Ethel Barrymore on stage, screen and radio

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Barrymore in 1901, in one of the costumes from Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines

Ethel Barrymore (born Ethel Mae Blythe; 1879–1959) was an American actress of stage, screen and radio. She came from a family of actors; she was the middle child of Maurice Barrymore and Georgie Drew Barrymore, and had two brothers, Lionel and John.[1][2] Although reluctant to follow her parents' career, the death of Louisa Lane Drew, her financially important grandmother, caused Barrymore to give up her dream of becoming a concert pianist and instead earn a living on the stage.[3][4] Barrymore's first Broadway role, alongside her uncle John Drew, Jr., was in The Imprudent Young Couple (1895).[5] She soon found success, particularly after an invitation from William Gillette to appear on stage in his 1897 London production of Secret Service. Barrymore was soon popular with English society, and she had a number of romantic suitors, including Laurence Irving, the dramatist. His father, Henry Irving, cast her in The Bells (1897) and Peter the Great (1898). [1]

On her return to America in 1898, Barrymore was lauded by the press and public and, under Charles Frohman's management, she appeared in Catherine (1898) and Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines (1901) on Broadway. The latter play was a success, and Barrymore received particular praise. She went on to have a series of similarly popular roles in Cousin Kate (1903), Alice-Sit-by-the-Fire (1905), Lady Frederick (1908) and Déclassée (1920), among others.[1][3] After a series of less well-received roles in the early 1920s, she returned to popularity with her role as the sophisticated spouse of a philandering husband in The Constant Wife (1927). In 1928 the Ethel Barrymore Theatre was opened in her honor, and she appeared in its inaugural production, The Kingdom of God.[4]

Barrymore began her film career in 1914 in a series of silent films, but she never dedicated herself to the medium fully.[1] When opportunities for the right stage roles declined in the 1930s and she encountered financial difficulties, she appeared in her first talking film, Rasputin and the Empress (1932)—in which both her brothers also starred[6]—and began radio broadcasts on the Blue Network with The Ethel Barrymore Theater.[7] In the 1940s she had a last stage triumph in the long-running The Corn Is Green (1942), in which she had "perhaps her most acclaimed role", according to her biographer, Benjamin McArthur.[1] Her film work became increasingly prominent in the 1940s and 1950s, and she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for None but the Lonely Heart (1944). She received subsequent Academy Award nominations—again for Best Supporting Actress—for The Spiral Staircase (1946), The Paradine Case (1947) and Pinky (1949). She was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 8, 1960[8] and is, along with her two brothers, included in the American Theater Hall of Fame.[9]

