John Barrymore biography

John Barrymore biography

John Barrymore, 1882-1942, American actor. John Barrymore, like his sister Ethel and brother Lionel, was the third generation in the theater world. He made his stage debut in 1903 and his film in 1914.

In the theater, he alternated between comedy roles and the classical repertoire, with highlights in John Galsworthy's Justice (1915) as well as Shakespeare's Richard III (1920) and Hamlet (1922).

On film, he played complex character roles such as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), seductive lover roles such as Don Juan (1926), and elegant living men on de route in, for example, Grand Hotel (1932) and Dinner at Eight (1933).

A hectic personal life and alcohol problems turned Barrymore into a parody of himself in recent years, but he enjoyed international recognition in his heyday. His son John Barrymore Jr. (1932-2004), and his daughter Drew Barrymore (b. 1975), are also film actors.

last updated October 2022

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