Adrienne's very first job in the entertainment industry was as a go-go dancer in the New York City. Quickly making her way to Broadway, she became a chorus member on Fiddler on the Roof and later played the role of Hodel . In 1971, she took a lead role as Cookie Kovac in Off-Broadway musical Stag Movie.
Since making debut in late the '60s, she has appeared in over 25 off and on-Broadway musicals & plays like Women Behind Bars, Grease and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Playing a tough girl Rizzo's role in Grease, she earned Tony nomination. In 1972, she was chosen to play the role of Maude Findlay's daughter Carol Traynor in the comedy series Maude.
The series, Maude marked her prominent transition to television from theater. Continuing with roles in television shows and movies, she appeared in The Love Boat, Valentine Magic on Love Island, Fantasy Island and Battle of the Network Stars. During the '70s, her incredible television and theater roles helped her earn acclamation as "sex symbol" and continued with the citation throughout '80s. Though she was getting immense success, she thought Hollywood as flesh market and she would rather make an appearance in the movies that would explore the human condition and deal with issues.
However, in 1980, she was cast in the horror movie titled The Fog by her then-husband John Carpenter. The film became her first theatrical movie, which did well at the box office grossing more than $21 million in the United States and helped her earn title of genre movie star. She then, starred in other high grossing movies like The Cannonball Run, Back to School and Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death. The 1990s period also proved to a successful for her as she became a part of some of the popular movies The Burden of Proof, The Drew Carey Show, Gotham Girls and Batman: The Animated Series.
Aside from acting career, she has also tried her luck as a folk singer releasing the self-titled album Adrienne Barbeau in 1998. Most recently, she was seen in the TV soap opera Revenge. Also an author, she released an autobiography titled There Are Worse Things I Could Do in 2006 and a novel titled Vampyres of Hollywood in 2008. Throughout her decades long career in entertainment industry, she has accumulated total net worth of $5 million dollars.