Drew Barrymore

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Drew Barrymore
Barrymore at Music & Lyrics premiere, 2007
Born Drew Blythe Barrymore
(1975-02-22) February 22, 1975 (age 41)[1][2]
Culver City, California, U.S.
  • Actress
  • Author
  • Director
  • Model
  • Producer
Years active 1978–present
  • Jeremy Thomas (m. 1994; div. 1995)
  • Tom Green (m. 2001; div. 2002)
  • Will Kopelman (m. 2012; div. 2016)
Children Olive Barrymore Kopelman, Frankie Barrymore Kopelman
Parent(s) John Drew Barrymore
Jaid Barrymore
Relatives See Barrymore family
Website www.drewbarrymore.com
This article is part of a series on
Drew Barrymore

Drew Blythe Barrymore[3] (born February 22, 1975)[3] is an American actress, author, director, model and producer. She is a descendant of the Barrymore family of well-known American stage and cinema actors, and is the granddaughter of actor John Barrymore. Barrymore first appeared in an advertisement when she was eleven months old. In 1980, she made her film debut in Altered States. In 1982, she starred in her breakout role for Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and quickly became one of Hollywood's most recognized child actresses, going on to establish herself in mainly comic roles.

Following a turbulent childhood that was marked by recurring drug and alcohol abuse, and two stints in rehab,[1][4] Barrymore wrote the 1990 autobiography, Little Girl Lost. She successfully made the transition from child star to adult actress with a number of films including Poison Ivy, Bad Girls, Boys on the Side, Scream and Everyone Says I Love You. Subsequently, she also starred in romantic comedies, such as The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates.

In 1995, she and her business partner Nancy Juvonen formed the production company Flower Films,[5] with its first production the 1999 Barrymore film Never Been Kissed. Flower Films went on to produce the Barrymore vehicle films Charlie's Angels, 50 First Dates and Music and Lyrics, as well as the cult film Donnie Darko. Her more recent projects include He's Just Not That Into You, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Everybody's Fine and Going the Distance. A recipient of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Barrymore appeared on the cover of the 2007 People magazine's 100 Most Beautiful people.

Barrymore was named an Ambassador Against Hunger for the UN World Food Programme (WFP). Since then, she has donated over 1 million US dollars to the program. In 2007, she became both CoverGirl's newest model and spokeswoman for the cosmetic and the face for Gucci's newest jewelry line. In 2010, she won the Screen Actors Guild Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film for her portrayal of Little Edie in Grey Gardens.

Early life and family[edit]

Barrymore was born in Culver City, California, to American actor John Barrymore (1932-2004) and Jaid Barrymore (born Ildikó Jaid Makó; 1946-),[1][6] an aspiring actress. Barrymore's mother was born in a displaced persons camp in Brannenburg, West Germany, to Hungarian World War II refugees.[7] Her parents divorced in 1984, when she was nine years old.[1] She is one of four children with a half-brother, John,[8] who is also an actor.

Barrymore was born into acting: all of her paternal great-grandparents – Maurice Barrymore and Georgie Drew Barrymore, and Maurice Costello and Mae Costello (née Altschuk)[9] – as well as her paternal grandparents, John Barrymore and Dolores Costello, were actors;[9] John Barrymore was arguably the most acclaimed actor of his generation.[1][10] She is the niece of Diana Barrymore and the grandniece of Lionel Barrymore, Ethel Barrymore and Helene Costello,[11] the great-great-granddaughter of Irish-born John Drew and English-born Louisa Lane Drew, all of whom were actors, and the great-grandniece of Broadway idol John Drew, Jr. and silent film actor, writer and director Sidney Drew.[12] Her godfather is Steven Spielberg while her godmother is Anna Strasberg, Lee Strasberg's widow.[13] Meanwhile, Barrymore is the god-daughter of director Steven Spielberg,[4][5][14][15][16] and actress Sophia Loren.[17][18]

Her first name, "Drew", was the maiden name of her paternal great-grandmother, Georgie Drew Barrymore, and her middle name, "Blythe," was the original surname of the dynasty founded by her great-grandfather, Maurice Barrymore.[4] Barrymore recounted in her 1989 autobiography, Little Girl Lost, early memories of her abusive father, who left the family when Barrymore was six months old. They have never had anything resembling a significant relationship and seldom spoke to each other.[19]