Stage appearances

Barrymore in 1901 in one of the costumes from Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines
Barrymore playing the male character Carrots in the play of the same name, 1902
Barrymore (center), with her brothers John (left) and Lionel (right), 1904[a]
Barrymore c.1908
Barrymore and her brother John, drawn by the latter, when they appeared together in A Slice of Life, 1912
Barrymore and Claude King in Declassee, 1920
Barrymore's stage appearances
Production[5][11] Date Theatre
(New York, unless stated)
Role Number of
performances
The Rivals 1893 – ? Montreal
Oliver Twist 1893 – ? Montreal
The Rivals 1894 – ? New York
The Bauble Shop 1894 – ? New York
The Imprudent Young Couple September 23, 1895 – ? Empire Theatre Katherine
Rosemary August 31, 1896 – ? Empire Theatre Priscilla
Secret Service 1897 Adelphi Theatre, London
The Bells 1897 England, tour
Peter the Great 1898 Lyceum Theatre, London
Catherine October 24, 1898 – ? Garrick Theatre
His Excellency, the Governor 1900
Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines February 4 – July 1901 Garrick Theatre Madame Trentoni 168
A Country Mouse and Carrots October 6 – December 1902 Savoy Theatre Unknown and Carrots 89
Cousin Kate October 19 – November 1903 Hudson Theatre Kate Curtis 44
Cousin Kate April 4 – April 1904 Hudson Theatre Kate Curtis 16
Cynthia 1904 Wyndham's Theatre, London
Sunday November 15, 1904 – January 1905 Hudson Theatre Sunday 79
A Doll's House May 2 – May 1905 Lyceum Theatre Nora Helmer 15
Alice Sit-by-the-Fire December 25, 1905 – March 1906 Olympia Theatre and touring Mrs. Grey 81[b]
Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines February 18 – March 1907 Empire Theatre Madame Trentoni 33
The Silver Box March 18 – April 1907 Empire Theatre 20
His Excellency the Governor April 4 – May 1907 Empire Theatre 36
Cousin Kate May 6 – May 1907 Empire Theatre Kate Curtis 16
Her Sister December 25, 1907 – February 1908 Hudson Theatre Eleanor Alderson 61
Lady Frederick November 9, 1908 – February 1909 Hudson Theatre Lady Frederick 96
Mid-Channel January 31 – April 1910 Empire Theatre Zoe Blundell 96
Trelawny of the 'Wells' January 1 – February 1911 Empire Theatre Miss Rose Trelawny 48
Alice Sit-by-the-Fire February 13 – March 1911 Empire Theatre 32
The Twelve Pound Look February 13 – March 1911 Empire Theatre 32
The Witness for the Defense December 4, 1911 – January 1912 Empire Theatre 64
A Slice of Life January 29 – ? Empire Theatre
A Slice of Life February 2 – March 1912 Criterion Theatre 48[c]
Miss Civilization May 1913 – ? Palace Theatre
Tante October 28, 1913 – January 1914 Empire Theatre Madame Okraska 79
The Shadow January 25 – March 1915 Empire Theatre 72
Our Mrs. McChesney October 19, 1915 – February 1916 Lyceum Theatre 151
The Lady of the Camellias December 24, 1917 – February 1918 Empire Theatre Marguerite Gautier 56
The Off Chance February 14 – May 1918 Empire Theatre Lady Cardonnell 92
Belinda May 6 – June 1918 Empire Theatre 32
Declassee October 6, 1919 – May 1920 Empire Theatre Lady Helen Haden 257
Clair de Lune April 18 – June 1921 Empire Theatre The Queen 64
Rose Bernd September 26 – December 1922 Longacre Theatre Rose Bernd 87
Romeo and Juliet December 27, 1922 – January 1923 Longacre Theatre Juliet 23
The Laughing Lady February 12 – May 1923 Longacre Theatre Lady Marjorie Colladine 96
The School for Scandal June 4 – June 1923 Lyceum Theatre Lady Teazle 8
A Royal Fandango November 12 – December 1923 Plymouth Theatre H.R.H. Princess Amelia 24
The Second Mrs Tanqueray October 27 – December 1924 Cort Theatre Paula 72
Hamlet October 10 – December 1925 Hampden's Theatre Ophelia
Hamlet November – December 1925 National Theatre Ophelia 68[d]
The Merchant of Venice December 26, 1925 – February 1926 Hampden's Theatre Portia 54
The Constant Wife November 29, 1926 – August 13, 1927 Maxine Elliott Theatre Constance Middleton 296
The Kingdom of God December 20, 1928 – March 1929 Ethel Barrymore Theatre Sister Gracia 92
The Love Duel April 15 – July 1929 Ethel Barrymore Theatre She 88
Scarlet Sister Mary November 25 – December 1930 Ethel Barrymore Theatre Sister Mary 24
The School for Scandal November 10 – November 1931 Ethel Barrymore Theatre Lady Teazle 23
L'Aiglon November 3 – December 1934 Broadhurst Theatre Marie-Louise 58
The Ghost of Yankee Doodle November 22, 1937 – January 1938 Guild Theatre Sara Garrison 48
Whiteoaks March 23 – June 1938 Hudson Theatre Adeline 112
Farm of Three Echoes November 28, 1939 – January 6, 1940 Cort Theatre Ouma Gerart 48
An International Incident April 2 – April 13, 1940 Ethel Barrymore Theatre Mrs. Charles Rochester 15
The Corn Is Green November 26, 1940 – September 9, 1941 National Theatre Miss Moffat
The Corn Is Green September 9, 1941 – January 1, 1942 Royale Theatre Miss Moffat 477[e]
The Corn Is Green May 3 – June 19, 1943 Martin Beck Theatre Miss Moffat 56
Embezzled Heaven October 31, 1944 – January 13, 1945 National Theatre Teta 52

