The Info List - Ethel Barrymore

Ethel Barrymore
Ethel Barrymore
(born Ethel Mae Blythe; August 15, 1879 – June 18, 1959) was an American actress and a member of the Barrymore family
Barrymore family
of actors.[1][2] Barrymore was a preeminent stage actress regarded as "The First Lady of the American Theatre" whose career spanned six decades.


1 Early life 2 Career 3 Film and broadcasting career

3.1 Film 3.2 Radio 3.3 Television

4 Popular culture 5 Private life 6 Death 7 Hollywood
Walk of Fame 8 See also 9 References 10 External links

Early life[edit] Barrymore was born Ethel Mae Blythe in Philadelphia, the second child of the actors Maurice Barrymore
Maurice Barrymore
(whose real name was Herbert Blythe) and Georgiana Drew.[3] Her father was nearly killed four months before her birth in a famous Old West
Old West
encounter in Texas while heading a traveling road company.[4] She was named for her father’s favorite character—Ethel in William Makepeace Thackeray’s The Newcomes. She was the sister of actors John and Lionel Barrymore, the aunt of actor John Drew Barrymore, and the grand-aunt of actress Drew Barrymore. She was also a granddaughter of actress and theater-manager Louisa Lane Drew, and niece of Broadway matinée idol John Drew Jr and early Vitagraph Studios
Vitagraph Studios
movie star Sidney Drew. She spent her childhood in Philadelphia, and attended Roman Catholic schools there.

Barrymore in 1901 in one of the costumes from Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines

In 1884 she, her parents and brothers sailed to England
and stayed two years. Maurice had inherited a substantial amount of money from an aunt and decided to exhibit a play and star in some plays at London's Haymarket Theatre.[5] Ethel recalled being frightened on first meeting Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde
when handing him some cakes and later being reprimanded by her parents for showing fear of Wilde. Returning to the U.S. in 1886, her father took her to her first baseball game. She established a lifelong love of baseball and wanted to be a concert pianist.[6] The years in England
were the happiest of her childhood years due to the fact the Barrymores were more of a nuclear family in London
than at any other time when in the United States. Career[edit] In the summer of 1893 Barrymore was in the company of her mother, Georgie, who had been ailing from tuberculosis and took a sabbatical for a cure to Santa Barbara, California
not far from where family friend Helena Modjeska
Helena Modjeska
had a retreat. Georgie did not recover and died in July 1893 a week before her 37th birthday. Essentially Ethel and Lionel's childhood ended when Georgie died; they were forced to go to work in their teens with neither finishing high school. John, a few years younger, stayed with their grandmother and other relatives. Barrymore's first appearance on Broadway was in 1895, in a play called The Imprudent Young Couple which starred her uncle John Drew, Jr., and Maude Adams. She appeared with Drew and Adams again in 1896 in Rosemary.[7] In 1897 Ethel went with William Gillette
William Gillette
to London
to play Miss Kittridge in Gillette's Secret Service. She was about to return to the States with Gillette's troupe when Henry Irving
Henry Irving
and Ellen Terry offered her the role of Annette in The Bells. A full London
tour was on and, before it was over, Ethel created, on New Years Day
New Years Day
1898, Euphrosine in Peter the Great at the Lyceum, the play having been written by Irving's son, Laurence. Men everywhere were smitten with Ethel, most notably Winston Churchill, who asked her to marry him. Not wishing to be a politician's wife, she refused. Winston, years later, married Clementine Hozier, a ravishing beauty who looked very much like Ethel. Winston and Ethel remained friends until the end of her life. Their “romance” was their own little secret until his son let the cat out of the bag 63 years after it happened.[8] After her season in London, Ethel returned to the U.S. Charles Frohman cast her first in Catherine and then as Stella de Grex in His Excellency the Governor. After that, Frohman finally gave Ethel the role that would make her a star: Madame Trentoni in Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines,[9] which opened at the Garrick Theatre
Garrick Theatre
in London's West End on February 4, 1901. Unbeknownst to Ethel, her father Maurice had witnessed the performance as an audience member and walked up to his daughter, congratulated her and gave her a big hug. It was the first and only time he saw her on stage professionally. When the tour concluded in Boston
in June, she had out-drawn two of the most prominent actresses of her day, Mrs. Patrick Campbell
Mrs. Patrick Campbell
and Minnie Maddern Fiske.

