Carol was Maude's buxom brunette daughter, a tough, audacious, mini-skirt wearing liberal feminist who wasn't afraid to clash with her mother or anybody else.

A divorced mother with a young son, Carol dated many men but didn't remarry. Carol had a lesser role in "Maude," and she later realized that male viewers were more focused on her bosom than her character.

As she wrote in her autobiography, “There Are Worse Things I Can Do,” “What I didn't know is that when I said my lines... no one was even listening to me. They were just watching my breasts precede me... If that's what people were concentrating on, that was out of my hands."

Although she released a popular cheesecake poster in 1978 that featured her ample 36D breasts, Adrienne has always insisted that she's not a sex symbol.
“I don't think of myself as a sex symbol,” she said in an interview with the website

“A sex symbol to me was Raquel Welch or Pam Anderson or Loni Anderson, or someone who plays those kind of roles. I've had two love scenes in my career that I can remember.”

Being a sex symbol “probably helped me get some jobs and it probably eliminated me from being taken seriously for others. It was what it was.”

“Maude,” a spin off of “All in the Family,” featured a cast of veteran stage actors. The series tackled weighty subjects such as women's liberation, abortion, and civil rights.

The show, which starred Bea Arthur as Maude Findlay, Edith Bunker's cousin from Westchester County, NY., went out of its way to court controversy.

A 1972 episode in which Maude had an abortion lost all its sponsors and almost 40 local stations after a huge protest was staged by anti-abortion groups.
"Being on Maude was fantastic. It was the starting point for the rest of my career really, but it was also just on a day to day basis, a fantastic job,” Adrienne told the website “I was fortunate enough to be involved with people that I loved and loved working with and to be doing material that was exceptional.

"I was very proud of the series. And I was proud of it not simply because it was a good situation comedy...but because it was groundbreaking and socially significant. And you don't normally find those two things in the same project."

“Maude” was Adrienne's first foray into TV, so “I had nothing to compare it to,” she said. “I took a lot of it for granted and didn't realize until later that not everyone was such a close-knit family.”
Although she will always be best remembered for her role in “Maude,” Adrienne is an artist who has made her mark in film (she starred in numerous horror/sci fi movies); on stage (she was nominated for a Tony in "Grease"); additional TV appearances since “Maude” (recurring roles in several series); as a singer (she's released a solo CD) and as a writer (she's authored three books).

Born in Sacramento to a French-Canadian father and Armenian-American mother, Adrienne performed in community theater in San Jose during her teen years. She never considered Hollywood, because she thought of it as a “flesh market;” instead she moved to New York to become  a stage actress.

“I didn't know anything about the business,"she told "I didn't go to movies. I didn't watch television. I sort of learned by doing it and didn't really have an icon that I looked up to."

A part in “Fiddler on the Roof” led Adrienne to the choice role of Rizzo in the original Broadway production of “Grease” in 1972, where she won a Theater Guild Award and was nominated for a Tony.

"(The Tony nomination) was completely unexpected. It had never crossed my mind that the Grease cast would even be eligible for a Tony,” she said. “The show opened in an Off Broadway arena. It was technically a Broadway contract because we were in a huge theater...but we were definitely 'outside' the Broadway area."

“Grease” was a stepping stone for Adrienne earning her role in “Maude,” which debuted in the fall of 1972. After reading the rave reviews, creator Norman Lear sent his casting director to see the play, which led to Adrienne auditioning to play Carol.
Adrienne Barbeau "Maude" Carol Traynor
Adrienne Barbeau "Maude" Carol Traynor
Adrienne Barbeau "Maude" Carol Traynor
Adrienne Barbeau "Maude" Carol Traynor
Classic TV Beauties
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No. 21
Classic TV Beauties 1970s Countdown
ADRIENNE BARBEAU as Carol Traynor in "Maude"
She wasn't considered for the Rizzo part when “Grease” was made into a film in 1978. Adrienne believes that producer Allan Carr handed the role to Stockard Channing because she was one of his clients.

“Maude” ran for six seasons (1972-78), and was a Top 10 program in the Nielsen ratings its first four seasons, including No. 4 in 1972-73.

“I wake up at four-thirty in the morning so I can watch it on TV Land,” Arthur told the Archive of American Television in a 2001 interview. “And dammit! We were good. We did great shows, the writing and acting was wonderful. It was pure unadulterated fun.

“We all came from New York theater and we were like a great theatrical company.”

After “Maude,” Adrienne jumped into horror movies. Married to then-husband John Carpenter, Hollywood's renown horror film producer, Adrienne starred in a series of horror and sci-fi flicks in the 1980s: “The Fog;” “Escape From New York;” “Swamp Thing;” and “Creepshow.”
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Oddly, Adrienne admits she doesn't like to be scared, that she's not a horror fan and has never even seen “Psycho.”

She continued quality TV work, appearing in a recurring role as Oswald's mother in “The Drew Carey Show” (1998-2004) and as Ruthie the snake charmer in HBO's “Carnivale.”

Adrienne showcased her writing skills, authoring three books: her autobiography and two vampire novels (“Vampyres of Hollywood” and “Love Bites”).

Adrienne, who gave birth to twins at age 51 in 1997, sums up her philosophy on her website ( "I honestly don't feel as though I've worked a day in my life. I love what I do. It's been a pretty eclectic career so far -- all I can think that's missing is animal trainer and high wire act -- and I can't wait to see what's coming next"
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