Filmography

in The Kiss of Hate, 1916
Barrymore and William B. Davidson in the 1917 film The White Raven
Barrymore (seated, centre) in the 1919 film The Divorcee
Barrymore in an advertisement for the 1919 film The Divorcee
Barrymore and Cary Grant in the 1944 film None but the Lonely Heart
Barrymore's filmography
Film[11][17][18][19] Year Role Notes Ref.
The Nightingale 1914 Isola Franti, "The Nightingale" [20]
The Final Judgment 1915 Jane Carleson, Mrs. Murray Campbell [21]
The Kiss of Hate 1916 Nadia Turgeneff [22]
The Awakening of Helena Richie 1916 Helena Richie [23]
The White Raven 1917 Nan Baldwin [24]
The Call of Her People 1917 Egypt [25]
The Greatest Power 1917 Miriam Monroe [26]
The Lifted Veil 1917 Clorinda Gildersleeve [27]
Life's Whirlpool 1917 Esther Carey [28]
The Eternal Mother 1917 Maris [29]
An American Widow 1917 Elizabeth Carter [30]
National Red Cross Pageant 1917 Herself [31]
Our Mrs. McChesney 1918 Emma McChesney [32]
The Divorcee 1919 Lady Frederick Berolles [33]
Camille 1926 Short [34]
Rasputin and the Empress 1932 Czarina Alexandra [35]
All at Sea 1933 Short [36]
None but the Lonely Heart 1944 Ma Mott Winner, Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress [37][38]
The Spiral Staircase 1946 Mrs. Warren Nominee, Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress [39][40]
The Farmer's Daughter 1947 Mrs. Agatha Morley [41]
Moss Rose 1947 Lady Margaret Drego [42]
The Paradine Case 1947 Lady Sophy Horfield Nominee, Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress [43][44]
Night Song 1948 Mrs. Willey [45]
Moonrise 1948 Grandma [46]
Portrait of Jennie 1948 Miss Spinney [47]
The Great Sinner 1949 Grandmother Ostrovsky [48]
That Midnight Kiss 1949 Abigail Trent Budell [49]
The Red Danube 1949 Mother Auxilia, The Mother Superior [50]
Pinky 1949 Miss Em Nominee, Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress [51][52]
Kind Lady 1951 Mary Herries [53]
The Secret of Convict Lake 1951 Granny [54]
It's a Big Country 1951 Mrs. Brian Patrick Riordan [55]
Deadline – U.S.A. 1952 Margaret Garrison [56]
Just for You 1952 Allida de Bronkhart [57]
The Story of Three Loves 1953 Mrs. Hazel Pennicott [58]
Main Street to Broadway 1953 Herself [59]
Young at Heart 1954 Aunt Jessie [60]
Johnny Trouble 1957 Katherine "Nana" Chandler [61]

Radio broadcasts

Signed photograph of Barrymore in 1896
Barrymore's radio broadcasts
Broadcast Date Network Role Notes Ref.
The Ethel Barrymore Theater September 30, 1936 – April 7, 1937 Blue Network Various Weekly plays, including Trelawny of the 'Wells' and Alice Sit-by-the-Fire [7]
The Pursuit of Happiness December 31, 1939 CBS [62]
Lincoln Highway April 13, 1940 NBC Irene Mills [63][64]
Miss Hattie September 17, 1944 – June 17, 1945 Blue Network Miss Hattie Thompson [65]
Screen Guild Players: "The Old Lady Shows Her Medals" October 7, 1946 CBS [66]
Family Theater: "The Passion and Death" March 25, 1948 Mutual Broadcasting System Narrator A pre-Easter broadcast telling the story of the Passion [67]