Barrymore playing the male character Carrots in a play of the same name, 1902

Following her triumph in Captain Jinks, Ethel gave sterling performances in many top-rate productions, and it was in Thomas Raceward's Sunday that she uttered what would be her most famous line, "That's all there is, there isn't any more."[10] She portrayed Nora in A Doll's House
A Doll's House
by Ibsen (1905), and Juliet
in Romeo and Juliet
by Shakespeare (1922). She was a strong supporter of the Actors' Equity Association
Actors' Equity Association
and had a high-profile role in the 1919 strike. In 1926, she scored one of her greatest successes as the sophisticated spouse of a philandering husband in W. Somerset Maugham's comedy, The Constant Wife
The Constant Wife
(Maugham counted himself among her admirers, saying that during rehearsals for the play he had "fallen madly in love with her").[11] She starred in Rasputin and the Empress
Rasputin and the Empress
(1932), playing the Czarina married to Czar Nicholas. In July 1934, she starred in the play Laura Garnett, by Leslie and Sewell Stokes, at Dobbs Ferry, New York. After she became a stage star, she would often dismiss adoring audiences who kept demanding curtain calls by saying "That's all there is—there isn't any more!" This became a popular catch phrase in the 1920s and 1930s. Many references to it can be found in the media of the period, including the Laurel and Hardy
Laurel and Hardy
1933 film Sons of the Desert, and Arthur Train's 1930 Wall Street Crash novel Paper Profits. It is sometimes recalled on modern day radio stations annually every August 15 when Ethel's birthday is mentioned. Barrymore was a baseball and boxing fan. Her admiration for boxing ended when she witnessed as a spectator the brutality of the July 4, 1919, Dempsey/Willard fight in which Dempsey broke Willard's jaw and knocked out several of his teeth. Ethel vowed never to attend another boxing match, though she would later watch boxing on television. In 1928, the Shuberts opened the Ethel Barrymore
Ethel Barrymore
Theatre, which operates under that name to the present day. Film and broadcasting career[edit]

Early portrait circa 1908

See also: Ethel Barrymore
Ethel Barrymore
on stage, screen and radio Film[edit] Barrymore appeared in her first feature motion picture, The Nightingale, in 1914. Members of her family were already in pictures; uncle Sidney Drew, his wife Gladys Rankin and Lionel had entered films in 1911 and John made his first feature in 1913 after having debuted in Lubin short films in 1912. She made 15 silent pictures between 1914 and 1919, most of them for the Metro Pictures
Metro Pictures
studio. Most of these pictures were made on the East Coast, as her Broadway career and children came first. A few of her silent films have survived for example one reel from The Awakening of Helena Richie (1916) which survives at the Library of Congress
Library of Congress
and The Call of Her People
The Call of Her People
(1917) held at George Eastman House.[12][13] The only two films that featured all three siblings—Ethel, John and Lionel—were National Red Cross Pageant
National Red Cross Pageant
(1917) and Rasputin and the Empress (1932). The former film is now considered a lost film. Barrymore won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
for her role in the film None but the Lonely Heart (1944) opposite Cary Grant, but made plain that she was not overly impressed by it. She appeared in The Spiral Staircase (1946) directed by Robert Siodmak, The Paradine Case
The Paradine Case
(1947) directed by Alfred Hitchcock, Portrait of Jennie
Portrait of Jennie
(1948), and “The Red Danube” (1949), among others. Her last film appearance was in Johnny Trouble
Johnny Trouble
(1957). Radio[edit] Barrymore starred in Miss Hattie, described as "a short-lived situation comedy," on ABC in 1944-1945.[14] In one episode, Barrymore's character was "asked by Rob Thompson to direct a play which the workers of his war plant are presenting in order to raise money for war bonds."[15] Television[edit] Barrymore also made a number of television appearances in the 1950s, including one memorable encounter with comedian Jimmy Durante
Jimmy Durante
on NBC's All Star Revue on December 1, 1951, which is preserved on a kinescope. In 1956, she hosted 14 episodes of a TV series Ethel Barrymore Theatre, produced by the DuMont Television Network
DuMont Television Network
and presented on the DuMont flagship station WABD just as the network was folding. Unfortunately none of the episodes were preserved on kinescope. A 1952 appearance on What's My Line?
What's My Line?
survives, however, in addition to several radio broadcasts. Barrymore appeared in the Academy Award nominated film Pinky (1949), for which she was awarded an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Popular culture[edit] In the romantic time travel film, Somewhere in Time (1980), a photo of Barrymore wearing nun's habit from her 1928 play The Kingdom of God can be seen. Christopher Reeve
Christopher Reeve
plays a journalist rummaging through old theater albums at a large Michigan hotel. He uncovers the photos of Barrymore in the play and childhood photos of actresses Blanche Ring and Rose Stahl. Private life[edit]

