A HILARIOUS, WISE, REVEALING ROMP THROUGH FIVE DECADES OF HOLLYWOOD!
“Wow!!! Adrienne, like Mame, has LIVED!!!! And like Candide, she emerges unscathed, as dear as she was when she began. But what a wild ride!!!” —Bette Midler
Originally published in 2006, this L.A. Times bestseller by Tony-nominated actress, iconic “scream queen”, and vampyre thriller author Adrienne Barbeau is many things: a touching coming-of-age journal, an inspiring actor’s handbook on how to survive in the biz, and a witty Hollywood memoir—chronicling five decades of stage, screen, and romance.
There’s only one Adrienne Barbeau, as singular and irreplaceable as Marilyn, Meryl, or Hepburn—and as down-to-earth as any soccer mom (which she is). Only one Swamp Thing girlfriend, only one Ruthie the snake charmer, only one original Rizzo. No other voice in Hollywood can you imagine as Creepshow’s Billie growling, “Get out of the way, Henry, or I swear to God you’ll be wearing your balls for earrings.”
Twelve-year-old Barbeau entrusted her journal with a secret: she must become an actress. She set out with single-minded determination, succeeding on the strengths of an unsurpassed work ethic and discipline, unshakable commitment to the truth of her characters, a soul-stirring voice, a preternaturally perfect beauty, and her bawdy sense of humor—all on full display here!
Barbeau hilariously details her early years as a naif in New York, securing her first apartment with roommates: “One of the girls was an alcoholic…. The other had male friends who left money on the dresser on the nights I’d come home to find myself locked out of the bedroom.” Then getting her first job, as a barmaid: “My boss … is a ‘big man’ in New York—although not a member of the Mafia, they are good friends.” And, memorably, starring on Broadway in Grease. She warmly remembers her two hit television series (Maude and Carnivale), and spins tales of her many television and feature films (The Fog, Escape from New York, Cannonball Run, Swamp Thing, Back to School, Creepshow).
But unlike most showbiz biographies, Barbeau’s story doesn’t stop—or even slow down—at fifty, which finds our heroine newly in love, wandering the halls of the maternity ward a new mother (the only new mother on the floor with an AARP card), becoming a published author (of vampire thrillers!), and taking up trapeze-performance at seventy.
Always behind the scenes of Adrienne’s rise to iconic “scream queen” is the introspective girl, facing her fears to develop her concert singing career, searching for self-knowledge, the right guy, and happiness as a wife and mother with a very busy career—and always pushing the boundaries.
WHO WILL LIKE IT: Fans of Hollywood memoirs, young artists seeking the secrets to success, every starstruck male who was older than thirteen when Maude’s daughter Carol popped into our living rooms, every woman who could use a touch of the encouraging warmth of a friend, anybody who needs a rip-roaring good laugh— or fifty.
“This book will make you laugh, cry, and just root for the skinny little girl with glasses and bushy hair who became a beautiful woman, mother, wife and a darned good actress.” —Electric Review