Lionel Barrymore

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Not to be confused with Lionel Belmore.
Lionel Barrymore
Lionel Barrymore.jpg
Barrymore in 1923
Born Lionel Herbert Blythe
(1878-04-28)April 28, 1878
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died November 15, 1954(1954-11-15) (aged 76)
Van Nuys, California, U.S.
Cause of death Heart attack
Occupation Actor
Years active 1893–1954
Notable work A Free Soul
It's a Wonderful Life
Young Dr. Kildare
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Doris Rankin (m. 1904–23) (divorced)
Irene Fenwick (m. 1923–36) (her death)

Lionel Barrymore (April 28, 1878 – November 15, 1954) was an American actor of stage, screen and radio as well as a film director.[1] He won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in A Free Soul (1931), and remains perhaps best known for the role of the villainous Mr. Potter character in Frank Capra's 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life. He was a member of the theatrical Barrymore family.

Early life[edit]

Lionel Barrymore was born Lionel Herbert Blythe in Philadelphia, the son of actors Georgiana Drew Barrymore and Maurice Barrymore. He was the elder brother of Ethel and John Barrymore, the uncle of John Drew Barrymore, Diana Barrymore, Dolores Barrymore, Sam, Ethel, and John Drew Colt and the granduncle of Drew Barrymore. Barrymore was raised a Roman Catholic.[2] He attended the Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia.[3]

In her autobiography, Eleanor Farjeon recalled that when she and Barrymore were friends as toddlers, she would take off her shoes and he would kiss her feet.[4]

He was married twice, to actresses Doris Rankin and Irene Fenwick, a one-time lover of his brother John. Doris's sister Gladys was married to Lionel's uncle Sidney Drew, which made Gladys both his aunt and sister-in-law.

Doris Rankin bore Lionel two daughters, Ethel Barrymore II (b. 1908) and Mary Barrymore (b. 1916).[5] Neither child survived infancy, though Mary lived a few months. Barrymore never truly recovered from the deaths of his girls, and their loss undoubtedly strained his marriage to Doris Rankin, which ended in 1923. Years later, Barrymore developed a fatherly affection for Jean Harlow, who was born about the same time as his two daughters and would have been about their age. When Jean died in 1937, Lionel and Clark Gable mourned her as though she had been family.

Stage career[edit]

Lionel Barrymore as a young man.

Barrymore began his stage career in the mid-1890s, acting with his formidable grandmother Louisa Lane Drew. He appeared on Broadway in his early twenties with his uncle John Drew Jr. in such plays as The Second in Command (1901) and The Mummy and the Hummingbird (1902), both produced by Charles Frohman. In 1905 Lionel and his siblings, John and Ethel, were all being groomed under the tutelage of Frohman. That year Lionel appeared with John in a short play called Pantaloon while John appeared with Ethel in Alice-Sit-By-The-Fire.

In 1910, after he and Doris had spent many years in Paris, Lionel came back to Broadway, where he established his reputation as a dramatic and character actor. He and his wife often acted together on stage. He proved his talent in many plays, including Peter Ibbetson (1917) (with brother John), The Copperhead (1918) (with Doris), and The Jest (1919) (again with John). Lionel gave a short-lived performance as MacBeth in 1921 with veteran actress Julia Arthur as Lady MacBeth. The play was not successful and more than likely convinced Lionel to permanently return to films. One of Lionel's last plays was Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1923) with his second wife, Irene Fenwick. This play would later be made into a 1928 silent film starring Lionel's friend, Lon Chaney, Sr.

Film career[edit]

Barrymore began making films about 1911 with D.W. Griffith at the Biograph Studios. There are claims that he made an earlier film with Griffith called The Paris Hat (1908) but no such motion picture is known to exist. Lionel and Doris were in Paris in 1908, where Lionel attended art school and where their first baby, Ethel, was born. Lionel mentions in his autobiography, We Barrymores, that he and Doris were in France when Bleriot flew the channel on July 25, 1909.

Entering films the same year his uncle Sidney Drew began a film career at Vitagraph, Barrymore made The Battle (1911), The New York Hat (1912), Friends and Three Friends (1913). In 1915 he co-starred with Lillian Russell in a movie called Wildfire, one of the legendary Russell's few film appearances. He also made a foray into directing at Biograph. The last silent film he directed, Life's Whirlpool (Metro Pictures 1917), starred his sister, Ethel.