Barrymore in 1901

Ethel Barrymore, husband Russell Griswold Colt and their three children, circa 1914.

Portrait by Carl Van Vechten, 1937

Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
was among many Barrymore's new friends in England. Churchill reportedly proposed to her in 1900;[16] Barrymore mentions no such thing in her autobiography, though she includes a photograph of herself and Churchill on the lawn at Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace
in 1899. While touring in England
at age nineteen, she had been rumored to be engaged to the Duke of Manchester, actor Gerald du Maurier
Gerald du Maurier
and writer Richard Harding Davis and the aforementioned Churchill.[17] Upon her engagement to Laurence Irving, son of Sir Henry Irving, an old friend of Mrs. John Drew, she cabled her father Maurice, who responded with a cable "Congratulations!". When she broke up with Irving, she cabled Maurice who wired back, "Congratulations!".[citation needed] Ethel Barrymore
Ethel Barrymore
married Russell Griswold Colt (1882–1960) on March 14, 1909. The couple had been introduced, according to Barrymore's autobiography, when Colt had strolled by the table where she was having lunch with her uncle, actor John (Uncle Jack) Drew, in Sherry's Restaurant in New York.[18] A New York Times article of 1911, when Barrymore first took preliminary divorce measures against Colt, states that Colt had been introduced to Barrymore by her brother John Barrymore some years before while Colt was still a student at Yale.[19] The couple had three children: Samuel "Sammy" Colt (1909–1986), a Hollywood
agent and occasional actor; actress/singer Ethel Barrymore Colt (1912–1977), who appeared on Broadway in Stephen Sondheim's Follies; and John Drew Colt (1913–1975), who became an actor. Barrymore's marriage to Colt was precarious from the start, with Barrymore filing divorce papers as early in the marriage as 1911, much to Colt's surprise, and later recanted by Barrymore as a misunderstanding by the press. At least one source alleged Colt abused her and that he fathered a child with another woman while married to Barrymore. They divorced in 1923. Barrymore did not seek alimony from Colt for herself, which was her right, but she demanded that his entailed wealth provide for their children.[citation needed] A devout Catholic,[citation needed] Ethel Barrymore
Ethel Barrymore
never remarried. Death[edit]

Crypt of Ethel Barrymore
Ethel Barrymore
at Calvary Cemetery

Ethel Barrymore
Ethel Barrymore
died of cardiovascular disease in 1959, at her home in Hollywood, after having lived for many years with a heart condition. She was less than two months shy of her 80th birthday. She was entombed at Calvary Cemetery. The Ethel Barrymore Theatre
Ethel Barrymore Theatre
in New York City is named for her.[20] Barrymore was a member of the American Theater Hall of Fame, along with her brothers, John and Lionel.[21] Hollywood
Walk of Fame[edit] In 1960, Barrymore was posthumously inducted into the Hollywood
Walk of Fame with a motion pictures star for her contributions to the film industry. Her star is located at 7001 Hollywood
Boulevard.[22] See also[edit]

