Lionel Barrymore


Actor
Lionel Barrymore

About

Also Known As
Lionel Blyth, Mr. Lionel Barrymore
Birth Place
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Born
April 28, 1878
Died
November 15, 1954
Cause of Death
Heart Ailment

Biography

The eldest brother in an acting dynasty that included sister Ethel and brother John, Lionel Barrymore became one of his era's most popular thespians, despite vociferous claims that his profession was dictated by financial need rather than a desire to perform. Literally pushed onto the stage as a toddler, the young Barrymore began appearing in silent films like "The New York Hat" (1912), ...

Photos & Videos

One Man's Journey - Pressbook
One Man's Journey - Publicity Stills
Young Dr. Kildare - Movie Poster

Family & Companions

Doris Rankin
Wife
Actor. Married in 1904; divorced in 1923.
Irene Fenwick
Wife
Actor. Married from 1923 until her death on December 24, 1936.

Bibliography

"The House of Barrymore"
Margot Peters, Alfred A. Knopf (1990)
"The Barrymores: The Royal Family in Hollywood"
James Kotsilibas-Davis, Crown (1981)
"We Barrymores"
Lionel Barrymore with Cameron Shipp, Appleton-Century-Crofts (1951)
"Mr. Cantomwine"
Lionel Barrymore

Notes

Barrymore played Scrooge in an annual radio broadcast of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" which became something of a time-honored tradition.

"If John and Ethel were the royalty of the Barrymore acting family, brother Lionel was the journeyman actor of the clan. During his fifty-year film career, he avoided romantic leads, preferring to disguise his distinguished six-foot, 155-pound frame in unusual character assignments. Equally adept at sympathetic, heroic, villainous, comedic avuncular, startling, or majestic roles, the excellence of his acting was overshadowed often in later years by his bulky wheelchaired presence." --James Robert Parish ("The MGM Stock Company")

Biography

The eldest brother in an acting dynasty that included sister Ethel and brother John, Lionel Barrymore became one of his era's most popular thespians, despite vociferous claims that his profession was dictated by financial need rather than a desire to perform. Literally pushed onto the stage as a toddler, the young Barrymore began appearing in silent films like "The New York Hat" (1912), most frequently for director D.W. Griffith. Work on Broadway in such performances as "The Copperhead" also provided income until the actor gradually turned his full attention to Hollywood. "A Free Soul" (1931) earned Barrymore an Oscar for Best Actor, while appearances in hits like "Grand Hotel" (1932), "Dinner at Eight" (1933) and "You Can't Take It With You" (1938) made him a bona fide movie star. Wheelchair-bound due to arthritis, he originated Dr. Gillespie, a character he would reprise for more than a dozen sequels, in the medical drama "Young Dr. Kildare" (1938). Barrymore's most indelible character was arguably that of Henry Potter, the villainous town elder in Frank Capra's holiday classic "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946), a portrayal balanced out by his turn as the irrepressible James Temple in the Bogie and Bacall thriller "Key Largo" (1948). A man of many talents and interests, Barrymore was also an accomplished artist, composer and author whose celebrated six-decades-long career, while born of necessity, provided audiences with dozens of memorable performances.

Born Lionel Herbert Blythe on April 28, 1878 in Philadelphia, PA, Barrymore was the eldest son of actors Maurice and Georgina Drew, who used Barrymore as their stage name. Along with his younger siblings, Ethel and John, the trio would comprise one of Hollywood's most prominent acting dynasties. Reluctantly brought into the family trade from the earliest of ages, he was made a part of his parents' stage act while still an infant. Having already performed in plays with his grandmother, noted actress Louisa Lane Drew, Barrymore made his Broadway debut with a small role in the drama "Sag Harbor" in 1900, then appeared alongside his uncle John Drew, Jr. in "The Second in Command" the following year and again in "The Mummy and the Hummingbird" in 1902. After marrying stage actress Doris Rankin in 1904, Barrymore shared the stage with his brother, John, in the one-act play "Pantaloon" before temporarily retiring from acting and moving to Paris for several years to study art and painting.