Notes and references

Notes

  1. ^ The film critic Hollis Alpert, in his 1964 biography on the Barrymores, opines that this is two images blended as one, as the trio were seldom photographed together early in their careers.[10]
  2. ^ Alice Sit-by-the-Fire for 81 performances at the Criterion,[12] before touring (March to April 1906 and September 1906 to February 1907).[13]
  3. ^ 48 performances from the runs at both the Empire and Criterion theatres.[14]
  4. ^ 68 performances from the runs at both Hamden's and the National theatres.[15]
  5. ^ 477 performances from the runs at both the National and Royale theatres.[16]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e McArthur, Benjamin. "Ethel Barrymore". American National Biography Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved December 16, 2015.  (subscription required)
  2. ^ Norden, Martin F. "John Barrymore". American National Biography Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved April 30, 2014.  (subscription required)
  3. ^ a b Byers 1998, p. 29.
  4. ^ a b Barrymore 1955, p. 37.
  5. ^ a b "Ethel Barrymore". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Retrieved 7 December 2015. 
  6. ^ Fox 1970, p. 121.
  7. ^ a b Dunning 1998, p. 235.
  8. ^ "Ethel Barrymore". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved December 16, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Members". American Theater Hall of Fame. Retrieved December 16, 2015. 
  10. ^ Alpert 1965, pp. 76–78.
  11. ^ a b Peters 1990, pp. 535–36.
  12. ^ "Pantaloon / Alice Sit-by-the-Fire". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Retrieved January 19, 2015. 
  13. ^ Norden 1995, p. 39.
  14. ^ "A Slice of Life". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Retrieved December 29, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Hamlet". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Retrieved January 19, 2015. 
  16. ^ "The Corn Is Green". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Retrieved January 19, 2015. 
  17. ^ Kotsilibas-Davis 1981, pp. 359–63.
  18. ^ "Ethel Barrymore". Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 3, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Filmography: Barrymore, Ethel". Film & TV Database. British Film Institute. Retrieved December 3, 2014. 
  20. ^ "The Nightingale". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  21. ^ "The Final Judgment". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  22. ^ "The Kiss of Hate". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  23. ^ "The Awakening of Helena Richie". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  24. ^ "The White Raven". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  25. ^ "The Call of Her People". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  26. ^ "The Greatest Power". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  27. ^ "The Lifted Veil". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  28. ^ "Life's Whirlpool". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  29. ^ "The Eternal Mother". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  30. ^ "An American Widow". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  31. ^ "National Red Cross Pageant". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  32. ^ "Our Mrs. McChesney". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  33. ^ "The Divorcee". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  34. ^ Rosenbaum 2010, p. 95.
  35. ^ "Rasputin and the Empress". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  36. ^ Hoffman 2001, p. 224.
  37. ^ "None But the Lonely Heart". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  38. ^ "None but the Lonely Heart". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  39. ^ "The Spiral Staircase". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  40. ^ "The Spiral Staircase". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  41. ^ "The Farmer's Daughter". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  42. ^ "Moss Rose". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  43. ^ "The Paradine Case". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  44. ^ "The Paradine Case". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  45. ^ "Night Song". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  46. ^ "Moonrise". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  47. ^ "Portrait of Jennie". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  48. ^ "The Great Sinner". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  49. ^ "That Midnight Kiss". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  50. ^ "The Red Danube". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  51. ^ "Pinky". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  52. ^ "Pinky". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 6 November 2015. 
  53. ^ "Kind Lady". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  54. ^ "The Secret of Convict Lake". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  55. ^ "It's a Big Country: An American Anthology". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  56. ^ "Deadline – U.S.A.". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  57. ^ "Just for You". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  58. ^ "The Story of Three Loves". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  59. ^ "Main Street to Broadway". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  60. ^ "Young at Heart". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  61. ^ "Johnny Trouble". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  62. ^ "Tonight's Highlights". The Capital Times. December 31, 1939. p. 13. 
  63. ^ Dunning 1998, p. 401.
  64. ^ "Hear Ethel Barrymore". The Fresno Bee. April 12, 1940. p. 5. 
  65. ^ Terrace 1998, p. 229.
  66. ^ "E. & L. Barrymore With Fairbanks, Jr., Star on Screen Guild Players". Harrisburg Telegraph. October 5, 1946. p. 17 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  67. ^ "WOOB". The Anniston Star. March 25, 1948. p. 15. 

Sources

  • Alpert, Hollis (1965). The Barrymores. London: W.H. Allen. OCLC 30274937. 
  • Barrymore, Ethel (1955). Memories, an autobiography. New York, NY: Harper. OCLC 550484. 
  • Byers, Paula K., ed. (1998). "The Barrymores". Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit, MI: Gale Research. ISBN 978-0-7876-2541-2. 
  • Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-977078-6. 
  • Fox, Ethel (1970). Ethel Barrymore, a portrait. Chicago, IL: Reilly & Lee. OCLC 550484. 
  • Hoffman, Carol Stein (2001). The Barrymores: Hollywood's First Family. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 978-0-8131-2213-7. 
  • Kotsilibas-Davis, James (1981). The Barrymores: the Royal Family in Hollywood. New York, NY: Crown Publishers. ISBN 978-0-517-52896-9. 
  • Norden, Martin F. (1995). John Barrymore: A Bio-Bibliography. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-29268-2. 
  • Peters, Margot (1990). The House of Barrymore. New York, NY: Touchstone. ISBN 978-0-671-74799-2. 
  • Rosenbaum, Jonathan (2010). Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia: Film Culture in Transition. Chicago, IL and London: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-72665-6. 
  • Terrace, Vincent (1998). Radio Programs, 1924–1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-1-4766-0528-9. 

External links

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