On This Day

John Barrymore

Actor John Barrymore

Full Name: John Sidney Blyth
Profession: Actor

Nationality:
United States of America
American

Why Famous: John Barrymore was one of the foremost actors of his generation, making his reputation on stage in dramatic roles, including William Shakespeare's "Richard III" (1920) and "Hamlet" (1922).

Part of an acting dynasty, his parents were actors as was his brother Lionel Barrymore and sister Ethel. He is also the grandfather of Drew Barrymore.

Barrymore began making films from 1913, including "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1920), "Rasputin and the Empress" (1932 with his brother and "Grand Hotel" (1930) opposite Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford.

In his personal life Barrymore was extravagant and alcoholic and it eventually ended his career.

Born: February 15, 1882
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Star Sign: Aquarius

Died: May 29, 1942 (aged 60)
Cause of Death: Cirrhosis of the liver and kidney failure

Historical Events

  • 1926-08-06 "Don Juan" starring John Barrymore is released by Warner Bros, the 1st feature-length film to utilize the Vitaphone sound-on-disc sound system with a synchronized musical score and sound effects
  • 1932-04-12 "Grand Hotel" directed by Edmund Goulding and starring Greta Garbo and John Barrymore premieres in New York, includes the line "I want to be alone" (Best Picture/Production 1932)
  • 1932-09-29 Film "Bill of Divorcement" starring John Barrymore and Katharine Hepburn, directed by George Cukor premieres at the Mayfair

Famous Actors