John BARRYMORE

Family tree of John BARRYMORE

Actor

AmericanBorn John Sidney BARRYMORE

American actor of stage and screen

Born on February 15, 1882 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US

Died on May 29, 1942 in Los Angeles, California, USA

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Barrymore was born in the Philadelphia home of his maternal grandmother. His parents were Maurice Barrymore and Georgie Drew Barrymore. His maternal grandmother was Louisa Lane Drew (aka Mrs Drew), a prominent and well-respected 19th-century actress and theater manager, who instilled in him and his siblings the ways of acting and theatre life. His uncles were John Drew, Jr. and Sidney Drew.



Barrymore fondly remembered the summer of 1896 in his youth, spent on his father's rambling estate on Long Island. He and Lionel lived a Robinson Crusoe-like existence, attended by a black servant named Edward. John was expelled from Georgetown Preparatory School in 1898 after being caught entering a bordello.

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Barrymore studied to be an artist and worked on New York newspapers before deciding to go into the family business as an actor. He made his stage debut in 1903. He first appeared on the London stage two years later.



While still a teenager, he courted showgirl Evelyn Nesbit in 1901 and 1902. For years, rumors swirled that Nesbit had become pregnant and that Barrymore had arranged an abortion, disguised as an operation for "appendicitis". In 1906, another Nesbit lover, famed architect Stanford White, was murdered by Nesbit's husband, Pittsburgh millionaire Harry K. Thaw. Barrymore was subpoenaed to testify at Thaw's trial in defense hopes of showing that Nesbit had a history of "immorality." Both Barrymore and Nesbit denied the abortion story under oath.



Barrymore was staying at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco when the 1906 earthquake struck. He had starred in a production of The Dictator and was booked to tour Australia with it. Since he loathed this prospect, he hid, spending the next few days drinking at the home of a friend on Van Ness Avenue. During this drinking jag, he worked out a plan to exploit the earthquake for his own ends. He decided to present himself as an on-the-scene "reporter", making up virtually everything he claimed to have witnessed. Twenty years later, Barrymore finally confessed to his deception, but by then, he was so famous that the world merely smiled indulgently at his admission." His account was written as a "letter to my sister Ethel". He was sure the letter would be "worth at least a hundred dollars." In terms of publicity it earned Barrymore a thousand times that amount.



Barrymore was also great friends and a drinking buddy with baseball legend Mike Donlin. Donlin eventually appeared in two of Barrymore's silent movies, Raffles The Amateur Cracksman and The Sea Beast.



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Geographical origins

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