|Born||Georgiana Emma Drew
July 11, 1856
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Died||July 2, 1893
Santa Barbara, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Mount Vernon Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Other names||Georgie Drew Barrymore|
Life and career
Born in Philadelphia, her family — parents John Drew and Louisa Lane Drew, brothers John Drew, Jr. and Sidney, and sister Louisa — were all actors with the exception of Louisa. She made her theatrical debut in 1872 in The Ladies' Rattle. She followed John Jr. to New York City, where she acted in many Broadway hits, such as Pique and As You Like It. In Pique she met a young English actor, 26 year old, Maurice Barrymore, whom she married on December 31, 1876. They had three children: Lionel, Ethel, and John. She is a great-grandmother and partial namesake of actress Drew Barrymore.
According to a 2004 A&E Biography piece, the marriage, happy at first, became rocky as Maurice indulged in numerous affairs. Georgie even filed for divorce, but they reconciled. He asked her to tour with him and Helena Modjeska in a play he wrote. Learning that he and Helena had resumed their romance, Georgie, who had been given ownership of the play by Maurice, closed it. Helena's husband, its producer, sued her. The real reason for Georgie's actions never got into the press.
In 1890, she had a great success in The Senator co-starring William H. Crane and, in 1891, as one of the two widows in Mr. Wilkinson's Widows. Her stage career at this time was being managed by a young up-and-coming producer named Charles Frohman. Frohman would play a big part in managing the early careers of her three children, as well as her brother John Drew. In December 1891, illness forced her to leave the stage. In 1893 she traveled west with Ethel to take a supposed cure for tuberculosis. It proved to be unsuccessful, she died a few months later in Santa Barbara, California. Reportedly, her last words were, "Oh my poor kids! What shall ever become of them?" as related to her to her son John, in the 1920s, by an elderly woman who had been staying at the same boarding house in Santa Barbara as Georgie and Ethel. It was 13-year-old Ethel's responsibility to see that her mother's remains were returned to Philadelphia for burial by Mrs Drew and Maurice, who met Ethel's train in Chicago. In 1893, this coast-to-coast journey would have lasted a week. All three of her children would die within a hundred miles of where their mother died at Santa Barbara back in 1893.
- Georgianna Emma Drew Barrymore - North American Theatre Online
- Great Times, Good Times: The Odyssey of Maurice Barrymore c.1977 by James Kotsilibas Davis
- Georgie Drew Barrymore Dead; Her Death Announced from Santa Barbara Cal., Where She Had Been for Her Health;New York Times, July 3, 1893; PDF/file Retrieved February 3, 2015
- Barrymore, John; Confessions of an Actor c.1926 (John Barrymore recalls the elderly woman telling him about Georgie when he was visiting Nassau (probably filming The Lotus Eater(1921).)
- Familiar Chats with the Queens of the Stage page 312 by Alan Dale c.1890; transcript presented online by archive.org; 'Alan Dale interviews Georgiana Drew & Maurice Barrymore in their New York City apartment'. Dale expresses his certainty that the couple's three children (Lionel, Ethel, and John) "will never be seen upon the stage."
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Georgiana Drew.|
- studio portrait of Georgiana Drew Barrymore from the 1870s
- another pose of studio portrait, *'note same attire'(from Alexander Street's North American Theatre Online)
- studio portrait of Georgiana Drew and Maurice Barrymore 1876
- portrait of Georgiana Drew ?1890s
- Georgiana Drew Barrymore portrait from theatrical article
- Georgiana Drew Barrymore and her mother Mrs Louisa Lane Drew in humorous moment before portrait photographer
- 1890 photo of Georgie and her children
- Georgie and Maurice being remembered as their children's careers blossom