John Barrymore

Actor, Author, Scenic and poster design
Affectionately referred to as "The Great Profile," the classically handsome actor John Barrymore was more suited for leading man roles than his older sibling, Lionel, and more inclined to work in film than his revered ... Read more »
Born: 02/15/1882 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Filmography

Actor (27)

Marie Antoinette 1937 (Movie)

(Actor)

Maytime 1936 (Movie)

(Actor)

Romeo and Juliet 1935 (Movie)

Mercutio (Actor)

Twentieth Century 1934 (Movie)

Oscar Jaffe (Actor)

Dinner at Eight 1932 (Movie)

Larry Renault (Actor)

Grand Hotel 1932 (Movie)

Baron felix von Gaigern (Actor)

Reunion in Vienna 1932 (Movie)

(Actor)

Topaze 1932 (Movie)

Topaze (Actor)

A Bill of Divorcement 1931 (Movie)

Hilary (Actor)

Tempest 1927 (Movie)

(Actor)

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1919 (Movie)

(Actor)

Bulldog Drummond's Peril (Movie)

Col. Nielson (Actor)

Eternal Love (Movie)

Marcus Paltram (Actor)

General Crack (Movie)

Gen. Crack (Actor)

Hold That Co-Ed (Movie)

Governor (Actor)

Long Lost Father (Movie)

Carl Bellaire (Actor)

Playmates (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Rasputin and the Empress (Movie)

Prince Paul Chegodieff (Actor)

Spawn of the North (Movie)

Windy Turlon (Actor)

State's Attorney (Movie)

Tom Cardigan (Actor)

The Beloved Rogue (Movie)

Francois Villon (Actor)

The Great Man Votes (Movie)

Vance (Actor)

The Great Profile (Movie)

Evans Garrick (Actor)

The Mad Genius (Movie)

Ivan Tzarakov (Actor)

The Sea Beast (Movie)

Ahab Ceeley (Actor)

True Confession (Movie)

Charley (Actor)

World Premiere (Movie)

Duncan DeGrasse (Actor)

Biography

Affectionately referred to as "The Great Profile," the classically handsome actor John Barrymore was more suited for leading man roles than his older sibling, Lionel, and more inclined to work in film than his revered stage actress sister, Ethel. The youngest member of the renowned Barrymore acting dynasty, the exceptionally adaptable performer transitioned from acclaimed work on Broadway to the emerging medium of silent pictures in films like "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1920). He made the move to sound appear just as effortless in such heralded works as "Moby Dick" (1930), "The Mad Genius" (1931) and "Grand Hotel" (1932), the latter of which boasted an all-star cast, including brother Lionel and Greta Garbo. Films of the time, like "A Bill of Divorcement" (1932), "Dinner at Eight" (1933) and "Twentieth Century" (1934) consistently placed Barrymore at the top of the box office heap. The actor's unrestrained affection for women and alcohol, however, eventually eroded both his ability to maintain his finances and perform to expectation. A late-career turn as the star of "The Great Man Votes" (1939) gave audiences one last glimpse of his innate talent before giving way to self-parodies like "The Great Profile" (1940). Nonetheless, Barrymore's contributions to theater and film would be undeniable, continuing to reverberate in the performances of such actors as Sir Laurence Olivier and his own granddaughter, Drew Barrymore, and his storied life referenced in such films as "My Favorite Year" (1982).

Relationships

Dolores Ethel Mae Barrymore

Daughter
born on 1930 mother, Dolores Costello

Elaine Barrie

Wife
born in 1915 married on November 6, 1936 divorced after several months, but later had decree set aside

Drew Barrymore Actor

Granddaughter
Born on Feb. 22, 1975 to John Drew Barrymore and Ildiko Jaid Mako (Jaid Barrymore)

Maurice Barrymore

Father
born on September 21, 1847

Diana Barrymore

Daughter
born on March 3, 1920 died in 1960 mother, Michael Strange author of autobiography, "Too Much, Too Soon" (1957)

John Barrymore

Son
born in 1932, mother, Dolores Costello

Lionel Barrymore

Brother
born on April 28, 1878 died on November 15, 1954 acted together in film on several occasions

Ethel Barrymore

Sister
born on August 15, 1879 died on June 18, 1959 acted together with John and with brother Lionel in "Rasputin and the Empress" (1932)

John Barrymore

Grandson
born in 1954

Dolores Costello Actor

Wife

Dolores Costello

Wife
born in 1906 leading lady in several Barrymore vehicles married in 1928 went into semi-retirement after birth of daughter and son divorced in 1934 died in 1979

Georgiana Drew

Mother

John Drew

Uncle

Katherine Harris

Wife
married on September 1, 1910 at age 18 against wishes of her father but with mother's blessing divorced on December 4, 1917 died at 1927

Eliza Lane

Great-Grandmother

Michael Strange

Wife
born in 1890 formerly Mrs. Leonard Thomas once cited by French artist Helleu as the most beautiful woman in the USA mother of Diana married on August 5, 1920 divorced died in 1950

Milestones

1941

Recited Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy in last film "Playmates"

1936

Realized long ambition to portray a Shakespearian character on film; played Mercutio in "Romeo and Juliet"

1934

Seriously ill; journeyed to India upon recovery

1933

Made Technicolor tests of Hamlet's soliloquies for a film which was never made

1929

Recited from "Richard III" in first sound film appearance, "Show of Shows"

1926

Starred in first film with recorded and synchronized musical score, "Don Juan"

1920

Enjoyed great stage successes in New York, London, and on tour, especially with "Richard III" and "Hamlet"

1913

Screen acting debut, "An American Citizen"

1909

Achieved matinee idol status in "The Fortune Hunter"

1903

New York debut, "Glad of It"

1903

Stage debut, "Magda"

Bonus Trivia

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"I like to be introduced as America's foremost actor. It precludes the necessity for further effort." --remark attributed to Barrymore by The New York Times May 30, 1942. and by Halliwell's Filmgoer's Companion, 8th ed.

.

When a woman discovered Barrymore relieving himself in a ladies' room, she sniffed, "Mr. Barrymore, this is for ladies!" Turning around without zipping his pants up first, Barrymore responded, "So, my dear, is this!" --story recounted in Halliwell's Filmgoer's Companion, 8th ed.

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