Well my little Monsters, what started out as a difficult decision as to which wonderful Woman of Horror I should focus on quickly became a no brainier. Based on her resume, Barbara Crampton was a more than obvious choice.
Barbara turned out to be a belated Christmas gift for her parents, being born on December 27th of 1958 on Long Island, New York. She grew up in Vermont, and would spend her summers trekking across the country with her father, who was employed by a traveling carnival.
Barbara caught the acting bug young and started acting in school plays in the 7th grade. Her love for the art continued to grow as she studied acting at Rutland Senior High School before going on to Vermont’s Castleton State College where she would earn a Bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts. Following graduation, Barbara made her way to New York, where she would appear as Cordelia in The American Theater for Actors’ production of King Lear.
After that? Well it was off to LA for Barbara. Beginning with a role on Days of Our Lives, Barbara would make a few appearances on television before landing a part in Brian De Palma‘s erotic horror thriller, Body Double. The following year, Barbnara would be cast as Megan Halsey in Stuart Gordon’s cult classic adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s Re-Animator. Some horror fans may argue it’s the role she is best known for, and the one that solidified her place in the history of the horror genre. I remember fondly the night a couple of friends and I were watching it on cable for the first time at another friend’s house, when his father walks in during the scene when Megan Halsey is about to be …uh, violated by Dr. Hill. He didn’t miss a beat with his quick joke about giving and receiving “head” before turning and walking out. Luckily for us, we had all just reached the age where we could actually understand the joke without having to fake it. Anyways, that’s enough reminiscing…time to get back to Barbara. Over the next few years she would have roles in some other genre cult classics such as Chopping Mall, From Beyond and even had a cameo appearance Puppet Master.
Despite the fact that well over half of Barbara’s film credits are films in the horror genre, she has definitely shown the ability to work across genre lines. Over the years Barbara has made many appearances on television in both TV movies and numerous series, and even had recurring roles on Guiding Light, The Bold and the Beautiful, Spyder Games and The Young and the Restless.
The one detail about her aforementioned roles within the horror genre, that may please many horror fans, is that the largest number of them have come about over the last decade. This certainly serves as an indicator that Babrara has found a renewed love for horror films. She further explained her resurgence in the genre when she said, “It’s just much more of an exciting, artistic community that is really collaborative, so I think it’s really exciting now. I’m just jazzed to be back and hanging out with all of these young people.” In the last two years alone, Barbara has starred in six horror films, including We Are Still Here, Road Games, Tales of Halloween, Beyond the Gates and will also be appearing in the recently completed film, Death House. Aside from that, she also has a movie in post-production and is currently filming another.
As is the case with many of these wonderful ladies, Barbara is a loving wife and mother of two children. In fact, at one point she took time away from acting so that she could devote time to her family life. But I think as horror fans, we can all agree that it’s definitely nice to have her back.
Barbara is one of the wonderful Women of Horror I have yet to have the honor of meeting in person, but I’m waiting…patiently(?). So it goes without saying I have no experiences to dish about. BUT, should any of you Little Monsters out there wish to know more about her or any projects she may have coming up, hit up her official IMDb page or maybe even give Barbara a follow at her official Twitter page.
So until next time my Little Monsters, in the words of the immortal Dr. Demento, “don’t forget to stay demented.”
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