San Jose’s Favorite Daughter

No, it’s not Brandi Chastain, Sarah Winchester or Madison Nguyen. Since I grew up watching reruns of Maude, I am compelled to cast my vote for Adrienne Barbeau, who graduated from Del Mar High School in 1963. About a year ago, she came back to San Jose to fill in for George Romero at a horror convention and I asked her about Del Mar High. She said it was a flagship school in those days.

Since the California Room at the Martin Luther King Jr. Main Library just happens to own a copy of the 1963 Del Mar yearbook, I had to obtain her senior class shot. It can be viewed on my blog.  Click on the image for the larger version.

San Jose should be proud of this woman’s accomplishments. Anyone who took part in Cannonball Run, Maude, Creepshow, Fiddler on the Roof, The Match Game, The Drew Carey Show and Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death is down in my book. She also played Rizzo in the original stage version of Grease in 1972 and she had twins at age 51. In her book, There Are Worse Things I Could Do, she says this: “I went from being a musical comedy performer to a sitcom actress to a scream queen to a mother and a TV talk show host and a book reviewer and a voiceover performer, and then back to the stage and back to musical comedy and back to television and concert halls and more films, and even into the recording studio for a CD and into my office to write this book.” Hallelujah.

If San Jose wants to be a world class city, it needs an Adrienne Barbeau museum.


  1. Other women entertainers with San Jose ties:

    Sue Thompson, who had hits with “Norman” and “Paper Tiger”, appeared on the local Hometown Hayride TV show.

    Stevie Nicks attended San Jose State.

  2. Adrienne Barbeau is a dark haired beauty.  Other dark haired beauties are Penelope Cruz, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Halle Berry, Lucy Liu, Teri Hatcher, Selma Hayek and Jennifer Garner.

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