Great uncle of Hollywood actress Drew Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore was a much loved and very adaptable actor that has secured his name in the realms of Hollywood history. Born in Philadelphia on April 28 th 1878, his acting career began in around 1909 and he continued to enjoy acting for the rest of his life.
Barrymore starred in some excellent productions, many of which are now real classics. He enjoyed parts in the 1934 ‘Treasure Island’; the 1946 ‘Duel in the Sun’; and even the much-loved classic, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, where he played Mr Potter. He also appeared in several MGM movies with his brother, John Barrymore. These movies included, ‘Grand Hotel’ in 1932, and ‘Dinner at Eight’ in 1933. Lionel’s sister, Ethel, also joined her two brothers in a 1932 movie, ‘Rasputin and the Empress’.
Also a popular and established artist, Barrymore had a shot at directing as well not to mention composing. In fact, it seemed that Lionel Barrymore was indeed creative to the core and could turn his hand to all sorts of creative activity. The wheelchair bound Barrymore became so popular with MGM bosses that various movie parts were written especially for him, incorporating his disability.The twice-married Lionel Barrymore remained a firm favorite during his heyday, and even today is fondly remembered by a whole host of movie fans. He died from a heart attack in November 1954.
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