Barrymore grew up on Poinsetta Place in West Hollywood until the age of 7, when she moved to Sherman Oaks.[20] In her 2015 memoir Wildflower, she says she talks "like a valley girl" because she grew up in Sherman Oaks.[20] She moved back to West Hollywood upon becoming emancipated at 14.[20]

Barrymore was educated at Fountain Day School in West Hollywood and Country School in Sherman Oaks.[21]


Early career[edit]

Barrymore with President Reagan, October 17, 1984.

Barrymore's career began when, at 11 months old, she auditioned for a dog food commercial.[4] When she was nipped by her canine co-star, the producers were afraid she would cry, but she merely laughed, and was hired for the job.[4] She made her feature film debut with a small role in Altered States (1980).[1] A year later, she played Gertie, the younger sister of Elliott, in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which made her one of the most famous child stars of the time and earned her the Young Artist Award as Best Young Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture in 1982.[4][22] She received a Golden Globe nomination as Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture in 1984 for her role in Irreconcilable Differences, in which she starred as a young girl divorcing her parents.[4][23] In a review in the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert stated: "Barrymore is the right actress for this role precisely because she approaches it with such grave calm."[24]

Rebellious era[edit]

In the wake of this sudden stardom, Barrymore endured a notoriously troubled childhood. She was already a regular at the notorious Studio 54 as a young girl, smoking cigarettes at the age of nine, drinking alcohol by the time she was eleven, smoking marijuana at the age of twelve and snorting cocaine at the age of thirteen.[1][4] Her nightlife and constant partying became a popular subject with the media.[1] She was in rehab at the age of fourteen,[1][4] where she spent eighteen months in an institution for the mentally ill.[25] A suicide attempt, also at age fourteen, put her back in rehab, followed by a three-month stay with singer David Crosby and his wife.[10] The stay was precipitated, Crosby said, because she "needed to be around some people that were committed to sobriety."[10] Barrymore later described this period of her life in her autobiography, Little Girl Lost. The following year, when she was 15,[19] following a successful juvenile court petition for emancipation, she moved into her own apartment.[10]

In June 1988 after an evening of heavy drinking, Barrymore angrily confronted her mother. She began breaking dishes and glasses until her mother left. Shortly thereafter, a friend of Barrymore's and the friend's mother entered the house and whisked the actress into a waiting car. They took her to ASAP, a Van Nuys rehabilitation clinic, where she would remain for 12 days.[19]

After a break to film Far From Home, Barrymore returned to Los Angeles and continued her therapy. Six days later, she boarded a plane for New York to audition for a play. Her stay in New York proved to be her downfall, as she found herself in a nightclub where cocaine was available. Barrymore wrongly believed that a small amount of cocaine would not jeopardize her steps toward recovery. One day later, she stole her mother's credit card and flew with a friend back to L.A., bought more cocaine, and went on an unauthorized shopping spree. Barrymore was quickly taken back to ASAP by private agents hired by her mother.[19]

Barrymore's second stay at the clinic was no more effective than the first. In March 1989, she went out to celebrate six months of sobriety. The friend she was with had a small amount of marijuana and Barrymore could not resist. She began feeling guilty over the fact that her mother was unaware of her return to drugs and their relationship deteriorated. In June 1989, Barrymore moved into an apartment with a friend and struggled with her depression, which would trigger a suicide attempt on July 4, 1989. Immediately after Barrymore slashed her wrists with a butcher knife, a friend entered the apartment and rushed her to the hospital. From there, she returned to ASAP for more treatment. At the urging of her counselors, she was released into the custody of David Crosby (of rock group Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young fame) and his wife, Jan Dance, in October 1989, both recovered drug abusers. One of Barrymore's counselors, a friend of Crosby and his wife, made the arrangement with hopes that a more supportive environment would help Drew finally kick her habits. Barrymore's mother also agreed to begin therapy to address her codependency with Drew and begin to foster a more positive and structured relationship with her daughter.[19]

