Adrienne Jo Barbeau (born June 11, 1945) is an American television, film, character and musical theater actress, as well as the author of two recently published books. Barbeau came to prominence in the 1970s as Broadway's original Rizzo in the musical Grease, Bea Arthur's divorced daughter Carol Trainer in the hit sitcom Maude, and in several early 1980s horror and science fiction films. A popular sex symbol during that era, her more notable film work includes The Fog, Creepshow, Swamp Thing and Escape from New York. During the 1990s, Barbeau became known for providing the sultry voice of Catwoman on Batman: The Animated Series and subsequent Batman cartoon series. More recently, she has starred in the acclaimed HBO series Carnivàle.
Barbeau was born in Sacramento, California, the daughter of Arman Nalbandian and Joseph Barbeau, who was a public relations executive for Mobil Oil. Barbeau's father was French-Canadian and her mother Armenian-American. She attended Del Mar High School in San Jose, California. 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. She has a sister Jocelyn and a half brother on her father's side, Robert Barbeau, who still resides in the Sacramento area.
In the late 1960s Barbeau moved to New York City and worked, "for the mob," as a go-go dancer, as well as appeared Off-Broadway in a, "nudie musical," called, Stag Movie, before making her Broadway debut in Fiddler on the Roof, playing Tevye's daughter, Hodel, alongside Bette Midler. Adrienne has since starred in over 25 musicals and plays, among them, Women Behind Bars, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and of course, Grease, as tough-girl, "Rizzo", for which she received a Theater Guild Award and a 1972 Tony Award nomination.