Financial realities eventually resulted in his return to America, where Barrymore began experimenting with the relatively new medium of film. His first cinematic roles were in dozens of D.W. Griffith shorts, beginning with "The Battle" (1911) and several others, including "The New York Hat" (1912), co-starring a young Mary Pickford. Before long, the enterprising Barrymore made his directorial debut with the silent short film "His Secret" (1913) for Biograph Studio. Over the course of the next decade, the actor divided his time between stage and screen with work in silent pictures like "The Millionaire's Double" (1917) and more roles in such Broadway productions as "The Copperhead," "The Jest," and a short-lived mounting of "Macbeth" in 1921. Barrymore had fathered two daughters with Rankin, daughters Ethel and Mary. Sadly, neither of the children lived beyond infancy and by all accounts their deaths were tragedies he struggled to recover from for years. Eventually, the strain soon took a toll on the marriage; in 1923, he and Doris Rankin divorced. At about the same time, Barrymore was garnering raves on Broadway for his performance as the tragic Tito Beppi in the drama "Laugh, Clown, Laugh!" Five years later, the role of Tito would be immortalized by the great Lon Chaney in a silent picture of the same name, much to Barrymore's disappointment.

Irene Fenwick, Barrymore's co-star in the stage version of "Laugh, Clown, Laugh!" would become the second Mrs. Lionel Barrymore before the end of the production's lengthy run in 1924. Eventually, Barrymore made the commitment to the growing medium of film and after his final performance in the play "Man or Devil" in 1925, moved to Hollywood, where he worked primarily for MGM studios from 1926 onward. Just as movies were transitioning from "silents" to "talkies," Barrymore earned an Oscar nomination for his direction of the sound-enhanced "Madame X" (1929), a melodrama about a fallen woman (Ruth Chatterton) who murders a blackmailer in order to shield her son from her scandalous past. A talented composer in his own right, Barrymore wrote the original score for the romantic period drama "His Glorious Night" (1929), which he also directed. Originally planned as a silent film years earlier, the long-delayed "The Mysterious Island" (1929) eventually made its way to theaters, complete with sound, Technicolor and Barrymore as the vengeful Count Dakkar, an ersatz Captain Nemo. By now one of the more respected actors in the burgeoning Hollywood pantheon, he secured his reputation with an Academy Award for Best Actor in "A Free Soul" (1931) - the Norma Shearer film best known for making Clark Gable a star.

Barrymore went on to join the ensemble cast - which included brother John, Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford - of the hugely successful drama " Grand Hotel" (1932) before appearing onscreen with John and Ethel Barrymore for the first and only time as the mad monk in "Rasputin and the Empress" (1932). More bravura performances came in a pair of films directed by George Cukor - the comedy of manners "Dinner at Eight" (1933) and the romantic drama "Camille" (1936) - each of which went on to be considered classics of their respective genres. He further honed the type of role that would become his signature as the tough-but-fair captain Disko Troop, opposite Spencer Tracy, in the thrilling adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's coming-of-age adventure "Captains Courageous" (1937). Forced to withdraw from the role of Scrooge in MGM's version of "A Christmas Carol" (1938) due to an earlier injury and severely advanced arthritis, Barrymore appeared on crutches in director Frank Capra's hugely successful "You Can't Take It With You" (1938), co-starring Jimmy Stewart. Now confined to a wheelchair, the device was incorporated into his role - as it would in all of his later performances - as Dr. Gillespie in the medical drama "Young Dr. Kildare" (1938). His portrayal of the outwardly gruff mentor to the titular Kildare (Lew Ayres) proved popular enough to be revived for a dozen more films and a long-running radio series of the venerable franchise.