Barrymore with Corey Feldman at the 61st Academy Awards, March 29, 1989

In her late teens, her rebelliousness played itself out on screen and in print. Barrymore forged an image as a manipulative teenage seductress, beginning with the film Poison Ivy (1992), which was a box office failure, but was popular on video and cable.[1][26] That same year, at age seventeen, she posed nude for the cover of the July issue of Interview magazine with her then-fiancé, actor Jamie Walters, as well as appearing nude in pictures inside the issue.[27] In 1992, she underwent breast reduction surgery and has said on the subject:

"I really love my body and the way it is right now. There's something very awkward about women and their breasts because men look at them so much. When they're huge, you become very self-conscious. Your back hurts. You find that whatever you wear, you look heavy in. It's uncomfortable. I've learned something, though, about breasts through my years of pondering and pontificating, and that is: Men love them, and I love that."[28]

In 1993, Barrymore earned a second Golden Globe nomination, for the film Guncrazy.[23] Barrymore posed nude at age nineteen for the January 1995 issue of Playboy.[29][30] Steven Spielberg, who directed her in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial when she was a child and is her godfather, gave her a quilt for her twentieth birthday with a note that read, "Cover yourself up."[4] Enclosed were copies of her Playboy pictures, with the pictures altered by his art department so that she appeared fully clothed.[31] During her appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, Barrymore climbed onto David Letterman's desk and bared her breasts to him, her back to the camera, in celebration of his birthday.[10] She modeled in a series of Guess? jeans ads during this time.[32]

Return to prominence[edit]

In 1995, Barrymore starred in Boys on the Side with Whoopi Goldberg and Mary-Louise Parker,[33] and in her cameo appearance in Joel Schumacher's film Batman Forever, she played Sugar, a moll to Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones).[34][35] The following year, she made a cameo in the successful horror film Scream. Barrymore continued to be highly bankable, and a top box office draw.[1][36] She also starred in romantic comedies, such as Wishful Thinking (1997), The Wedding Singer (1998)[37] and Home Fries (1998).[38] Barrymore's role in the costume drama Ever After (1998) offered a modern take on the classic fairy tale of Cinderella and served as a reminder, according to Roger Ebert, of how well Drew Barrymore "can hold the screen and involve us in her characters."[39] In 2000, Barrymore was nominated for an Emmy Award for her performance in Olive, the Other Reindeer.[40] Besides a number of appearances in films produced by her company Flower Films, including Charlie's Angels, Barrymore also starred in Riding in Cars with Boys (2001), as a teenage mother in a failed marriage with the drug-addicted father (based on the real-life story of Beverly Donofrio).[1] In 2002, Barrymore starred in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, with Sam Rockwell and Julia Roberts.[41]

Flower Films and later work[edit]

Barrymore at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival

In 1995, Barrymore formed Flower Films, a production company, with business partner Nancy Juvonen.[42] The first film produced by the company was 1999's Never Been Kissed.[43] The company's second offering was Charlie's Angels (2000), a major box office success that helped solidify the standing of both Barrymore and the company.[4][44] When the production of Richard Kelly's debut film, Donnie Darko, was threatened, Barrymore stepped forward with financing from Flower Films, and she took the small role of Karen Pomeroy, the title character's English teacher.[45] Although the film was less than successful at the box office in the wake of 9/11, it reached cult film status after the DVD release, inspiring numerous websites devoted to unraveling the plot twists and meanings.[45]

In 2003, she reprised her role as Dylan Sanders in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle,[1][44] and starred with Ben Stiller in Duplex in 2003. Flower Films produced 50 First Dates with co-star Adam Sandler's Happy Madison company in 2004.[46][47] Summing up Barrymore's appeal, Roger Ebert, in his review of 50 First Dates, described Barrymore as having a "smiling, coy sincerity," describing the film as "ingratiating and lovable."[48] 50 First Dates was followed by Fever Pitch (2005), and in 2007, Music and Lyrics and Lucky You.[49][50] She also starred in recent films, such as Beverly Hills Chihuahua, He's Just Not That Into You, Grey Gardens and Everybody's Fine. Barrymore's directorial debut film Whip It, was released in October 2009. It starred Ellen Page and Marcia Gay Harden, and centered on an obsession with beauty pageants and the Austin, Texas, Hurl Scouts roller derby team. Barrymore also co-starred in the film.[51]