Lionel and first wife Doris (in rocking chair) in 1920 silent film The Devil's Garden.

In early 1920, Barrymore reprised his title role in the stage play, The Copperhead (1920), in a Paramount Artcraft film of the same name. [6]

Before the formation of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1924, Barrymore forged a good relationship with Louis B. Mayer early on at Metro Pictures. He made several silent features for Metro, most of them now lost. He occasionally freelanced, returning to Griffith in 1924 to film America. His last film for Griffith was in 1928's Drums of Love.

With second wife Irene Fenwick Taken in 1923

After Lionel and Doris divorced in 1923, he married Irene Fenwick. The two went to Italy to film The Eternal City for Metro Pictures in Rome, combining work with their honeymoon. In 1924, he went to Germany to star in British producer-director Herbert Wilcox's Anglo-German co-production Decameron Nights, filmed at UFA's Babelsberg studios outside Berlin.

Prior to his marriage to Irene, he and his brother John engaged in a dispute over the issue of Irene's chastity in the wake of her having been one of John's lovers. The brothers didn't speak again for two years and weren't seen together until the premiere of John's film Don Juan in 1926, by which time they had patched up their differences. In 1924, he left Broadway for Hollywood. He starred as Frederick Harmon in director Henri Diamant-Berger's drama Fifty-Fifty (1925) opposite Hope Hampton and Louise Glaum, and made several other freelance motion pictures, including The Bells (Chadwick Pictures 1926) with a then-unknown Boris Karloff. After 1926, however, he worked almost exclusively for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, appearing opposite such luminaries as John Gilbert, Lon Chaney, Sr., Jean Harlow, Wallace Beery, Marie Dressler, Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, his brother John and sister Ethel.

Barrymore in David Copperfield trailer, 1935

On the occasional loan-out, Barrymore had a big success with Gloria Swanson in 1928's Sadie Thompson and the aforementioned Griffith film, Drums of Love. Talkies were now a reality and Barrymore's stage-trained voice recorded well in sound tests. In 1929, he returned to directing films. During this early and imperfect sound film period, he made the controversial His Glorious Night with John Gilbert, Madame X starring Ruth Chatterton, and Rogue Song, Laurel & Hardy's first color film. Barrymore returned to acting in front of the camera in 1931. In that year, he won an Academy Award for his role as an alcoholic lawyer in A Free Soul (1931), after being nominated in 1930 for Best Director for Madame X. He could play many characters, like the evil Rasputin in the 1932 Rasputin and the Empress (in which he co-starred with siblings John Barrymore and Ethel Barrymore) and the ailing Oliver Jordan in Dinner at Eight (1933 – also with John Barrymore, although they had no scenes together).

During the 1930s and 1940s, he became stereotyped as a grouchy but sweet elderly man in such films as The Mysterious Island (1929), Grand Hotel (1932, with John Barrymore), Captains Courageous (1937), You Can't Take It with You (1938), On Borrowed Time (1939, with Cedric Hardwicke), Duel in the Sun (1946), and Key Largo (1948).

AFRS "Concert Hall" Radio Show, circa 1947
As the avaricious Mr. Potter in It's a Wonderful Life, 1946.

In a series of Doctor Kildare movies in the 1930s and 1940s, he played the irascible Doctor Gillespie, a role he repeated in an MGM radio series that debuted in New York in 1950 and was later syndicated. He also played the title role in the 1940s radio series, Mayor of the Town. Barrymore had broken his hip in an accident, hence he played Gillespie in a wheelchair. Later, his worsening arthritis kept him in the chair.[7] The injury also precluded his playing Ebenezer Scrooge in the 1938 MGM film version of A Christmas Carol, a role Barrymore played every year but two (1936, replaced by brother John Barrymore and 1938, replaced by Orson Welles) on the radio from 1934 through 1953. He also had a role with Clark Gable in Lone Star in 1952. His final film appearance was a cameo in Main Street to Broadway, an MGM musical comedy released in 1953. His sister Ethel also appeared in the film.

Perhaps his best known role,[citation needed] thanks to perennial Christmastime replays on television, was Mr. Potter, the miserly and mean-spirited banker in It's a Wonderful Life (1946) opposite James Stewart. The role suggested that of the "unreformed" stage of Barrymore's "Scrooge" characterization. Lionel's wife, Irene, died on Christmas Eve of 1936 and Lionel did not perform his annual Scrooge that year. John filled in as Scrooge for his grieving brother.