Scattered amongst the Dr. Gillespie/Kildare movies were such efforts as "Tennessee Johnson" (1942), in which Barrymore played the political nemesis of 17th U.S. President Andrew Johnson (Van Heflin). In the woefully overlooked drama "The Valley of Decision" (1945) he effectively essayed Greer Garson's proud father, a union man injured years earlier in a steel mill accident. It was, however, his reteaming with director Frank Capra and star James Stewart that would bring Barrymore the role he would become most associated with. As the despicable slumlord and bank shareholder Henry F. Potter in "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946), Barrymore gave venomous life to a Christmas character that, unlike Scrooge, possessed no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Although not a box office hit at the time of its release, in the decades that followed, the film went on to become one of the most inspirational movies ever made. Nearly as toxic was his performance as the bigoted Senator McCanles, father of ne'er do well Gregory Peck, in the David O. Selznick-produced Western romantic-drama "Duel in the Sun" (1947).

Barrymore was far more likable as the feisty hotel owner opposite Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in the classic crime drama "Key Largo" (1948). The following year he played a whaling captain in the final days of his career for director Henry Hathaway and opposite star Richard Widmark in the nautical adventure "Down to the Sea in Ships" (1949). Barrymore acted for the final time on screen playing Andrew Jackson in the historical drama "Lone Star" (1952), before making his last film appearance as himself in "Main Street to Broadway" (1953) and publishing a novel Mr. Cantonwine: A Moral Tale. Later that same year, he delivered his final radio performance as Ebenezer Scrooge for the annual broadcast of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," something he had done nearly every year since the mid-1930s. Barrymore died of a heart attack on Nov. 15, 1954 in Van Nuys, CA at the age of 76.

