York where she made her Broadway debut as Tevye’s second daughter, Hodel, in Fiddler on the Roof. A Tony nomination and a Theatre World Award for her creation of Rizzo in the original Broadway production of Grease led her back to California and the role of Bea Arthur’s daughter, Carol, in the hit series Maude. Since then she has become a best selling author, a recording artist, and the star of numerous features, films for television, concert performances, musicals and plays. Movie fans know her best for her performances in The Fog, Escape From New York, Creepshow, Swamp Thing, Back to School, and Cannonball Run. She appeared in the Academy Award winning ARGO. Recently released are the golf comedy The Eagle and the Albatross with Dan Lauria and K-Pop star Amber Liu, and the ecological horror film Unearth, starring Marc Blucas. Adrienne has a Golden Globe nomination and over 450 screen performances to her credit. She starred as Ruthie, the Snake Dancer, on HBO’s fascinating series, Carnivale. She was Oswald’s mom on Drew Carey, Victoria Grayson’s mom on Revenge, and Venus’s mom on Sons of Anarchy. Daytime viewers know her as Suzanne Stanwyck on General Hospital. Her recent television appearances include Criminal Minds, Grey’s Anatomy, the Netflix series A.J. and the Queen, starring RuPaul, and American Horror Story. Having starred in over 25 theatrical productions in the U.S. and Canada, Adrienne spent most of 2015 playing Berthe, Pippin’s grandmother, in the National Tour of Pippin, singing “No Time At All” as she hung upside down from a trapeze. Off camera, Adrienne is the voice of Catwoman in Batman, The Animated Series, Ms. Simone in Scooby-Do on Zombie Island, and Scooter’s Mom in the 3-D animated film Fly Me To The Moon. She can be heard in a myriad of video games: God of War, Halo 4, and Fallout 76 among them. She also provides video description for the visually impaired on many films, documentaries, and television series; it’s one of her favorite forms of voiceover work. Adrienne is the author of four books: the best-selling memoir There Are Worse Things I Could Do; the urban fantasy Vampyres of Hollywood and its comedy romance sequels, Love Bites and Make Me Dead. Adrienne is currently at work co-writing Grease- Tell Me More, Tell Me More! for release next summer to honor the 50th anniversary of the Broadway musical. Published by Chicago Review Press, proceeds from the book will go to The Actors’ Fund. ©- Adrienne Barbeau