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1 item from 2010


Great dynasties of the world: The Barrymores

1 October 2010 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

One of Hollywood's most famous clans

On Monday 15 November, 1954, at 7.15pm, Lionel Barrymore – star of more than 200 movies – died in hospital of a heart attack. According to Margot Peters, in her biography of the Barrymore family, The House of Barrymore (1990), on that same day a memo was sent at the MGM studios where Barrymore had been a contract star for 25 years, immediately reassigning his dressing room to James Cagney. The show had to go on. Barrymore would have understood: he was from a family of theatrical troupers, perhaps the most famous the world has known.

Lionel's father was Herbert Blythe. Born in India, educated in England, Herbert arrived in the Us in 1874 meaning to become an actor. He took the stage name Maurice Barrymore, and was soon starring on Broadway. In 1876, he married the actor Georgiana Drew, whose parents and siblings were all actors. Herbert and Georgiana had three children – Lionel, »

- Ian Sansom

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