Fast Facts

  • First major role came in 1968, when she played Hodel in the original Broadway cast of Fiddler on the Roof.
  • Became known to TV audiences in the early '70s as Carol Traynor, the divorced daughter of Bea Arthur's character on the pioneering sitcom Maude.
  • Made her big-screen debut in 1980, when she starred in then-husband John Carpenter's The Fog; re-teamed with Carpenter a year later for the director's classic Escape From New York.  
  • Met her second husband, actor, playwright and producer Billy Van Zandt, in 1991, when she was cast in the West Coast premiere of his play Drop Dead!
  • Gave birth to identical twin boys at the age of 51. 
  • Released a folk album in 1998.
  • Penned a 2006 autobiography, There Are Worse Things I Could Do; it was followed in 2008 by her first novel, Vampyres of Hollywood, co-authored by Michael Scott.


  • 1977, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
  • 1972, Tony — Actress, Supporting or Featured (Musical): Nominee


  • Walker Steven Van Zandt — Son
  • Billy Van Zandt — Husband
  • John Carpenter — Ex-husband
  • John Cody Carpenter — Son
  • Burt Reynolds — Ex-significant Other
  • William Dalton Van Zandt — Son


  • Attended Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, California, United States

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  • Birth Place: Sacramento, California, United States
  • Profession: Actor, Singer, Author

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