By Bryce Coleman

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Guilty Hands (1931)
Director
Ten Cents a Dance (1931)
Director
The Rogue Song (1930)
Director
Madame X (1929)
Director
The Unholy Night (1929)
Director
His Glorious Night (1929)
Director
Life's Whirlpool (1917)
Director
No Place for Father (1913)
Director
His Secret (1913)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Mary Pickford: The Muse of the Movies (2008)
Himself
Main Street to Broadway (1953)
Himself
Lone Star (1952)
Andrew Jackson
Bannerline (1951)
Hugo Trimble
Right Cross (1950)
Sean O'Malley
Malaya (1949)
John Manchester
Down to the Sea in Ships (1949)
Captain Bering Joy
Some of the Best: 25 Years of Motion Picture Leadership (1949)
Informal commentary by
Key Largo (1948)
James Temple
Dark Delusion (1947)
Dr. Leonard Gillespie
Duel in the Sun (1947)
Senator McCanles
Three Wise Fools (1946)
Dr. Richard Gaunght
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
Mr. Potter
The Secret Heart (1946)
Dr. Rossiger
Between Two Women (1945)
Dr. Leonard [B.] Gillespie
The Valley of Decision (1945)
Pat Rafferty
Thousands Cheer (1944)
Announcer
A Guy Named Joe (1944)
The General
Since You Went Away (1944)
Clergyman
Three Men in White (1944)
Dr. Leonard Gillespie
Dragon Seed (1944)
Narrator
Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case (1943)
Dr. Leonard Gillespie
Dr. Kildare's Victory (1942)
Dr. Leonard Gillespie
Tennessee Johnson (1942)
Thaddeus Stevens
Calling Dr. Gillespie (1942)
Dr. Leonard Gillespie
Dr. Gillespie's New Assistant (1942)
Dr. Leonard Gillespie
The People vs. Dr. Kildare (1941)
Dr. Leonard Gillespie
The Bad Man (1941)
Uncle Henry Jones
Dr. Kildare's Wedding Day (1941)
Dr. Leonard Gillespie
The Penalty (1941)
"Grandpa" Logan
Lady Be Good (1941)
Judge Murdock
Dr. Kildare's Strange Case (1940)
Dr. Leonard Gillespie
Dr. Kildare Goes Home (1940)
Dr. Leonard Gillespie
Dr. Kildare's Crisis (1940)
Dr. Leonard Gillespie
The Secret of Dr. Kildare (1939)
Dr. Leonard Gillespie
Calling Dr. Kildare (1939)
Dr. Leonard Gillespie
On Borrowed Time (1939)
Julian Northrup, Gramps
Let Freedom Ring (1939)
Thomas Logan
A Yank at Oxford (1938)
Dan Sheridan
You Can't Take It with You (1938)
[Grandpa] Martin Vanderhof
Young Dr. Kildare (1938)
Dr. Leonard Gillespie
Navy Blue and Gold (1937)
Caption "Skinny" Dawes
A Family Affair (1937)
Judge [James K.] Hardy
Captains Courageous (1937)
[Capt.] Disko [Troop]
Saratoga (1937)
Grandpa Clayton
The Voice of Bugle Ann (1936)
Spring Davis
The Devil-Doll (1936)
[Paul] Lavond [also known as Madame Mandelip]
The Road to Glory (1936)
Papa La Roche [also known as Private Morain]
Camille (1936)
Monsieur Duval
The Gorgeous Hussy (1936)
Andrew Jackson
Ah, Wilderness (1935)
Nat [Miller]
David Copperfield (1935)
Dan Peggotty
The Little Colonel (1935)
Colonel Lloyd
Mark of the Vampire (1935)
Professor [Zelin]
The Return of Peter Grimm (1935)
Peter Grimm
Public Hero No. 1 (1935)
Doctor [Josiah Glass]
Dinner at Eight (1934)
Oliver Jordan
Carolina (1934)
Bob Connelly
The Girl from Missouri (1934)
T. R. Paige
This Side of Heaven (1934)
Martin Turner
Treasure Island (1934)
Billy Bones
La ciudad de cartón (1934)
Himself
Christopher Bean (1933)
Dr. [Milton] Haggett
Looking Forward (1933)
Benton
The Stranger's Return (1933)
Grandpa Storr
Should Ladies Behave (1933)
Augustus [Merrick]
One Man's Journey (1933)
Eli Watt
Sweepings (1933)
Daniel Pardway
Rasputin and the Empress (1933)
Rasputin
Night Flight (1933)
Inspector Robineau
Arséne Lupin (1932)
Guerchard
Grand Hotel (1932)
Otto Kringelein
Broken Lullaby (1932)
Dr. Holderlin
The Washington Masquerade (1932)
Jeff[erson] Keane
The Yellow Ticket (1931)
Baron Igor Andreeff
Guilty Hands (1931)
Richard Grant
Mata Hari (1931)
General Shubin
A Free Soul (1931)
Stephen Ashe
Free and Easy (1930)
Bedroom scene, themselves
Estrellados (1930)
The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (1929)
The Mysterious Island (1929)
Dakkar
Alias Jimmy Valentine (1929)
Doyle
West of Zanzibar (1928)
Crane
Sadie Thompson (1928)
Alfred Atkinson
Drums of Love (1928)
Duke Cathos de Alvia
The River Woman (1928)
Bill Lefty
The Lion and the Mouse (1928)
"Ready Money" Ryder
Road House (1928)
Henry Grayson
The Thirteenth Hour (1927)
Professor Leroy
Body and Soul (1927)
Dr. Leyden
The Show (1927)
The Greek
Women Love Diamonds (1927)
Hugo Harlan
The Temptress (1926)
Canterac
Paris at Midnight (1926)
Vautrin
The Lucky Lady (1926)
Count Ferranzo
Brooding Eyes (1926)
Slim Jim Carey [Lord Tallbois]
The Bells (1926)
Mathias
The Barrier (1926)
Stark Bennett
Fifty-Fifty (1925)
Frederick Harmon
The Wrongdoers (1925)
Daniel Abbott
The Girl Who Wouldn't Work (1925)
Gordon Kent
Children of the Whirlwind (1925)
Joe Ellison
A Man of Iron (1925)
Philip Durban
The Splendid Road (1925)
Dan Clehollis
America (1924)
Capt. Walter Butler
I Am the Man (1924)
James McQuade
Meddling Women (1924)
Edwin Ainsworth/John Wells
The Eternal City (1924)
Baron Bonelli
Unseeing Eyes (1923)
Conrad Dean
The Enemies of Women (1923)
Prince Lubimoff
Boomerang Bill (1922)
Boomerang Bill
The Face in the Fog (1922)
Boston Blackie Dawson, a reformed crook
Jim the Penman (1921)
James Ralston
The Great Adventure (1921)
Priam Farll
The Valley of Night (1920)
Judge Philip Remarde
The Copperhead (1920)
Milt Shanks
The Devil's Garden (1920)
William Dale
The Master Mind (1920)
Henry Allen
National Red Cross Pageant (1917)
The Millionaire's Double (1917)
Bide Bennington
The End of the Tour (1917)
Bron Bennett
His Father's Son (1917)
J. Dabney Barron
The Brand of Cowardice (1916)
Cyril Hamilton
Dorian's Divorce (1916)
Richard Dorian
The Upheaval (1916)
Jim Gordon
The Quitter (1916)
"Happy Jack" Lewis
A Modern Magdalen (1915)
Lindsay
The Flaming Sword (1915)
Steve
A Yellow Streak (1915)
Barry Dale
Dora Thorne (1915)
Lord Earle
The Curious Conduct of Judge Legarde (1915)
Judge Randolph Legarde
Wildfire (1915)
John Keefe, gambler
The Romance of Elaine (1915)
Classmates (1914)
Dumble
The Seats of the Mighty (1914)
Monsieur Doltaire
Under the Gaslight (1914)
William Byke
The Span of Life (1914)
Richard Blunt
The Woman in Black (1914)
Robert Crane
The Power of the Press (1914)
Steve Carson

