Barrymore family

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Official nameBarrymores, The
DesignatedOctober 1, 1996[1]
LocationNW corner, N 6th & Arch Sts., Philadelphia
39°57′10″N 75°09′00″W / 39.95279°N 75.15013°W / 39.95279; -75.15013
Marker TextThree famous actors, Philadelphia-born, were the third generation of this "Royal Family of the American Stage." Lionel (1878–1954), Ethel (1879–1959), and John (1882–1942) performed on stage, screen, radio. Their grandparents, the Drews, managed the Arch St. Theatre here.
EtymologyFrom the surname of actor William Barrymore

The Barrymore family, and the related Drew family, form a British-American acting dynasty which traces its acting roots to the mid-19th century London stage. After migrating to the United States, members of the family appeared in motion pictures.

The surname Barrymore originated from an actor named William Barrymore. The Drew family traces to the Irish actor John Drew Sr.

List of notable members[edit]

John Barrymore as Hamlet in 1922
John Barrymore's granddaughter Drew Barrymore at the 2014 Berlin International Film Festival
  1. William Edward Blythe (1818–1873), married Matilda Chamberlayne (1822–1849); they had seven children
  2. Herbert Arthur Chamberlayne Blythe (aka Maurice Barrymore (1849–1905)) married Georgiana Emma Drew, and had three children: Lionel, Ethel, and John.
    1. Lionel Barrymore (1878–1954)
      1. ∞ Married Doris Rankin (first wife), and had two daughters. Marriage ended in divorce.
        1. Mary Barrymore (died in infancy, 2 years old)
        2. Ethel Barrymore II (died in infancy).
      2. ∞ Married to Irene Fenwick (second wife, until her death)
    2. Ethel Barrymore (1879–1959)
      1. ∞ Married Russell Griswold Colt, and had three children. Ethel's children also acted, primarily on the stage.
        1. Samuel Peabody Colt
        2. John Drew Colt
        3. Ethel Barrymore Colt.
          1. ∞ Married John Romeo Miglietta, and had John Drew Miglietta (born 1946)
    3. John Barrymore (1882–1942)
      1. ∞ Married to Katherine Corri Harris (first wife, divorced)
      2. ∞ Married Blanche Oelrichs (second wife, divorced), and had:
        1. Diana Blanche Barrymore
          1. ∞ Married Bramwell Fletcher
          2. ∞ Married John R. Howard
          3. ∞ Married Robert Wilcox
      3. ∞ Married Dolores Costello (third wife, divorced), and had:
        1. John Drew Barrymore (Jr.) (1932–2004)
          1. ∞ Married Cara Williams (first wife, divorced)
            1. John Blyth Barrymore
          2. ∞ Married Gabriella Palazzoli (second wife, divorced)
          3. ∞ Married[2] Nina Wayne (third wife, divorced)
            1. Jessica Barrymore (died 2014, accidental overdose)[3]
          4. ∞ Married Ildiko Jaid (fourth wife, divorced)
            1. Drew Barrymore (born 1975)
              1. ∞ Married Jeremy Thomas (first husband, divorced)
              2. ∞ Married Tom Green (second husband, divorced)
              3. ∞ Married Will Kopelman (third husband, divorced)
      4. ∞ Married to Elaine Barrie née Jacobs. (fourth wife of John Barrymore Sr., divorced)

Except for Lionel Barrymore, John Drew Barrymore, Diana, Drew, and John Blyth, none of the other members of John Barrymore's family have yet entered the entertainment industry. Most of the spouses, however, were related to the artistic world, mainly actresses and actors.

Drew family[edit]

The family of Georgiana Emma Drew, mother of Lionel, Ethel, and John, also includes a large number of actors.

  1. John Drew, actor, married actress Louisa Lane Drew
    1. Georgiana Emma Drew, ∞ wife of Maurice Barrymore and mother of Lionel, Ethel, and John.
    2. John Drew Jr., 'Uncle Jack' by the Barrymore siblings, married actress Josephine Baker 'Aunt Dodo', daughter of his mother's best friend.
      1. Louise Drew, 'Cousin Bee', ∞ married performer Jack Devereaux; their son John Drew Devereaux (1918–1995) was a Broadway stage manager
    3. Sidney Drew (paternity debatable), known for the Mr. & Mrs. Sidney Drew comedy act. Married to first wife Gladys Rankin 1890–1914 her death. Wife two was Lucille McVey 1914 to his death in 1919.
      1. Sidney Rankin Drew, son of Sidney Drew and Gladys Rankin, left his acting career to join the Lafayette Escadrille, and was killed in action
    4. Louisa Drew (1851–1889), eldest child of Louisa Lane Drew and John Drew Sr., called 'Aunt Wisa' by the Barrymores, moved to Boston, married manager Charles Mendum (1849–1917), had two or ?three children, one of which was Georgie Mendum
      1. Georgie Drew Mendum (1875–1957), actress, named after her aunt Georgie Drew Barrymore, married and divorced from a comedian named George Parsons, (married 1903, divorced 1912). Sometimes stayed at the Mamaroneck home of her cousin Ethel Barrymore.
  2. Frank Drew (1831–1903), actor, brother of John Drew Sr.


  1. ^ "Pennsylvania Historical Marker Search". PHMC. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  2. ^ "John Drew Barrymore". Retrieved 2024-04-14.
  3. ^ Gabrielle Olya (August 27, 2014). "Jessica Barrymore Accidental Overdose: Drew Barrymore's Half Sister Jessica Barrymore's Death Ruled Accidental". People Magazine. Retrieved August 27, 2014.

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