Barrymore registered for the draft during World War II despite his age and disability, to encourage others to enlist in the military.[8] He loathed the income tax. He expressed an interest in appearing on television in the 1950s but felt compelled to remain loyal to his old friend and employer, Louis B. Mayer and MGM.[9][10]

Barrymore was a Republican. In 1944, he attended the massive rally organized by David O. Selznick in the Los Angeles Coliseum in support of the Dewey-Bricker ticket as well as Governor Earl Warren of California, who would become Dewey's running mate in 1948 and later the Chief Justice of the United States. The gathering drew 93,000, with Cecil B. DeMille as the master of ceremonies and with short speeches by Hedda Hopper and Walt Disney. Among the others in attendance were Ann Sothern, Ginger Rogers, Randolph Scott, Adolphe Menjou, Gary Cooper, Eddy Arnold, William Bendix, and Walter Pidgeon.[11][12]

Medical issues[edit]

Several sources argue that arthritis alone confined Barrymore to a wheelchair.[13][14] The onset of the arthritis is not clear. Film historian Jeanine Basinger says it was serious by at least 1928, when Barrymore made Sadie Thompson.[15] Screenwriter Anita Loos claimed that the arthritis was so bad by 1929, Barrymore was taking large quantities of morphine.[16] Film historian David Wallace says it was "well known" that Barrymore was "addicted" to morphine due to arthritis by 1929, when Louis B. Mayer hired Barrymore to direct Redemption (a film from which Barrymore was removed).[17] A history of Oscar-winning actors, however, says Barrymore was only "suffering" from arthritis, not crippled by it.[18] Marie Dressler biographer Matthew Kennedy notes that when Barrymore won his Best Oscar award in 1930, the arthritis was still so minor that it only made him limp a little as he went on stage to accept the honor.[19] Despite these rumors Barrymore can be seen being quite physical in late silent films like The Thirteenth Hour and West of Zanzibar where he can be seen climbing out of a window.

Others claim that Barrymore's broken hip alone was the cause of Barrymore's incapacity. Paul Donnelly says Barrymore's inability to walk was caused by a drawing table falling on him in 1936, breaking Barrymore's hip.[20] Barrymore tripped over a cable while filming Saratoga in 1937, and broke his hip again.[21] (Film historian Robert A. Osborne says Barrymore also suffered a broken kneecap.)[22] The injury was painful enough that Donnelly, quoting Barrymore, says that Louis B. Mayer bought Barrymore $400 worth of cocaine every day to help him cope with the pain and allow him to sleep.[20] Author David Schwartz says the hip fracture never healed, which was why Barrymore could not walk,[23] while MGM historian John Douglas Eames claims that the injury was "crippling".[24] Barrymore himself said in 1951, that it was breaking his hip twice that kept him in the wheelchair. He said he had no other problems, and that the hip healed well, but it made walking exceptionally difficult.[25] Film historian Allen Eyles reached the same conclusion.[26]

However, Lew Ayres biographer Lesley Coffin and Louis B. Mayer biographer Scott Eyman argue that it was the combination of the broken hip as well as Barrymore's worsening arthritis that put him in a wheelchair.[27][28]

Syphilis has also been suggested as a cause of Barrymore's disability. Syphilis can severely affect joint movement. Barrymore family biographer Margot Peters says that close Barrymore friends Gene Fowler and James Doane both said Barrymore's arthritis was caused by syphilis, which they say he contracted in 1925.[29] Eyman, however, explicitly rejects this hypothesis.[28]

Whatever the cause of his disability, Barrymore's performance in Captains Courageous in 1937 was one of the last times he would be seen standing and walking unassisted.[30] Afterward, Barrymore was able to get about for a short period of time on crutches even though he was in great pain.[22] During the filming of 1938's You Can't Take It With You, the pain of standing with crutches was so severe that Barrymore required hourly shots of painkillers.[14] By 1938, Barrymore used a wheelchair exclusively and never walked again.[31] He could, however, stand for short periods of time such as at his brother's funeral being held by niece Diana Barrymore, much like FDR being held by one of his sons.[28]


Barrymore was also a prolific composer. His works ranged from solo piano pieces to large-scale orchestral works, such as "Tableau Russe," which was performed twice in Dr. Kildare's Wedding Day (1941), first by Barrymore himself on piano and later by a full symphony orchestra. His piano compositions, "Scherzo Grotesque" and "Song Without Words", were published by G. Schirmer in 1945.

