John Drew Barrymore was an American-born actor and a member of a prominent Hollywood family of actors “The Barrymores”. He began acting in his late teens and, like his ancestors before him, made a name for himself in film, television and on the stage. However, Barrymore’s career was marred by several vices that brought his career to a premature halt. We take a closer look at the life and times of this late Hollywood star.
John Drew Barrymore Bio
John Drew Barrymore was born on June 4, 1932 in Los Angeles, California. His mother, Dolores Costello, and father, John Barrymore, were both actors. At 17, he followed the path of his famous parents and made his acting debut.
Barrymore had his first film role in the western film The Sundowners (1950). He landed his first leading role in another western film Lonely One (1950), followed by another leading role in Quebec (1951). He also had leading roles in The Big Night (1951) and Thunderbirds (1952). John also appeared in television films such as The Reluctant Redeemer and The Adventures of Lieutenant Colonel Contee in 1954 and 1955 respectively. He also starred in While the Town Sleeps (1956), The Shadow at the Window (1957), High School Confidential! (1958),Never Love a Stranger (1958) and Night of the Quarter Moon (1959).
In 1960, Barrymore moved to Europe and starred in 16 films, mostly period films. Some of his notable film credits of this period include The Cossacks (1960), The Pharaohs’ Wife (1961), The Centurion (1961), The Trojan Horse (1961), Pontius Pilate (1961), Invasion 1700 (1962), The Christine Keeler Story (1963) and Rome vs. Rome (1964) among others.
While his acting career continued to thrive, Barrymore’s personal life appeared to be in turmoil as he battled substance abuse and alcoholism. After returning to Los Angeles in 1964, he encountered several troubles with the law, which severely hampered his professional advancements.
In 1967, John Drew Barrymore received a 6-month ban from the Screen Actors Guild for not agreeing to guest star in a TV series. His career never really recovered after that, although turmoil in his personal life continued. His acting career ended in 1976 and he led a reclusive life until his death in 2004.
Who is his spouse?
John Drew Barrymore was married several times during his lifetime. His first marriage was to film and television actress Cara Williams, who tied the knot on December 23, 1952. They had one child together, but after about 6 years the marriage ended in divorce, which was finalized in October 1959.
His second attempt at marriage was to a woman named Gabriella Palazzoli, an occasional actress. The duo had one child together and their marriage lasted just over nine years, from October 1960 to March 1970. The marriage ended in divorce.
Barrymore’s most notable marriage was to German-born actress Jaid Barrymore (born Ildiko Jaid Mako). This was his longest marriage as it lasted almost 13 years between 1971 and 1984. They also had a child together.
The actor’s fourth and final shot at marriage waswith former actress Nina Wayne. The duo had met in the 1960s, a few years before their marriage, and had a relationship that resulted in one child. After Barrymore’s third divorce, they married in 1985 and their union lasted 9 years, ending in divorce in 1994.
John Drew Barrymore had 4 children, one with each of his four wives. His first child, John Blyth Barrymore III, is an actor who was born in May 1953. The second child was a daughter named Blyth Dolores Barrymore and was born in 1960. Not much is known about her as she prefers to live her life away from the prying eyes of the US media.
Barrymore welcomed his third child in 1966, a daughter named Jessica Blyth Barrymore. He wasn’t married to Jessica’s mother, Nina Wayne, at the time, but they eventually tied the knot a few years later. Unfortunately, Jessica Barrymore led a rather troubled life and died of an accidental drug overdose in 2014.
Is he related to Drew Barrymore?
John Drew Barrymore’s fourth child is none other than world-renowned Hollywood star, writer and entrepreneur Drew Barrymore. She was born in 1975 and entered the role of a child star at the age of 5. Her excellent performances over the years have made her one of the most popular actresses in the town of Tinsel.
Drew Barrymore has earned critical acclaim throughout her career, including a Golden Globe and SAG Award, as well as Emmy Award and BAFTA Award nominations. She was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004.