BY EMILY GAGNE
Role in the horror community: Actress
Claim to fame: In the horror game exclusively? The Fog, a 1980 fishing town-set horror that was directed by her husband at the time, legendary director John Carpenter. (Before that, she was on Maude.) She would go on to appear in Creepshow and Swamp Thing.
Weapon of choice: Her mouth. Or rather, her relentless refusal to stop speaking out, whether that be for herself or for others. In some cases, her outspoken nature worked to her advantage (i.e. when she was a DJ, using her voice to warn her fellow townspeople in The Fog). In others, it was the end of her (see: her segment of Creepshow, “The Crate”).
Why she’s bloody brilliant: Although she’s come out and said that she’s not really a huge genre fan in recent years, she was an important part of the late ’70s, early 80s horror revolution, joining Jamie Lee Curtis in the ranks of formative horror heroines. Not only did she work with then hubby Carpenter, but she’s one of the few actresses — if not the only — that can say she’s also worked with Wes Craven (Swamp Thing), George A. Romero (Creepshow) and Dario Argento (Two Evil Eyes).
Also, she’s certainly not as celebrated as Curtis’s Laurie Strode, but DJ Stevie Wayne, Barbeau’s character in The Fog, was also pretty badass. She did everything in her power to help protect her town and her son, including the aforementioned warning broadcasts and some physical showdowns with vengeful spirits. And she holds her own in a film that also features characters played by Curtis and mother Janet Leigh (Psycho).