Graphic artist[edit]

Barrymore was a skillful graphic artist. For years, he maintained an artist's shop and studio attached to his home in Los Angeles. His etchings and drawings are prized by collectors around the world.


Crypt of Lionel Barrymore at Calvary Cemetery

Lionel Barrymore died on November 15, 1954 from a heart attack in Van Nuys, California, and was entombed in the Calvary Cemetery in East Los Angeles, California.[32]

Lionel Barrymore is honored with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in the motion picture and radio categories. He is also a member of the American Theatre Hall of Fame, along with his siblings, Ethel and John.[33]

Popular culture[edit]

  • On the TV series M*A*S*H, in the 1976 episode "The Novocaine Mutiny", Dr. Hawkeye Pierce (Alan Alda) gets angry with Dr./Major Frank Burns's (Larry Linville) medical ineptness and tells him, "Now get out there and practice medicine or I'm gonna report you to Lionel Barrymore!", a reference to Barrymore's Dr. Gillespie character in the "Dr. Kildare" films of the 1930s and 1940s.
  • In the animated series Jonny Quest in the episode "Turu the Terrible" the villain is a character called 'Deen'. He is elderly and wheelchair bound and is in command of a large pteranodon, an apparent survivor from the prehistoric dinosaur age. While Deen does not look like Lionel Barrymore, he is voiced by actor Everett Sloane whose voice is a dead ringer for Barrymore's.
  • In the animated series Underdog, the recurring villain Simon Bar Sinister's voice is an impersonation of Barrymore.
  • In the 1948 cartoon short Hot Cross Bunny, Bugs Bunny does an impression of Barrymore as Dr. Gillespie.
  • In a 1968 episode of The Wild Wild West, "The Night of the Gruesome Games", actor William Schallert playing a crazed Victorian millionaire affects a credible Barrymore impersonation wheelchair and all. Likewise, series regular Ross Martin (Artemus Gordon), impersonating Scallert's character, does a fine Lionel impersonation.