In 2010, Barrymore reunited with former partner Justin Long on the set of Going the Distance, directed by Nanette Burstein. An R-rated romantic comedy about a couple dealing the ups and downs of a long-distance relationship while commuting between New York City and San Francisco, the largely improvised film garnered generally mixed reviews by critics,[52] who summed it as "timelier and a little more honest than most romantic comedies."[53] Budgeted at US$32 million,[54] the film became a moderate financial success at a worldwide box office total of US$40 million.[55]

In 2012, Barrymore starred with John Krasinski in Ken Kwapis's Big Miracle (2012), based on the 1989 book Freeing the Whales, which covers Operation Breakthrough, the 1988 international effort to rescue gray whales from being trapped in ice near Point Barrow, Alaska.[56] On August 2, 2011, Barrymore directed the music video for the song "Our Deal," for the band Best Coast, which features Chloë Grace Moretz, Miranda Cosgrove, Tyler Posey, Donald Glover, Shailene Woodley and Alia Shawkat.[57] In 2016, Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant starred in the Netflix sitcom Santa Clarita Diet, as a couple leading vaguely discontented lives. It is scheduled for 2017.[58]

Other career highlights[edit]

In 1999, Barrymore was honored by the Young Artist Foundation with its Former Child Star "Lifetime Achievement" Award commemorating her outstanding achievements within the film industry as a child actress.[59] In 2006, she began a recurring role in the animated comedy Family Guy as Brian Griffin's simple-minded girlfriend, Jillian Russell.[60] She subsequently appeared in a total of eleven episodes.[60][61][62][63] She was the subject of the 2005 documentary My Date with Drew. In it, an aspiring filmmaker and Barrymore fan used his limited resources to gain a date with her.[64] On February 3, 2004, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[65]

Barrymore sporting an unusual appearance with two-tone hair

Barrymore's films compiled a worldwide box office gross that stood at over US$2.3 billion. According to The Hollywood Reporter's annual Star Salary Top 10, she was tied for eighth place on the top ten list of actresses' salaries, commanding 10 to 12 million dollars per film for 2006.[66] Barrymore became the youngest person to have hosted Saturday Night Live (SNL) having hosted on November 20, 1982 at 7 years of age, a record that remained unbroken as of 2015.[67][68] On February 3, 2007, Barrymore hosted SNL for the fifth time,[44] making her the second female host (after Candice Bergen) in the show's history to do so. She hosted again on October 10, 2009, becoming the first female to host six times. In March 2012, Barrymore began co-hosting the twelfth season of The Essentials, a film showcase on Turner Classic Movies that spotlighted significant classic films.[69] She co-hosted alongside TCM regular Robert Osborne.

Barrymore became a CoverGirl Cosmetics's model and spokeswoman in 2007.[70] In February 2015, she remained one of the faces of CoverGirl, alongside Queen Latifah and Taylor Swift. The company partnered with her because "she emulates the iconic image of CoverGirl with her fresh, natural beauty and energetic yet authentic spirit," said Esi Eggleston Bracey, Vice President and General Manager of CoverGirl Cosmetics North America. She brought not only her personality into this endorsement but also her creative side, as she also helped create the ads.[71] She was No. 1 in People's annual 100 Most Beautiful People list in 2007.[72] Later, she was named the new face for the Gucci jewelry line.[73][74] As a model, Barrymore signed a contract with IMG Models New York City.

In May 2007, Barrymore was named Ambassador Against Hunger for the United Nations World Food Programme[75][76] and later donated $1 million to the cause.[44][77] In September 2010, Barrymore was confirmed in the role of Ganga in the Indian Bollywood film The Lifestyle – In Generation Next, to be directed by Santosh Kumar Jain and released in 2012.[needs update] [78] Several articles and interviews reported Barrymore's taste for photography. As a guest photographer for a magazine series called "They Shoot New York," she appeared on the cover holding a Pentax K1000 film camera.[79] She expressed hopes of exposing her work in a gallery one day, as she had documented the most recent decade of her life with a Pentax camera.[80]

