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John Barrymore Biography

Birth Name:
John Sidney Blythe
Birth Place:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Fast Facts

  • Worked as an illustrator and spent some time in Europe before making his stage debut in 1903 and his film debut in 1913 with An American Citizen
  • By the 1930s, alcohol addiction had so impaired his memory that he needed cue cards to deliver his lines
  • Appeared with his brother Lionel and sister Ethel in the 1932 film Rasputin and the Empress
  • His matinee-idol looks earned him the nickname the Great Profile; the phrase was also the name of a 1940 film in which he starred as a caricature of himself
  • Famous for his incredible acting range on both stage and screen; however, unlike his siblings, he was never even nominated for an Academy Award
  • The grandfather of actress Drew Barrymore