Barrymore, John


Barrymore, John
(1882-1942)
   The most mercurial and perhaps the most talented of the Drew-Barrymore theatrical dynasty, John Barrymore, son of Maurice and Georgiana Drew Barrymore, was born in Philadelphia. Like his siblings, Ethel and Lionel Barry-more, he resisted going on the stage, working for a time as a newspaper illustrator in hopes of becoming a serious artist. He finally gave in to the family business, beginning as a light comedian of virile good looks in generally superficial plays. Barrymore's debut in Chicago in Magda and in New York in Glad of It, both in 1903, were in innocuous vehicles, but a series of supporting roles in The Dictator (1904), Yvette (1904), Sunday (1905), Alice Sit-by-the-Fire (1905), and Miss Civilization (1906) led to larger roles in The Boys of Company B (1907), Toddles (1908), A Stubborn Cinderella (1909), and The Fortune Hunter (1909), which was a long-running hit. Critics began to take notice of Barrymore with his performance in The Affairs of Anatol (1912), followed by The Yellow Ticket and Kick In, both in 1914, but he expended much of his energy on drinking and countless love affairs.
   Barrymore won acclaim and stardom in more demanding roles beginning with John Galsworthy's Justice (1916) and Leo Tolstoy's Redemption (1918), and in two plays in which he costarred with his brother, Lionel: Peter Ibbetson (1917) and The Jest (1919), for which they both won plaudits. In the early 1920s, Barrymore became a star in silent motion pictures, appearing in such classics as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), Beau Brummel (1924), The Sea Beast (1926), and Don Juan (1926). His most important stage achievements in this era came in Shakespeare when he performed in two Arthur Hopkins productions with scene designs by Robert Edmond Jones: Richard III (1920) and Hamlet (1922). In the latter, he played 101 consecutive performances, one more than Edwin Booth's record of 100 performances. These modernist productions featured Jones's stylized designs enhanced by Barrymore's poetic and emotionally intellectual acting. Although he was hailed as the greatest stage actor of his age, he turned almost exclusively to screen work after the mid-1920s.
   With the dawn of sound films, Barrymore's screen fame grew even greater and he acted with distinction in many movies in the early 1930s, including Svengali (1931), Grand Hotel (1932), Dinner at Eight* (1933), Counsellor-at-Law* (1933), and Twentieth Century* (1934), but his persistent carousing took a toll. He made a final Broadway appearance in an unworthy vehicle, My Dear Children (1940), in which he parodied himself, although in one scene he deeply moved critics when, while playing a ham actor, he delivered one of Hamlet's soliloquies with flashes of the brilliance he had demonstrated nearly 20 years before.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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  • Barrymore, John — ▪ American actor original name  John Blyth   born Feb. 15, 1882, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S. died May 29, 1942, Hollywood, Calif.   American actor, called “The Great Profile,” who is remembered both for his roles as a debonair leading man and for his …   Universalium

  • Barrymore, John — • БА РРИМОР (Barrymore) Джон (наст. фам. Блайт, Blythe) (15.2.1882 29.5.1942)    амер. актёр. Играл в т ре, прославился в шекспировских ролях (Гамлет, Ричард III и др.). В кино с 1913 (ф. Американский гражданин ). Снялся в ф.: Рафлз, вор любитель …   Кино: Энциклопедический словарь

  • Barrymore, John — pseud. di Blythe, John …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Barrymore, John Drew — ▪ 2005       American actor (b. June 4, 1932, Beverly Hills, Calif. d. Nov. 29, 2004, Los Angeles, Calif.), was a fourth generation member of one of the most famous American theatrical families and the father of actress Drew Barrymore but… …   Universalium

  • John Barrymore — a los cuarenta años de edad (en 1922) Nombre real John Sidney Blythe Barrymore Nacimiento 15 de febrero de 1882 …   Wikipedia Español

  • John Barrymore (acteur) — John Barrymore  Pour l’article homonyme, voir Barrymore.  John Barrymore John Barrymore en …   Wikipédia en Français

  • John Barrymore — Infobox actor name = John Barrymore imagesize = 250px caption = John Barrymore (aged 40) (1922) birthname = John Sidney Blyth birthdate = birth date|1882|2|15|mf=y birthplace = Philadelphia, Pennsylvania deathdate = death date and… …   Wikipedia

  • John Barrymore —  Pour l’article homonyme, voir Barrymore.  John Barrymore …   Wikipédia en Français

  • John Drew Barrymore —  Pour l’article homonyme, voir Barrymore.  John Drew Barrymore est un acteur et réalisateur américain né le 4 juin 1932 à Los Angeles, Californie (États Unis), décédé le 29 novembre 2004 à Los Angeles (É. U.). Il est le deuxième enfant… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Barrymore, Ethel — ▪ American actress original name  Ethel Blythe  born Aug. 15, 1879, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S. died June 18, 1959, Hollywood, Calif.  American stage and film actress whose distinctive style, voice, and wit made her the “first lady” of the American… …   Universalium


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