Writer (Feature Film)

Life's Whirlpool (1917)
Scen

Music (Feature Film)

Dr. Kildare's Wedding Day (1941)
Composer

Production Companies (Feature Film)

Ten Cents a Dance (1931)
Company

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Mary Pickford: The Muse of the Movies (2008)
Other

Cast (Short)

Gable and Barrymore (Raw Footage) (2000)
Himself
The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Story (1950)
Himself
Screen Actors (1950)
Himself
"Some of the Best" Twenty-Five Years of Motion Picture Leadership (1949)
Host
THE CHRISTMAS PARTY (1931)
Himself

Misc. Crew (Short)

The Mesmerist (2003)
Archival Footage
Lionel Barrymore (1962)
Archival Footage
Film Fun (1955)
Archival Footage

Life Events

1893

First stage appearance as Thomas the coachman in "The Rivals" (for one performance) during tour starring his grandmother, Mrs. John Drew

1897

Stage acting debut in "The Bachelor's Baby"

1900

Broadway debut in "Sag Harbor"

1909

Joined Biograph film company

1911

Acted in over 50 short films (many by D.W. Griffith)

1912

Wrote two short films, one of which was D.W. Griffith's "The Tender-Hearted Boy"

1914

Feature film acting debut in "Men and Women"

1917

Feature writing and directing debut, "Life's Whirlpool"

1928

Acted in MGM's first talkie, "Alias Jimmy Valentine"

1929

First feature as producer and composer (also director), "His Glorious Night"

1938

First appearance as Dr. Gillespie (for the 15-film MGM series) in "Young Dr. Kildare"

1942

Composed tone poem, "In Memoriam," in dedication to his brother, John, which was performed by the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra

1953

Last screen appearance in "Main Street to Broadway" (as himself)

