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Adrienne Barbeau Played Carol on "Maude." See Her Now at 76.

The actor is also famous for theater, sci-fi movies, and a series of vampire books.

In 1972, Adrienne Barbeau was introduced to television fans as Maude's (Bea Arthur) adult daughter, Carol, on the series Maude. But, at that point, she already had a successful career as an actor—just not on TV. Barbeau went from theater star to television actor to the lead in a number of horror movies and now does a mix of everything, along with writing some books, too.

But Barbeau's career is only one aspect of her life. She's also a mother and a grandmother and has said that her family is her biggest priority. Read on to learn about the star's work and personal life today, over 40 years after Maude went off the air.

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Her acting career is incredibly varied.

Adrienne Barbeau at the "Walking Dead" season 9 premiere in 2018
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

Barbeau began working first on stage, even landing a Tony nomination for originating the role of Rizzo in the musical Grease. She began starring in sci-fi and horror movies throughout the '80s, after Maude, including The Fog and Escape from New York, which were both directed by her ex-husband John Carpenter.

Over the years, Barbeau has continued to work consistently, including taking on roles in the TV series Carnivàle and The Drew Carey Show and the movie Argo. Some of her latest projects are the 2020 film Unearth and the 2021 Netflix series Cowboy Bebop.

She's written several books.

Adrienne Barbeau at a signing for her book "Vampyres of Hollywood" in 2008
s_bukley / Shutterstock

Barbeau wrote her first book, the memoir There Are Worse Things I Could Do, in 2006. The autobiography takes its title from a song Rizzo sings in Grease. The actor has also written a series of three novels: Vampyres of Hollywood (co-written with Michael Scott), Love Bites, and Make Me Dead.

"There's a part of it that I love, and some of that is not being dependent upon anyone else for my creativity," Barbeau told Den of Geek about writing in a 2008 interview. "I don't have to wait for the script to come, I don't have to wait for the offer to come in or for the money to be raised [laughs]. So it's wonderful just to be able to get up in the morning and get the kids to school, and then come back and sit down and trying to fashion something that didn't exist before."

Barbeau's newest book, Grease! Tell Me More…Tell Me More! (co-written with director Tom Moore and producer Ken Waissman), will tell the history of the original production of Grease and is set to be released in June.

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She's a mother and grandmother.

Barbeau was married to Carpenter from 1979 to 1984, and they had one child together: Cody Carpenter. In 1992, she married playwright Billy Van Zandt and they had two children, Walker and William Van Zandt. Barbeau and Van Zandt got divorced in 2018. Now, Barbeau also has grandchildren, who she sometimes posts about on her Instagram.

"The most important thing in my life are my children and my family and my friends," she told Get Out magazine in 2020. "The career comes second….or third or fourth…or someplace down there. I am very proud of the fact that I've been able to support myself my entire life doing something I love to do … I wanted to earn a living as an actress. I've been able to do that, but what's most important are my kids."

She has a lot of love for her TV mom.

Adrienne Barbeau at the "Cowboy Bebop" premiere in 2021
Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Netflix

Barbeau has spoken about her connection with Arthur, who passed in 2009, and what it meant to star in Maude with her.

"She was the best," Barbeau told Get Out of Arthur. "It was my first television show, I'd never done television before. I'd only done stage up until then. It wasn't until a couple years that we were into Maude that I started doing other television movies and, yes, I realized how truly incredible she was. She was the most giving, loving actor and the most professional. She set the tone for the whole show."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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