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(written from a Production point of view)
Adrienne Barbeau (born 11 June 1945; age 71) is the actress who played Senator Cretak in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine seventh season episode "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges". She took over the role from actress Megan Cole. Barbeau was a candidate for the role of Ardra in the Star Trek: The Next Generation fourth season episode "Devil's Due" during early stages of production. (The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine Vol. 19, p. 10)
Born in Sacramento, California, Barbeau moved to New York City in the 1960s, where she began appearing on stage. She gained fame – and made her television acting debut – playing Carol Tainer, the overstressed daughter of the title character of the hit sitcom Maude. She played the role from 1972 through 1978, earning a Golden Globe nomination in 1977. During this time, she also made guest appearances on such programs as Eight Is Enough, Quincy, M.E. (starring Robert Ito and Garry Walberg, in an episode with Kim Cattrall), and The Love Boat (in a two-parter with Richard Lineback and John Schuck). She also appeared in an episode of Hallmark Hall of Fame with George Takei and co-starred with Ricardo Montalban and France Nuyen in the 1978 TV movie Return to Fantasy Island, which served as the second pilot for Montalban's series, on which Barbeau would guest-star twice. Also in 1978, she co-starred with William Shatner in the TV movie Crash. It was also during the 1970s that Barbeau established herself as a sex symbol, primarily in pin-up posters.
Barbeau later became known for her work in horror films and science fiction films during the early 1980s. In 1980, she starred opposite Jamie Lee Curtis in her then-husband John Carpenter's horror thriller The Fog, which marked her film debut; the following year, she had a role in Carpenter's sci-fi thriller Escape from New York. In 1982, she continued to establish herself as a horror genre actress with a lead role in Wes Craven's cult horror film Swamp Thing (co-starring Ray Wise, Dick Durock, and Nicholas Worth), based on the DC Comics property. She also appeared in the George A. Romero/Stephen King horror anthology Creepshow that same year, starring in a segment with Fritz Weaver, Robert Harper, and Don Keefer.
Also during the 1980s, Barbeau was seen in a number of comedies and made-for-TV movies. In 1980, co-starred with Gary Lockwood in the TV movie and with Lee Meriwether in the TV movie Tourist. The following, she had a role in the hit action-comedy The Cannonball Run (also featuring John Fiedler) and co-starred with William Sadler in the TV movie Charlie and the Great Balloon Chase. In 1986, she made an appearance in the comedy Back to School, playing the unfaithful wife of Rodney Dangerfield's character who, in a brief scene, is seen cheating on Dangerfield with future Star Trek: Voyager star Robert Picardo. Also starring in this film are Terry Farrell and Sally Kellerman. She also appeared in a very campy role in the 1989 spoof Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death with Politically Incorrect's Bill Maher. Her episodic TV appearances during this time included two episodes of Hotel, two episodes of Murder, She Wrote (one with Janet MacLachlan and Susan Oliver, another with George Takei), and an episode of the 1980s version of The Twilight Zone.
During the 1990s, Barbeau appeared in such films as Father Hood (1993, with Brian Bonsall and Bob Gunton) and Silk Degrees (1994, with Charles Napier). She also appeared in an episode of the cult sci-fi series Babylon 5, starring Mary Kay Adams, Andreas Katsulas, and Bill Mumy, as well as an episode of Sliders, another sci-fi series popular during the 90s (which starred John Rhys-Davies). Her most prominent role during this decade, however, was that of the voice of Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, on Batman: The Animated Series. Frank Welker voiced Catwoman's beloved cat, Isis, and other Trek alumni who appeared in the same episodes included Earl Boen, Loren Lester, Diana Muldaur, Kate Mulgrew, Brock Peters, and Paul Williams. Barbeau also made a small cameo in an episode of the spinoff series Batman Beyond (with David Warner).
Most recently, Barbeau has become known for her recurring role as Diedrich Bader's character's mother on the hit sitcom The Drew Carey Show from 1998 through 2004 and for her role as snake charmer Ruthie on the HBO series Carnivàle from 2003 through 2005. Also starring in the latter series were the likes of Michael John Anderson, Clancy Brown, K Callan, John Fleck, Robert Knepper, John Carroll Lynch, Scott MacDonald, Matt McCoy, Diane Salinger, John Savage, and Time Winters. For her performance in Carnivàle, Barbeau was nominated for a Golden Satellite Award in 2004.
Barbeau is currently married to writer, producer, and actor Billy Van Zandt, himself a Star Trek alumnus, having appeared in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The two married in 1994 after meeting on the set of the TV series Daddy Dearest, which Van Zandt produced. The union would produce twin boys, Walker and William, born 11 March 1997. Barbeau and Van Zandt later co-starred together in the 1999 film A Wake in Providence (which Van Zandt co-wrote). In 2006, Barbeau starred as Judy Garland in an off-Broadway play written by Van Zandt called The Property Known as Garland. Most recently, Barbeau can be seen on General Hospital co-starring with Lisa LoCicero.