Photo Collections

One Man's Journey - Pressbook
Here is the original campaign book (pressbook) for the RKO film One Man's Journey (1933), starring Lionel Barrymore. Pressbooks were sent to exhibitors and theater owners to aid them in publicizing the film's run in their theater.
(Pressbook images courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)
One Man's Journey - Publicity Stills
Here are a number of Publicity Stills from the RKO film One Man's Journey (1933), starring Lionel Barrymore, Dorothy Jordan, and Joel McCrea. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Young Dr. Kildare - Movie Poster
Here is the American One-Sheet Movie Poster from MGM's Young Dr. Kildare (1938). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Rasputin and the Empress - Lobby Cards
Rasputin and the Empress - Lobby Cards
Mark of the Vampire - Publicity Stills
Here are several Publicity Stills from Mark of the Vampire (1935). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
West of Zanzibar - Scene Photos
Here are several scene stills from MGM's West of Zanzibar (1928), Tod Browning's silent melodrama starring Lon Chaney.
Dinner at Eight - Coca-Cola Ad
Here is a magazine ad for Coca-Cola utilizing the cast of MGM's Dinner at Eight (1933) and a special color photo taken for the occasion.
The Devil Doll - Scene Stills
Here are a few scene stills from MGM's The Devil Doll (1936), starring Lionel Barrymore and directed by Tod Browning.
The Devil Doll - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are a few photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's The Devil Doll (1936), starring Lionel Barrymore and directed by Tod Browning.
Since You Went Away - Movie Poster
Here is an "advance" One-sheet movie poster for Since You Went Away (1944). The poster copy touts the previous successes of producer David O. Selznick.
Mark of the Vampire - Ad Art
Here is some advertising art from Tod Browning's Mark of the Vampire (1935), including an original Herald, and black-and-white renditions of American movie posters. (Very few actual posters for this title are known to exist).
Key Largo - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are several behind-the-scenes photos taken during the shooting of Key Largo (1948), directed by John Huston.
You Can't Take It with You - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from Frank Capra's You Can't Take It with You (1938). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Dinner at Eight - Behind-the-Scenes Stills
Here are a number of photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's all-star comedy Dinner at Eight (1934), directed by George Cukor.
Saratoga - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are a few photos taken during production of MGM's Saratoga (1937), starring Jean Harlow (her last film), Clark Gable, and Lionel Barrymore, and directed by Jack Conway.
Three Wise Fools - Lobby Card
Here is a Lobby Card from MGM's Three Wise Fools (1946), starring Margaret O'Brien. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
One Man's Journey - Movie Posters
Here are a couple of original Movie Posters for the RKO film One Man's Journey (1933), starring Lionel Barrymore. The one-sheet is on view along with a window card from the film.
It's a Wonderful Life - Lobby Card Set
Here is a lobby card set from Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (1946). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The Stranger's Return - Lobby Card
Here is a lobby card from MGM's The Stranger's Return (1933), starring Lionel Barrymore. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Mark of the Vampire - Scene Stills
Here are a few scene stills from MGM's Mark of the Vampire (1935), starring Lionel Barrymore, Bela Lugosi, and Elizabeth Allen.
Lone Star - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for MGM's Lone Star (1952), starring Clark Gable and Ava Gardner. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
The Mysterious Island (1929) - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from MGM's The Mysterious Island (1929). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Captains Courageous - Movie Posters
Here are a few original-release movie posters for MGM's Captains Courageous (1937), starring Spencer Tracy and Freddie Bartholomew.
One Man's Journey - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from One Man's Journey (1933). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Dr. Kildare's Strange Case - Glass Slide
Here is a Glass Slide for the MGM film Dr. Kildare's Strange Case (1940), starring Lew Ayres and Lionel Barrymore. Glass slides were used by many theaters to promote coming attractions during slide shows between movie screenings.
The People vs. Dr. Kildare - Title Lobby Card
Here is the Title Lobby Card from MGM's The People vs. Dr. Kildare (1941), starring Lew Ayres and Lionel Barrymore. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Dr. Kildare's Crisis - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Dr. Kildare's Crisis (1940), starring Lew Ayres and Lionel Barrymore. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
One Man's Journey - Scene Stills
Here are a number of scene stills from the RKO film One Man's Journey (1933), starring Lionel Barrymore, Dorothy Jordan, and Joel McCrea.