Biography portal

List of actors with Academy Award nominations List of covers of Time magazine (1920s)
List of covers of Time magazine (1920s)
– 10 Nov. 1924


^ Obituary Variety, June 24, 1959. ^ Ethel Barrymore
Ethel Barrymore
- North American Theatre Online ^ Famous Actors and Actresses On The American Stage Vol.1 A-J by William C. Young c. 1975 ( Ethel Barrymore
Ethel Barrymore
entry pages56-60) ^ DIGGING THE PAST: My Brother's Keeper, A Mayor and His Murderous Sibling; March 11, 2013 Retrieved January 13, 2017 ^ House of Barrymore, The by Margot Peters c.1990] Retrieved April 6, 2016 ^ Memories, Barrymore, Ethel c.1955] Retrieved April 6, 2016 ^ "Ethel Barrymore", Internet Broadway Database, January 20, 2016 ^ Frohman, Daniel, & Isaac F. Marcosson, “The Life of Charles Frohman,” Cosmopolitan, Volume 61, 1916, p. 370. ^ Hardcover Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines with a likeness of Ethel Barrymore ^ Peters, Margot, The House of Barrymore (Simon & Schuster, 1991), pp. 95, 97; Barrymore, Ethel, Memories, An Autobiography (Harper, 1955), p. 148. ^ Raphael, Frederic (1976). W. Somerset Maugham
W. Somerset Maugham
and his world. London: Thames & Hudson. p. 62. ISBN 0-684-14839-0.  ^ Catalog of Holdings, The American Film Institute Collection and the United Artists Collection at The Library of Congress, page 10 published by The American Film Institute c. 1978; for The Awakening of Helena Ritchie (1916) ^ The Call of Her People. silentera.com ^ Sies, Luther F. (2014). Encyclopedia of American Radio, 1920-1960, 2nd Edition, Volume 1. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-5149-4. P. 56. ^ "WHMA". The Anniston Sun. February 11, 1945. p. 6. Retrieved April 16, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  ^ Wenden, D.J. (1993). "Churchill, Radio, and Cinema". In Blake, Robert B.; Louis, William Roger. Churchill. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 236. ISBN 0-19-820626-7.  ^ Great Stars of the American Stage by Daniel Blum c.1952 Profile #56 ^ Memories: An Autobiography by Ethel Barrymore. (Harper and Brothers, 1955, page 162.) ^ " Ethel Barrymore
Ethel Barrymore
to Sue for Divorce". The New York Times. July 8, 1911. ^ " Ethel Barrymore
Ethel Barrymore
Is Dead at 79; One of Stage's 'Royal Family'". The New York Times, June 19, 1959. ^ "Theatre Hall of Fame members". Retrieved February 6, 2014. [permanent dead link] ^ " Hollywood
Walk of Fame - Ethel Barrymore". walkoffame.com. Hollywood
Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved November 14, 2017. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ethel Barrymore.

14220, 78923 Ethel Barrymore
Ethel Barrymore
at the Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
Ethel Barrymore
Ethel Barrymore
on IMDb allmovie.com Queen Ethel Comes This Way Again(Wayback Machine) Ethel Barrymore
Ethel Barrymore
photos and literature NYP Library Ethel Barrymore
Ethel Barrymore
photo gallery - Fanpix with brother Lionel on his last film, Main Street to Broadway 1953 Ethel Barrymore
Ethel Barrymore
guest appearance on Whats My Line October 12, 1952 begins at 16:27 Hattie Williams, Ethel and John Barrymore
John Barrymore
bow to the audience after a performance of A Slice of Life (1912) (*if pic doesn't load click on the -->worthpoint link and then return to cloud link and click) Ethel Barrymore: Broadway Photographs (Univ. of South Carolina) Ethel Barrymore
Ethel Barrymore
- Aveleyman Ethel Barrymore
Ethel Barrymore
at Findagrave.com

v t e

Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress


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Gale Sondergaard
(1936) Alice Brady
Alice Brady
(1937) Fay Bainter
Fay Bainter
(1938) Hattie McDaniel
Hattie McDaniel
(1939) Jane Darwell
Jane Darwell
(1940) Mary Astor
Mary Astor
(1941) Teresa Wright
Teresa Wright
(1942) Katina Paxinou
Katina Paxinou
(1943) Ethel Barrymore
Ethel Barrymore
(1944) Anne Revere
Anne Revere
(1945) Anne Baxter
Anne Baxter
(1946) Celeste Holm
Celeste Holm
(1947) Claire Trevor
Claire Trevor
(1948) Mercedes McCambridge
Mercedes McCambridge
(1949) Josephine Hull (1950)