Partial filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1911 Fighting Blood Directed by D. W. Griffith
The Battle wagon driver Directed by D. W. Griffith
The Miser's Heart Directed by D. W. Griffith
1912 Friends Grizzley Fallon (Dandy Jack's friend) Directed by D. W. Griffith
The Chief's Blanket Directed by D. W. Griffith
Heredity woodsman Directed by D. W. Griffith
The New York Hat minister Directed by D. W. Griffith
1913 The Tender Hearted Boy Directed by D. W. Griffith
Oil and Water In First Audience/In Second Audience/Visitor Directed by D. W. Griffith
Almost a Wild Man In audience
The Work Habit The father
The Strong Man's Burden John
The Battle at Elderbush Gulch Directed by D. W. Griffith
Death's Marathon The Financial Backer Directed by D. W. Griffith
1914 Judith of Bethulia extra Directed by D. W. Griffith
Strongheart Billy Saunders
1917 The Millionaire's Double
1920 The Copperhead Title role
1921 The Great Adventure Priam Farll
1923 Enemies of Women Prince Lubimoff
1923 The Eternal City Baron Bonelli
1924 I Am the Man James McQuade
1925 Fifty-Fifty Frederick Harmon
The Woman Who Did Allan Merrick
1926 The Bells Mathias
The Temptress Canterac
1927 The Show The Greek
Body and Soul Dr. Leyden
The Thirteenth Hour Professor LeRoy
1928 Sadie Thompson Alfred Davidson
West of Zanzibar Mr. Crane
1929 Madame X director
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Director
The Unholy Night director
The Mysterious Island Count Dakkar This film began production in 1927 as a silent. It was completed and released with sound and talking sequences in 1929.
1930 The Sea Bat director (uncredited)
1931 Ten Cents a Dance director
A Free Soul Stephen Ashe, Defense Attorney Academy Award for Best Actor
Guilty Hands Richard Grant
The Yellow Ticket Baron Igor Andrey
Mata Hari Gen. Serge Shubin
1932 Broken Lullaby Dr. Holderlin
Arsène Lupin Det. Guerchard
Grand Hotel Otto Kringelein
Rasputin and the Empress Rasputin includes John, Ethel, and Lionel
1933 Dinner at Eight Oliver Jordan
One Man's Journey Eli Watt
Sweepings Daniel Pardway
1933 Should Ladies Behave Augustus Merrick
1934 Carolina Bob Connelly
The Girl from Missouri Thomas Randall "T.R." Paige
Treasure Island Billy Bones
1935 David Copperfield Dan’l Peggotty
The Return of Peter Grimm Peter Grimm
The Little Colonel Col. Lloyd
Mark of the Vampire Professor
Public Hero No. 1 Dr. Josiah Glass
Ah, Wilderness! Nat Miller
1936 The Voice of Bugle Ann Spring Davis
The Road to Glory Pvt. Moran
The Devil-Doll Paul Lavond
The Gorgeous Hussy Andrew Jackson
Camille Monsieur Duval
1937 Captains Courageous Captain Disko Troop
A Family Affair Judge James K. Hardy
Navy Blue and Gold Capt. "Skinny" Dawes
Saratoga Grandpa Clayton
1938 A Yank at Oxford Dan Sheridan
Test Pilot Howard B. Drake
You Can't Take It with You Grandpa Martin Vanderhof
Young Dr. Kildare Dr. Gillespie
1939 Let Freedom Ring Thomas Logan
Calling Dr. Kildare Dr. Leonard Gillespie
On Borrowed Time Julian Northrup (Gramps)
The Secret of Dr. Kildare Dr. Leonard Barry Gillespie
1940 The Stars Look Down Narrator voice, uncredited
Dr. Kildare's Strange Case Dr. Leonard Gillespie
Dr. Kildare Goes Home Dr. Leonard Gillespie
Dr. Kildare's Crisis Dr. Leonard Gillespie
1941 The Penalty "Grandpop" Logan
The Bad Man Uncle Henry Jones
The People vs. Dr. Kildare Dr. Leonard Gillespie
Dr. Kildare's Wedding Day Dr. Leonard Gillespie
Lady Be Good Judge Murdock
1942 Dr. Kildare's Victory Dr. Leonard Gillespie
Calling Dr. Gillespie Dr. Leonard Gillespie
Dr. Gillespie's New Assistant Dr. Leonard Gillespie
Tennessee Johnson Thaddeus Stevens
1943 Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case Dr. Leonard Gillespie
The Last Will and Testament of Tom Smith Gramps
A Guy Named Joe The General
1944 Three Men in White Dr. Leonard B. Gillespie
Since You Went Away Clergyman
Dragon Seed Narrator voice, uncredited
1945 Between Two Women Dr. Leonard Gillespie
The Valley of Decision Pat Rafferty
1946 Three Wise Fools Dr. Richard Gaunght
It's a Wonderful Life Henry F. Potter
The Secret Heart Dr. Rossiger
Duel in the Sun Sen. Jackson McCanles
1947 Dark Delusion Dr. Leonard Gillespie
1948 Key Largo James Temple
1949 Down to the Sea in Ships Capt. Bering Joy
Malaya John Manchester
1950 Right Cross Sean O'Malley
1951 Bannerline Hugo Trimble
1952 Lone Star Andrew Jackson
1953 Main Street to Broadway Himself (with his sister Ethel)

Radio appearances[edit]

Year Program Episode/source
1942-46 Mayor of the Town Series Star
1946 Screen Guild Players The Old Lady Shows Her Medals[34]
1950-51 Dr Kildare Series Co-star
1953 Hall of Fame William Newton Byers, Two Gun Journalist[35]

See also[edit]

this concerns a movie not listed from 1934 watching on tcm right now This Side Of Heaven

Personal and professional problems eventually drive a family man to attempt suicide


