The tone of Adrienne Barbeau’s movies and television shows has changed over time to reflect the actress’s preoccupations at different times. Barbeau’s career began in the early 1970s and in the four decades that she has had a career in entertainment, the actress has been a major force to reckon with in different genres, ranging from horror to musicals and then voice animation.
Born on the 11th of June, 1945 in Sacramento, California, to Armene Nalbandian and Joseph Barbeau, the actress grew up in affluence and comfort as she hails from a family of wealthy people. Adrienne Jo Barbeau grew up in California where she attended Del Mar High School for her high school diploma. She kicked off her career in entertainment when she was in her twenties after which she relocated to New York and started working as a go-go dancer.
In a short while, she got a role on Broadway which led to her appearance in more than twenty musicals and stage plays. For the role of Rizoo in the 1971 play Grease, Adrienne Barbeau was nominated for a Tony Award. Before she had her debut in film, the actress had already started acting in television series, the first of which was Maude. Her performance in the series earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
This actress has had a relatively successful career in Hollywood and she still acts to this day. However, being infallible is not a trait that any human possesses and as a result, even though Adrienne Barbeau has had brilliant performances, she has also had roles where she fell short. All of these successes and failures make up Adrienne Barbeau’s movies and TV shows.
12 Adrienne Barbeau Movies And TV Shows: Best To Worst Filmography
When Adrienne Barbeau began her onscreen career in 1972, she was already a seasoned actress and with the experience she had performing on Broadway, thus, playing Carol Traynor on the sitcom Maude came easy to her. Barbeau’s character is the daughter of the titular character, Maude, who is a liberal feminist married to her fourth husband. Adrienne Barbeau was on the show for ninety-three episodes and playing the role of Carol was a springboard for her career as she got to be a part of the show for the six years it aired. During its run, Maude was loved by critics and fans alike, raking in numerous awards.
This is one of Barbeau’s most successful films with its 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and the box office proceeds of $232.3 million on a budget of $44.5 million. The film is based on the true-life story of Tony Mendez who created a covert operation to rescue hostages held captive by Iranian Islamists in the United States Embassy during the Islamic revolution. The plan to save the hostages led to the making of a movie called Argo. Barbeau made a very brief appearance in the film.
3. The Fog
Adrienne Barbeau had her first role in a film in 1980 by playing Stevie Wayne in the horror film, The Fog. The film is set in California where a small town on the coast is covered in a strange fog on the eve of their 100th anniversary. The fog brings with it the ghosts of men who were killed by the founders of the town, who also stole gold belonging to these dead men. The men have returned as ghosts to kill six people to enact revenge on the six men who capsized their ship hence, leading them to their deaths.
Barbeau’s character is a radio DJ who works at the town’s lighthouse. She is one of the people who help in the fight against the ghosts. Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Hal Holbrook, Rob Bottin, and John Houseman were also cast in the film. The Fog made $21.3 million against its budget of $1.1 million and this money came only from cinemas in America. Upon its release, it was not loved by critics but over time, it has become revered as a great film and has its own cult following.
4. Batman: The Animated Series
Another hit in this actress’s career is her voicing of the character, Catwoman, in the television show, Batman: The Animated Series. The show aired for three years and it was based on the character Batman from DC Comics. Batman: The Animated Series was created in the style of the 1989 and 1992 Batman and Batman Returns directed by Tim Burton. When it was released, the show was considered as groundbreaking as it had elements from the film noir genre melded with novel animation techniques, while at the same time, telling a complex story of the inner workings of Batman’s mind and his driving force for his decision to become a vigilante. Adrienne Barbeau’s character is one of the antagonists and she is featured in eight episodes, but in subsequent animated films on the character of Batman, she has reprised her role as Catwoman.
5. Swamp Thing
There is a large number of Adrienne Barbeau’s movies that belong to the horror genre and Swamp Thing is one of these films. The movie is a Technicolor film that is based on the Vertigo/DC character, Alec Holland, and how he became the Swamp Thing. Adrienne Barbeau’s role is based on two characters from the comic books, Matt Cable and Abby Arcane. Cable is a government agent while Arcane is the love interest of Holland. The melding of the two characters created Alice Cable who Adrienne Barbeau plays. This film was well-received by a majority of critics with some giving mixed feelings to it. However, with the passage of time, the reception of the film has generally improved and it’s now a cult classic.
In yet another film based on a true-life story, Adrienne Barbeau plays Veronica Daniels, one of the real-life flight attendants on a plane. The film tells the story of the first crash of a wide-body aircraft. This film was made for television and by the time it was produced, it featured the most authentic and expensive crash scene in the history of Hollywood. For its authenticity and attention to detail, it was loved by critics.
7. Someone’s Watching Me
Toeing the path of horror in yet another film for television is Adrienne Barbeau playing the lead role of Leigh Michaels. Michaels has just relocated to Los Angeles and it turns out that her neighbor, an older man, has taken to watching and harassing her. The film ends with her finding a way to end the terror she felt by dealing with the neighbor. It was made for television, hence, it was never released to cinemas, but regardless, critics mostly had mixed reactions to the film.
8. A Wake in Providence
In a film on the complexities of familial relationships, Adrienne Barbeau plays one of the aunts in the family, Aunt Linda. Anthony is of Italian-American descent but falls in love with an African-American who he introduces to his family during a funeral. The clash of cultures creates a gateway for family conflict to thrive but the film ends with the young couple finding a way to surmount the hurdles of cultural differences. It was a critical success with its 70% score on Rotten Tomatoes and its above-average score of 5.6 on IMBD.
Adrienne Barbeau delivers a brilliant performance in yet another television show. This time, it’s in the period drama Carnivale. The show featured a cast of relatively unknown actors but Adrienne Barbeau was an exception. Her character, Ruthie, is a snake charmer and her story is intertwined with the lives of other characters on the show. The show was canceled by HBO because of how expensive it was to make it; fans took to social media and sent mails to revoke the decision of HBO but they were not successful. This show is one of the actress’s many successful shows.
10. The Cannonball Run
This race film was made on a budget of $18 million but managed to make $100 million. The Cannonball Run was a huge commercial success but this was not reflective of the feelings critics have towards the film, with some going as far as describing it as a lousy film. Adrienne Barbeau played one duo of a race team, and in her litany of brilliant performances, this is one of the films that fell below expectations.
11. Father Hood
Adrienne Barbeau got to act in a film alongside Hollywood heavyweights Patrick Swayze and Halle Berry. The film tells the story of a father who tries to juggle a life of crime and fatherhood but finds out that one has to give way for the other. The film follows the father, played by Swayze, as he and his two children go on a number of adventures. Barbeau plays the minor role of Celeste. Father Hood did not fare well at the box office, neither was it a success with critics.
In this 2007 film, Barbeau is a mother who finds out that her son, before his death, was involved with the occult and it’s just not any type of occult but one that involved Nazism and the US government. Unholy claims to be based on a real-life mystical project that was purportedly carried out by Nazis during their regime. Of all the Adrienne Barbeau movies, this has received the most criticism.