Kim Hunter
Kim Hunter
(1951) Gloria Grahame
Gloria Grahame
(1952) Donna Reed
Donna Reed
(1953) Eva Marie Saint
Eva Marie Saint
(1954) Jo Van Fleet
Jo Van Fleet
(1955) Dorothy Malone
Dorothy Malone
(1956) Miyoshi Umeki
Miyoshi Umeki
(1957) Wendy Hiller
Wendy Hiller
(1958) Shelley Winters
Shelley Winters
(1959) Shirley Jones
Shirley Jones
(1960) Rita Moreno
Rita Moreno
(1961) Patty Duke
Patty Duke
(1962) Margaret Rutherford
Margaret Rutherford
(1963) Lila Kedrova
Lila Kedrova
(1964) Shelley Winters
Shelley Winters
(1965) Sandy Dennis (1966) Estelle Parsons
Estelle Parsons
(1967) Ruth Gordon
Ruth Gordon
(1968) Goldie Hawn
Goldie Hawn
(1969) Helen Hayes
Helen Hayes
(1970) Cloris Leachman
Cloris Leachman
(1971) Eileen Heckart (1972) Tatum O'Neal
Tatum O'Neal
(1973) Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid Bergman
(1974) Lee Grant
Lee Grant


Beatrice Straight (1976) Vanessa Redgrave
Vanessa Redgrave
(1977) Maggie Smith
Maggie Smith
(1978) Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
(1979) Mary Steenburgen
Mary Steenburgen
(1980) Maureen Stapleton
Maureen Stapleton
(1981) Jessica Lange
Jessica Lange
(1982) Linda Hunt
Linda Hunt
(1983) Peggy Ashcroft
Peggy Ashcroft
(1984) Anjelica Huston
Anjelica Huston
(1985) Dianne Wiest
Dianne Wiest
(1986) Olympia Dukakis
Olympia Dukakis
(1987) Geena Davis
Geena Davis
(1988) Brenda Fricker
Brenda Fricker
(1989) Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg
(1990) Mercedes Ruehl
Mercedes Ruehl
(1991) Marisa Tomei
Marisa Tomei
(1992) Anna Paquin
Anna Paquin
(1993) Dianne Wiest
Dianne Wiest
(1994) Mira Sorvino
Mira Sorvino
(1995) Juliette Binoche
Juliette Binoche
(1996) Kim Basinger
Kim Basinger
(1997) Judi Dench
Judi Dench
(1998) Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie
(1999) Marcia Gay Harden
Marcia Gay Harden


Jennifer Connelly
Jennifer Connelly
(2001) Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones
(2002) Renée Zellweger
Renée Zellweger
(2003) Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett
(2004) Rachel Weisz
Rachel Weisz
(2005) Jennifer Hudson
Jennifer Hudson
(2006) Tilda Swinton
Tilda Swinton
(2007) Penélope Cruz
Penélope Cruz
(2008) Mo'Nique
(2009) Melissa Leo
Melissa Leo
(2010) Octavia Spencer
Octavia Spencer
(2011) Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway
(2012) Lupita Nyong'o
Lupita Nyong'o
(2013) Patricia Arquette
Patricia Arquette
(2014) Alicia Vikander
Alicia Vikander
(2015) Viola Davis
Viola Davis
(2016) Allison Janney
Allison Janney

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 59346424 LCCN: n85151791 ISNI: 0000 0001 1652 3170 GND: 118657364 SUDOC: 083305130 BNF: cb14659627n (data) BNE: XX1658279 SN