Videos

Movie Clip

Little Colonel, The (1935) - I Ought To Kill You After a mild opening scene establishing Kentucky “in the 70’s,” just about the whole premise, Elizabeth (Evelyn Venable) aided by Hattie McDaniel wants to elope with yankee Jack (John Lodge) who seems decent but her grandfather the colonel (Lionel Barrymore) doesn’t care, in Shirley Temple’s first film with Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, The Little Colonel, 1935.
Little Colonel, The (1935) - My Dream Of Life (a.k.a Love's Young Dream) Shirley Temple as young Lloyd has conspired with servants Hattie McDaniel and Bill Robinson to assume a dress and bonnet that belonged to her mother, and advances her scheme to soften up her grouchy ex-Confederate grandfather the colonel (Lionel Barrymore), in The Little Colonel, 1935.
Young Dr. Kildare (1938) - Bring Me A Tourniquet! Back at the hospital, new intern Lew Ayres (title character) examines his still-unconscious patient (Jo Ann Sayers) whom he revived from a gas suicide attempt, drawing conclusions and barbs from his crusty boss Gillespie (Lionel Barrymore), in the first in the MGM series, Young Dr. Kildare, 1938.
Young Dr. Kildare (1938) - The Irish Do Well With Horses Fresh from medical school and his Connecticut home town, Lew Ayres (title character) arrives at the big New York hospital where Dr. Carew (Walter Kingsford) is introducing other interns (Truman Bradley et al) to intimidating top-billed Lionel Barrymore as Gillespie, in the first film in the MGM series, Young Dr. Kildare, 1938.
Arsene Lupin (1932) - Call Me Sir! Barrymore brothers (Lionel as detective "Guechard," John as "Duke Of Chamarace" AND the title character,) playing tricks on each other, early in the MGM hit Arsene Lupin, 1932.
One Man's Journey (1933) - To My Son's Future Wife Frances Dee is Joan, fianceè to ambitious young doctor Jimmy (Joel McCrea), who is inspired to introduce herself to his humbler father Eli (Lionel Barrymore, title character), in RKO's One Man's Journey, 1933.
One Man's Journey (1933) - It's Your Own Flesh And Blood Struggling New England small-town doctor Lionel Barrymore tries to console bereaved father David Landau in the TCM-restored One Man's Journey, 1933.
One Man's Journey (1933) - It Must Be The Water Passage of time as humble New England single-father Dr. Watt (Lionel Barrymore) carries on his selfless work and his son grows up to be Joel McCrea, and smallpox breaks out, in One Man’s Journey, 1933, the RKO melodrama restored by TCM, from a story by Katharine Haviland-Taylor.
You Can't Take It With You (1938) - Home Sweet Home This ensemble scene featuring Donald Meek, Lionel Barrymore, Ann Miller, Dub Taylor, Spring Byington and others illuminates the Sycamore household in Frank Capra's You Can't Take It With You, 1938.
You Can't Take It With You (1938) - My Father Makes Fireworks Taxman Henderson (Charles Lane) and Grandpa Sycamore (Lionel Barrymore) lead off this mayhem as Tony (James Stewart) collects Alice (Jean Arthur) for a date. with Ann Miller, Spring Byington, Dub Taylor, and Mischa Auer, in Frank Capra's You Can't Take It with You, 1938.
Mark Of The Vampire (1935) - A Certain Thorny Weed Lionel Barrymore (Professor Zelin) taking over treatment of vampire-bitten Irena (Elizabeth Allen), while her guardian the Baron (Jean Hersholt) tells the inspector (Lionel Atwill) that her dad may not be dead, then ensuing chatter, in director Tod Browning's Mark Of The Vampire, 1935.
Mark Of The Vampire (1935) - This Is No Time For Levity Servants (Leila Bennett, Ivan Simpson) bat-proofing, the count (Bela Lugosi) undeterred, inspector (Lionel Atwill) doubtful, professor (Lionel Barrymore) advises the baron (Jean Hersholt), Elizabeth Allen under guard, her dad (Holmes Herbert) confirmed un-dead, in Mark Of The Vampire, 1935.

