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There Are Worse Things I Could Do
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There Are Worse Things I Could Do

5.0 2
by Adrienne Barbeau

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A revealing witty memoir of Adrienne Barbeau's career and marriages.


A revealing witty memoir of Adrienne Barbeau's career and marriages.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Barbeau hits 60 fabulously in this straightforward, muscularly written memoir of the acting life. The Maude star proves herself a writer with flair, as well as a passionate singer, though she gained fame as a stage actress in New York City once she left her San Jose, Calif., home at age 19 in 1964. The daughter of Armenian parents, Barbeau was often typecast in ethnic parts thanks to her dark, bosomy good looks; working as a go-go girl, she got her first break in Fiddler on the Roof. After the nude musical Stag Movie and the hit Grease, Barbeau flew to L.A. to audition for Norman Lear's '70s spinoff to All in the Family, Maude, starring Bea Arthur. To Barbeau's astonishment, she was hired after an extensive search to play Maude's feminist daughter, Carole, and she stayed for all six years the show ran. Suddenly a recognizable star, she dated a string of sexy men including Burt Reynolds; she married director John Carpenter, who cast her in his forgettable suspense films. Barbeau found happiness in a second marriage with Billy Van Zandt, and motherhood, with twins, at 51. Endearingly, Barbeau never considered herself a sex symbol and only wanted to be loved for her singing. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
From Broadway to sitcoms to HBO to off-Broadway in a few short decades. Though she's best known as a buxom horror-film action babe and as Maude's daughter on the long-running Norman Lear sitcom, Barbeau delves into far more interesting subject matter here than the usual warmed-over showbiz anecdotes. Half French-Canadian and half Armenian, she grew up in California during the 1950s. She started acting in high school, then moved to New York and entered the off-Broadway/waitress grind. Barbeau seems lackadaisical about her career; more than once, she dryly laments opportunities missed because she just wasn't paying attention. So it's even more surprising than usual that fairly early on she landed a lucky break-originating the role of Tevye's second daughter Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof. That led to originating Rizzo in Grease, after which she decamped for Hollywood to spend six years with Bea Arthur on Maude. Barbeau chronicles romances along the way with '70s icon Burt Reynolds and the surprisingly decent-sounding John Carpenter, who directed her in Escape from New York and The Fog. Her career was hit-and-miss for a while but has perked up in recent years, with roles on HBO's Carnivale and in an upcoming off-Broadway show about Judy Garland. Barbeau's style can be off-putting, as she jumps around in time and leavens her narrative with scraps from the journals she's kept since childhood. But the refreshing directness of her approach keeps things moving even when the subject matter is less than enthralling. She also has a nice way of introducing characters: "I played a whore in a bordello who's in love with a legless man. Alex was the legless man." Far from a classic, but better than thestandard actor bio.

Product Details

Da Capo Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Film, television, and Broadway star, Adrienne Barbeau's career spans forty years and is still evolving. A Tony nomination 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. Adrienne's numerous films for television include the Ace Award winning Double Crossed: The Barry Seal Story opposite Dennis Hopper, Scott Turow's Burden of Proof with Hector Elizondo, and most recently, The Santa Trap with Stacy Keach and Robert Hays. Audiences will also remember her from Drew Carey as Oswald's mom and her starring, as Ruthie in HBO's fascinating series Carnivàle. Film audiences know her best from The Fog, Escape from New York, Swamp Thing, Cannonball Run, Creepshow, Back to School, Two Evil Eyes, and The Convent. Soon to be released is the feature comedy A Wake in Providence. Adrienne was recently seen starring in the Off Broadway show, The Property Known as Garland, written by Billy Van Zandt and directed by Glenn Casale.

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There Are Worse Things I Could Do 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago