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Ethel Barrymore

Ethel Barrymore

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Also Known As: Ethel Mae Blyth Died: June 18, 1959
Born: August 15, 1879 Cause of Death: heart ailment
Birth Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Profession: actor, author

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A member of America's multi-generational acting dynasty, Ethel Barrymore established herself as "the first lady of the American stage" prior to following her brothers, Lionel and John, to the land of Hollywood and motion pictures. After paying her dues with smaller roles on the stages of New York and further honing her craft abroad in the U.K., Barrymore became a bona fide Broadway star with her 1901 performance in "Captain Jinx of the Horse Marines." So popular was she during her heyday, that her good-humored admonition to persistent theater audiences wanting another curtain call - "That's all there is, there isn't any more," became an oft-quoted catchphrase throughout the 1920s and '30s. Barrymore's five-year dalliance with silent films in the late-teens was pushed aside in favor of theater and family. A chance to work with both Lionel and John lured her back in front of cameras for "Rasputin and the Empress" (1932), although not for long. Her final, permanent return to film came 11 years later, at the behest of Cary Grant, with whom she co-starred in "None But the Lonely Heart" (1944). The role won her an Academy Award and paved the way for more turns, usually as stern but caring maternal figures,...

A member of America's multi-generational acting dynasty, Ethel Barrymore established herself as "the first lady of the American stage" prior to following her brothers, Lionel and John, to the land of Hollywood and motion pictures. After paying her dues with smaller roles on the stages of New York and further honing her craft abroad in the U.K., Barrymore became a bona fide Broadway star with her 1901 performance in "Captain Jinx of the Horse Marines." So popular was she during her heyday, that her good-humored admonition to persistent theater audiences wanting another curtain call - "That's all there is, there isn't any more," became an oft-quoted catchphrase throughout the 1920s and '30s. Barrymore's five-year dalliance with silent films in the late-teens was pushed aside in favor of theater and family. A chance to work with both Lionel and John lured her back in front of cameras for "Rasputin and the Empress" (1932), although not for long. Her final, permanent return to film came 11 years later, at the behest of Cary Grant, with whom she co-starred in "None But the Lonely Heart" (1944). The role won her an Academy Award and paved the way for more turns, usually as stern but caring maternal figures, in films like "The Spiral Staircase" (1946), "The Paradine Case" (1947) and "Pinky" (1949). Immortalized as the namesake of Broadway's Ethel Barrymore Theatre, Barrymore's legacy lived on with her memorable film roles and the career of great-niece, Drew Barrymore, who carried on the family tradition.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Johnny Trouble (1957) Katherine "Nana" Chandler
2.
 Young at Heart (1954) Aunt Jessie
3.
 Main Street to Broadway (1953) Herself
4.
 The Story of Three Loves (1953) Mrs. Hazel Pennicott
5.
 Deadline--U.S.A. (1952) Margaret Garrison
6.
 Just for You (1952) Allida de Bronkhart
7.
 It's a Big Country: An American Anthology (1952) Mrs. Brian Patrick Riordan
8.
 The Secret of Convict Lake (1951) Granny
9.
 Kind Lady (1951) Mary Herries
10.
 The Great Sinner (1949) Grandmother
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1894:
Stage acting debut, "The Rivals"
1901:
Achieved stardom on stage with "Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines"
1914:
Film acting debut in "The Nightingale"
:
Appeared in a dozen films between 1914 and 1919
1932:
One-shot return to film opposite brothers John and Lionel in "Rasputin and the Empress"
1936:
Announced retirement
1937:
Returned to stage acting career in "The Ghost of Yankee Doodle"
1940:
Enjoyed greatest stage success with "The Corn Is Green"
1944:
Returned to films with "None But the Lonely Heart"
:
Appeared in over 20 films between 1944 and 1957
1957:
Last film, "Johnny Trouble"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Convent of the Sacred Heart: Philadelphia , Pennsylvania -

Notes

"More regal than royalty." --critical accolade once bestowed on Barrymore quoted in her The New York Times June 19, 1959 obituary.

"That's all there is; there isn't any more." --famous curtain speech by Barrymore

"A great lady and a great actress." --Harry S Truman on the occasion of Barrymore's seventieth birthday; quoted in her The New York Times June 19, 1959 obituary.

A Broadway theater (on 47th Street, west of Broadway) was named in her honor.

Barrymore was noted for her love of baseball, her large library and her morbid wit.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Russell Griswold Colt. Married on March 14, 1909; son of Col. Samuel Pomeroy Colt, board chairman of United States Rubber Company; divorced in July 1923.

Family close complete family listing

great-grandmother:
Eliza Lane. Actor, singer.
mother:
Georgiana Drew. Actor.
father:
Maurice Barrymore. Actor. Born on September 21, 1847.
uncle:
John Drew. Actor.
brother:
Lionel Barrymore. Actor. Born on April 28, 1878; died on November 15, 1954.
brother:
John Barrymore. Actor. Born on February 15, 1882; died on May 29, 1942.
son:
Samuel Griswold Colt. Born in 1909; died in 1986.
daughter:
Ethel Barrymore Colt. Actor. Born in 1912; died in 1977; appeared in the 1971 stage musical "Follies".
son:
John Drew Colt. Born in 1913; died in 1975.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Memories" Harper & Brothers
"The Barrymores: The Royal Family in Hollywood" Crown
"The House of Barrymore" Alfred A. Knopf

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