There are Worst Things I Could Do by Adrienne Barbeau

The title of Adrienne Barbeau’s memoir immediately got my attention because “There are Worse Things I Could Do” is my favorite song from my favorite movie Grease – even though Olivia Newton-John is my favorite. Adrienne played Rizzo in the original play Grease in 1972, which I did not know. I only recognized her from the tv sit com Maude, but I am always up for almost any Hollywood memoir.

Adrienne kept a journal (like me) for most of her life, so it was fairly easy to recall for her memoir. She is very honest and very funny, which Barbeau’s memoir very entertaining. Adrienne Barbeau was SO insecure and did not like herself and had no idea she became a sex symbol (because of her big boobs) during Maude. Adrienne was a singer and dancer doing musical theater before coming a television actress.

I am glad to know everyone has had back luck with men constantly dealing with lying cheating no good men – that it’s just just reserved for we who are not famous. She was in love with a gay man for years while in New York. In 11 years, she had dated 9 men none of who wanted a commitment. Adrienne did not want marriage, but she did want kids. Adrienne, like me, was just not that attracted to many men. She wrote, “I’d rather read a good book than go out on a date just for the sake of dating.” (I am exactly the same way.)

At the age of 30 during the second season of Maude, she began dating Burt Reynolds while he was dating Dinah Shore. Of course that did not end well. Burt kept string her along while abusing pills. He ended up breaking up with her in a letter then having his friend call her.

Adrienne met John Carpenter (of Halloween fame) in 1978 at the age of 33. They married 10 months later on New Year’s Day 1979. A month after their son was born in 1984, John announced he was moving out. A year later he actually moved out, and they were divorced four years later.

A year after she split from John, Adrienne met Dennis the Guru. They dated for less than a year, but he taught her not to be afraid to ask for what she wants and not take refusals personally. Soon after Adrienne met and dated Alex Daniels for three years.

In August 1991, Adrienne met her second husband playwright Billy Van Zandt (brother to Bruce Springsteen’s Little Steve Steven). They were married New Year’s Even 1992. She was 47, he was 36. At the age of 51, Adrienne had identical twin boys on March 17, 1997. Billy and Adrienne are no longer living together, but are the best of friends and see each other all the time. Maybe after all that is said and done she really didn’t want to be married after all.

Besides Grease and Maude, Adrienne Barbeau is also known for The Fog (her first movie), Cannonball Run (with Burt Reynolds, which she hated making) and The Swamp Thing (which apparently she is famous for).

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