Trailer

Penalty, The (1940) - (Original Trailer) Federal agents use a gangster's son to catch him in The Penalty (1941) starring Edward Arnold and Lionel Barrymore.
Dinner at Eight - (Original Trailer) A high society dinner party masks a hotbed of scandal and intrigue in Dinner at 8 (1933), directed by George Cukor.
Three Wise Fools - (Original Trailer) An orphan girl (Margaret O'Brien) melts the hearts of three crusty old men (Lionel Barrymore, Lewis Stone, Edward Arnold).
MGM Story - (Original Trailer) Lionel Barrymore shows highlights from the studio's latest in The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Story (1951).
Three Men in White - (Original Trailer) Young doctors compete for a prestigious position as Dr. Gillespie's assistant. Starring Lionel Barrymore, Van Johnson and featuring Ava Gardner.
Lady Be Good - (Original Trailer) None of the plot but all of the Gershwin songs like "Fascinatin' Rhythm" in MGM's version of Lady Be Good (1941).
People vs. Dr. Kildare, The - (Original Trailer) Is nothing sacred? Even Dr. Kildare is being sued for malpractice in The People vs. Dr. Kildare (1941).
Secret of Dr. Kildare, The - (Original Trailer) Kildare (Lew Ayres) tries to help a woman suffering from psychosomatic blindness in the third of the series, The Secret of Dr. Kildare (1939).
Dr. Kildare's Wedding Day - (Original Trailer) The eighth entry in the series reaches Dr. Kildare's Wedding Day (1941) but things don't work out as planned.
Dr. Kildare's Crisis - (Original Trailer) For the sixth "Kildare" movie, Dr. Kildare's marriage could be called off when the bride's brother is diagnosed with epilepsy.
Dr. Kildare Goes Home - (Original Trailer) For the fifth movie in the series Dr. Kildare Goes Home (1940) after his practitioner father collapses from overwork.
Dr. Gillespie's New Assistant - (Original Trailer) Three young surgeons vie to replace the legendary Dr. Kildare in Dr. Gillespie's New Assistant (1942).

Family

Eliza Lane
Great-Grandmother
Actor, singer.
Georgiana Drew
Mother
Actor.
Maurice Barrymore
Father
Actor. Born September 21, 1847; died March 2, 1905.
John Drew
Uncle
Actor.
Ethel Barrymore
Sister
Actor. Acted with his sister Ethel and brother John in "Rasputin and the Empress" (1932); born on August 15, 1879; died on June 18, 1959.
John Barrymore
Brother
Actor. Born on February 15, 1882; died on May 29, 1942.
Mary Barrymore
Daughter
Died at age two, c. 1906; mother, Doris Rankin.
Ethel Barrymore II
Daughter
Born in August 1906; died on March 23, 1909; mother, Doris Rankin.

Companions

Doris Rankin
Wife
Actor. Married in 1904; divorced in 1923.
Irene Fenwick
Wife
Actor. Married from 1923 until her death on December 24, 1936.

Bibliography

"The House of Barrymore"
Margot Peters, Alfred A. Knopf (1990)
"The Barrymores: The Royal Family in Hollywood"
James Kotsilibas-Davis, Crown (1981)
"We Barrymores"
Lionel Barrymore with Cameron Shipp, Appleton-Century-Crofts (1951)
"Mr. Cantomwine"
Lionel Barrymore

Notes

Barrymore played Scrooge in an annual radio broadcast of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" which became something of a time-honored tradition.

"If John and Ethel were the royalty of the Barrymore acting family, brother Lionel was the journeyman actor of the clan. During his fifty-year film career, he avoided romantic leads, preferring to disguise his distinguished six-foot, 155-pound frame in unusual character assignments. Equally adept at sympathetic, heroic, villainous, comedic avuncular, startling, or majestic roles, the excellence of his acting was overshadowed often in later years by his bulky wheelchaired presence." --James Robert Parish ("The MGM Stock Company")

Received a Treasury Department citation in 1954 for cooperation in helping promote investment in U.S. Savings Bonds.