John Barrymore

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Stage Actor
Date of Birth February 15, 1882
Place of Birth Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date of Death May 29, 1942 (60)
Horoscope Aquarius

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John Barrymore

John Barrymore was an American actor on stage, screen and radio. A member of the Drew and Barrymore theatrical families, he initially tried to avoid the stage, and briefly attempted a career as an artist, but appeared on stage together with his father Maurice in 1900, and then his sister Ethel the following year. He began his career in 1903 and first gained attention as a stage actor in light comedy, then high drama, culminating in productions of Justice, Richard III and Hamlet; his portrayal of Hamlet led to him being called the "greatest living American tragedian". After a success as Hamlet in London in 1925, Barrymore left the stage for 14 years and instead focused entirely on films. In the silent film era, he was well received in such pictures as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Sherlock Holmes and The Sea Beast. During this period, he gained his nickname, the Great Profile.

Born: John Sidney Blyth, February 14 or 15, 1882, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died: May 29, 1942, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting place: Mount Vernon Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Relatives: See Barrymore family
IMDb: John Barrymore's IMDb

About John Barrymore

Prolific actor of stage and film, and grandfather of Drew Barrymore, who starred in Don Juan and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.

Before Fame

He originally wanted to escape his theatrical heritage and attempted to be a cartoonist and reporter for newspapers in New York City, though he eventually decided to join the family business. He made his debut on stage at the Cleveland Theater in Chicago in 1903.


His theatrical career took off when he starred in a silent film adaptation of Hamlet in 1922, having starred as Dane in the Broadway production for 101 performances.

Family Life

His parents, Maurice and Georgiana Drew, were well-known stage actors, and his siblings also became actors in film and theater.


His beloved granddaughter is popular movie actress Drew Barrymore.

Information related to John Barrymore

  • Barrymore family
  • American male Shakespearean actors
  • Warner Bros. contract players
  • Male actors from Philadelphia
  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract players
  • American male radio actors
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Latest information about John Barrymore updated on July 13, 2020.

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