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John Barrymore

John Barrymore



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TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (7)

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Grand Hotel... "People come. People go. Nothing ever happens," one world-weary patron (Lewis... more info $9.99was $19.98 Buy Now

Midnight DVD ... Claudette Colbert Charms the City of Love!Academy Award winners Claudette... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

The Beloved... John Barrymore sought to out-swashbuckle Douglas Fairbanks in his breathless... more info $24.95was $24.95 Buy Now

Sherlock... John Barrymore's impressive performance in this picture is a testament to the... more info $24.95was $24.95 Buy Now

Night Flight... John Barrymore owns an air delivery service tasked with getting the mail to its... more info $7.99was $19.98 Buy Now

TCM Greatest... This TCM Greatest Classic Films Set includes these four great films:Dinner At... more info $14.99was $19.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: John Sidney Blyth Died: May 29, 1942
Born: February 15, 1882 Cause of Death: myocarditis, complicated by chronic nephritis, cirrhosis of the liver and gastric ulcers
Birth Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Profession: Cast ... actor author scenic and poster design artist illustrator


Affectionately referred to as "The Great Profile," the classically handsome actor John Barrymore was more suited for leading man roles than his older sibling, Lionel, and more inclined to work in film than his revered stage actress sister, Ethel. The youngest member of the renowned Barrymore acting dynasty, the exceptionally adaptable performer transitioned from acclaimed work on Broadway to the emerging medium of silent pictures in films like "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1920). He made the move to sound appear just as effortless in such heralded works as "Moby Dick" (1930), "The Mad Genius" (1931) and "Grand Hotel" (1932), the latter of which boasted an all-star cast, including brother Lionel and Greta Garbo. Films of the time, like "A Bill of Divorcement" (1932), "Dinner at Eight" (1933) and "Twentieth Century" (1934) consistently placed Barrymore at the top of the box office heap. The actor's unrestrained affection for women and alcohol, however, eventually eroded both his ability to maintain his finances and perform to expectation. A late-career turn as the star of "The Great Man Votes" (1939) gave audiences one last glimpse of his innate talent before giving way to self-parodies like "The Great Profile" (1940). Nonetheless, Barrymore's contributions to theater and film would be undeniable, continuing to reverberate in the performances of such actors as Sir Laurence Olivier and his own granddaughter, Drew Barrymore, and his storied life referenced in such films as "My Favorite Year" (1982).

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