Personal life[edit]

Anne Helm and father John Barrymore in Gunsmoke (1964)

In 2013, Barrymore stated during an appearance on talk show The View that she enjoys practicing her husband's religion, Judaism, and is thinking of converting. "It's a beautiful faith and I'm so honored to be around it. It's so family-oriented [and] the stories are so beautiful and it's incredibly enlightening. I'm really happy."[81]

Concerning her sexuality, Barrymore said in an interview with Contact Music in 2003, "Do I like women sexually? Yeah, I do. Totally. I have always considered myself bisexual."[82] Barrymore was quoted in 2004 as saying, "A woman and a woman together are beautiful, just as a man and a woman together are beautiful. Being with a woman is like exploring your own body, but through someone else. When I was younger I used to go with lots of women. Totally. I love it".[83] In March 2007, former magazine editor Jane Pratt claimed on her Sirius Satellite Radio show that she had a romance with Barrymore in the mid-1990s.[84]

Barrymore is the godmother of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love's daughter, Frances Bean Cobain.[85]

Barrymore has spoken of how she has grown much more stylistically conservative since the birth of her children.[86]

Drew tattooed the names of her two daughters on the inside of her right wrist.[87]

Barrymore is a supporter of Hillary Clinton and introduced the presidential candidate at a fundraiser in 2015.[88]

Relationships, marriages and family life[edit]

In 1991, at the age of 16, Barrymore became engaged to Leland Hayward, namesake and grandson of Hollywood producer Leland Hayward.[89] The engagement was called off a few months later.[90] Barrymore was engaged to and lived with musician and actor Jamie Walters from 1992 to 1993.[91]

Barrymore married her first husband, Welsh-born Los Angeles bar owner Jeremy Thomas, at age nineteen on March 20, 1994. She filed for divorce from him less than two months later.[1][10] By many accounts, the split-up was much less than amicable.[19]

She dated Eric Erlandson, the guitarist for the alternative rock band Hole.[19]

Barrymore dated MTV host and comedian Tom Green in 1999, before getting engaged in July 2000 and married a year later.[1] Together, they starred in Charlie's Angels and Green's directorial film debut Freddy Got Fingered. Green filed for divorce in December 2001,[92] which was finalized on October 15, 2002.[92][93]

In 2002, Barrymore began dating The Strokes' drummer Fabrizio Moretti, soon after they met at a concert.[1][44] Their five-year relationship ended in January 2007.[44][94] She then began dating actor Justin Long,[95] but they broke up in July 2008.[96] Barrymore and Long reunited in 2009 and co-starred in the 2010 film Going the Distance, but broke up again in 2010.[97]

In early 2011, Barrymore began dating art consultant Will Kopelman, the son of former Chanel CEO, Arie Kopelman.[98] The couple announced their engagement in January 2012,[99][100] and married on June 2, 2012 in Montecito, California.[101] The couple's wedding picture was featured on the cover of People magazine on June 6, 2012.[102] Barrymore and Kopelman have two daughters: Olive Barrymore Kopelman (born September 26, 2012)[103] and Frankie Barrymore Kopelman (born April 22, 2014).[104] On April 2, 2016, Barrymore and Kopelman released a statement confirming they had separated and intended to divorce.[105] On July 15, 2016, Barrymore officially filed for divorce, which was finalized on August 3, 2016.[106][107]


Awards and nominations[edit]


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Further reading[edit]

  • Aronson, Virginia. Drew Barrymore. Chelsea House, 1999. ISBN 0-7910-5306-7
  • Bankston, John. Drew Barrymore. Chelsea House Publishers, 2002. ISBN 0-7910-6772-6
  • Barrymore, Drew. Little Girl Lost. Pocket Star Books, 1990. ISBN 0-671-68923-1
  • Dye, David. Child and Youth Actors: Filmography of Their Entire Careers, 1914-1985. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 1988, p. 11.
  • Ellis, Lucy. Drew Barrymore: The Biography. Aurum Press, 2004. ISBN 1-84513-032-4
  • Hill, Anne E. Drew Barrymore. Lucent Books, 2001. ISBN 1-56006-831-0

External links[edit]