Few interviews make you feel as if the celebrity is a long time friend. Adrienne Barbeau is just such a person, warm, approachable, willing to talk and allow pictures. She began her career at age three when her mother enrolled her in dance lessons, then voice at age eleven. At the tender age of fifteen, she was accepted into the San Jose Light Opera, later touring the Pacific performing USO gigs at nineteen.
In 1968 she was cast in the Broadway version of Fiddler on The Roof. She secured a Toni nomination in 1972 for her role of “Rizzo,” in Grease and won the coveted theatre guild award. From 1972-78 she was the daughter of “Maude” in the famous sitcom. Some readers may remember her as Oswald’s mother in the Drew Carey Show.
Her screen credits vary from Smoky and the Bandit with Burt Reynolds (who she says she briefly dated,) Escape from New York, to the horror films Swamp Thing, and the cult classic Creep Show. Space doesn’t allow naming the long list of other screen and stage accomplishments. Lately she has been a guest on General Hospital, one of the longest running soap operas on the air.
Besides being an accomplished actress, she’s an author and singer. Her memoir, “There are Worse Things I Can Do,” hit #11 on the LA Times bestseller’s list. That success was followed by, “Vampyres of Hollywood,” and “Love Bites.” All three books were major literary hits.
At fifty-one years of age she had twin boys, who she claims seldom want to watch her on TV or view her old movies. They are more interested in if she can get them to soccer practice on time.
“Now that they’re fourteen, I bet they’re also asking for their allowance,” I added.
“Yes absolutely that,” she replied laughing.
As always, I wanted to respect the amount of time I was allotted. The problem sitting with Adrienne is you find yourself having conversation with someone that you know an afternoon is insufficient to really get acquainted. The most impressive part of the interview came the next day. Walking in the hallway, we happened to meet each other resulting in smiles and pleasant exchanges. Not a hint of, our talk was business and that was over yesterday, or a sense of being ignored.
One of the hardest parts of interviewing “celebrities,” is that you have the experience of meeting some of the most wonderful, genuine people. But your relationship lasts a few minutes, and later you feel the very real loss of continued friendships that could have been.