Adrienne began her career in 1963 with the San Jose Civic Light Opera. After graduating high school, she traveled with a musical comedy revue, entertaining our servicemen on Army bases throughout Southeast Asia. In 1965, she moved to New York where she made her Broadway debut as Tevye’s second daughter, Hodel, in Fiddler on the Roof. A Tony nomination and a Theatre World Award for her creation of Rizzo in the original Broadway production of Grease led her back to California and the role of Bea Arthur's daughter, Carol, in the hit series Maude.
Since then she has become a best selling author, a recording artist, and the star of numerous features, films for television, concert performances, musicals and plays.
Movie fans know her best for her performances in The Fog, Escape From New York, Creepshow, Swamp Thing, Back to School, and Cannonball Run. Her recent films include Reach for Me, with Seymour Cassell and Alfre Woodard; the award winning drama Deception; and the award winning “zombie film” Alice Jacobs is Dead.
Adrienne has a Golden Globe nomination and over 450 screen performances to her credit. Lifetime Network audiences can see her in the oft-repeated Shattered Hearts and Drew Carey fans know her as Oswald's mom. She starred as Ruthie, the Snake Dancer, on HBO's fascinating series, Carnivale. Most recently, she has guest starred on Grey’s Anatomy, Dexter, Cold Case, and The New Adventures of Old Christine.
After appearing in over 25 musicals and plays, among them the West coast premieres of A Walk on the Wild Side, Women Behind Bars, and Drop Dead; the Canadian premiere of Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers; and the world premiere of What the Rabbi Saw by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore, in 2006 she returned to New York and garnered standing ovations as Judy Garland in The Property Known As Garland.
Off camera, Adrienne is the voice of Catwoman in Batman, The Animated Series, Ms. Simone in Scooby-Do on Zombie Island, and Scooter's Mom in the 3-D animated film Fly Me To The Moon. She can be heard in a myriad of video games: God of War and Batman, Arkham Asylum among them.
Adrienne is the author of three books: the best-selling memoir There Are Worse Things I Could Do; Vampyres of Hollywood; and the upcoming Love Bites.
In March of 1997, Adrienne gave birth to identical twin boys making her "the only woman on the maternity ward who was a member of AARP". She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Billy Van Zandt, and the twins, William and Walker. Whenever she can, she travels to Japan to visit her older son, Cody Carpenter.