  1. ^ Obituary Variety, November 17, 1954.
  2. ^ "NOTABLES ATTEND BARRYMORE RITES; Hollywood Stars Join Throng at Burial of Member of Famed Acting Family". The New York Times. November 19, 1954. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  3. ^ "A Quiz about Main Line Schools". The Main Line Times. 2008-09-03. Archived from the original on January 15, 2009. Retrieved 2008-12-26. 
  4. ^ Farjeon, Eleanor, A Nursery in the Nineties (Gollancz, 1935).
  5. ^ The Barrymores in Hollywood by James Kotsilibas Davis, c.1981;...Davis talks about the second girl dying while Lionel was working for Metro Studios which was formed in 1916.
  6. ^ Advertisement appearing in National Geographic, February 1920
  7. ^ Landazuri, Margaret. Archives Spotlight: Young Dr. Kildare. Turner Classic Accessed: 7 December 2007.
  8. ^ Stewart, Patrick (host). "The Lion Reigns Supreme". MGM: When the Lion Roared. Season 1. 
  9. ^ The Barrymores by Hollis Alpert c.1964
  10. ^ "When Eleanor Roosevelt Got MGM to Fire Lionel Barrymore From a Pro Bomb Epic; by Greg Mitchell, May 5 2013
  11. ^ Commentary Magazine
  12. ^ David M. Jordan, FDR, Dewey, and the Election of 1944 (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2011), p. 231
  13. ^ Marzano, p. 49; Willian, p. 37; Silvers, p. 234; "Movie of the Week: 'On Borrowed Time'." Life. July 10, 1939, p. 56, accessed 2013-05-10.
  14. ^ a b Norden, p. 145.
  15. ^ Basinger, p. 230.
  16. ^ Wayne, p. 105.
  17. ^ Wallace, p. 78.
  18. ^ Bergan, Fuller, and Malcolm, p. 32.
  19. ^ Kennedy, p. 177.
  20. ^ a b Donnelly, p. 68.
  21. ^ Culbertson and Randall, p. 141.
  22. ^ a b Osborne, p. 31.
  23. ^ Schwartz, p. 241.
  24. ^ Eames, p. 139.
  25. ^ Barrymore and Shipp, p. 287.
  26. ^ Eyles, p. 118.
  27. ^ Coffin, p. 72.
  28. ^ a b c Eyman, p. 219.
  29. ^ Peters, p. 438, 597.
  30. ^ Block and Wilson, p. 203.
  31. ^ Reid, p. 193.
  32. ^ "Lionel Barrymore Is Dead at 76.". New York Times. November 16, 1954. 
  33. ^ "Theater Hall of Fame members". Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  34. ^ "E. & L. Barrymore With Fairbanks, Jr., Star on Screen Guild Players". Harrisburg Telegraph. October 5, 1946. p. 17. Retrieved October 2, 2015 – via  open access publication - free to read
  35. ^ Kirby, Walter (November 15, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 50. Retrieved July 7, 2015 – via  open access publication - free to read


  • Barrymore, Lionel and Shipp, Cameron. We Barrymores. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1951.
  • Basinger, Jeanine. Silent Stars. Hanover, N.H.: Wesleyan University Press, 2000.
  • Bergan, Ronald; Fuller, Graham; and Malcolm, David. Academy Award Winners. New York: Smithmark Publishers, 1994.
  • Block, Alex Ben and Wilson, Lucy Autrey. George Lucas's Blockbusting: A Decade-by-Decade Survey of Timeless Movies, Including Untold Secrets of Their Financial and Cultural Success. New York: itBooks, 2010.
  • Coffin, Lesley L. Lew Ayres: Hollywood's Conscientious Objector. Jackson, Miss.: University Press of Mississippi, 2012.
  • Culbertson, Judi and Randall, Tom. Permanent Californians: An Illustrated Guide to the Cemeteries of California. Chelsea, Vt.: Chelsea Green Pub. Co., 1989.
  • Donnelly, Paul. Fade to Black: A Book of Movie Obituaries. London: Omnibus, 2003.
  • Eames, John Douglas. The MGM Story: The Complete History of Fifty Roaring Years. New York: Crown Publishers, 1975.
  • Eyles, Allen. That Was Hollywood: The 1930s. London: Batsford, 1987.
  • Eyman, Scott. Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2005.
  • Kennedy, Matthew. Marie Dressler: A Biography. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2006.
  • Marzano, Rudy. The Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s: How Robinson, MacPhail, Reiser, and Rickey Changed Baseball. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2005.
  • Norden, Martin F. The Cinema of Isolation: A History of Physical Disability in the Movies. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1994.
  • Osborne, Robert A. Academy Awards Illustrated: A Complete History of Hollywood's Academy Awards in Words and Pictures. La Habra, Calif.: E.E. Schworck, 1969.
  • Peters, Margot. The House of Barrymore. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1990.
  • Reid, John Howard. Hollywood Movie Musicals: Great, Good and Glamorous. Morrisville, N.C.: Lulu Press, 2006.
  • Schwartz, David. Magic of Thinking Big. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987.
  • Silvers, Anita. "The Crooked Timber of Humanity: Disability, Ideology and the Aesthetic." In Disability/Postmodernity: Embodying Disability Theory. Mairian Corker and Tom Shakespeare, eds. New York: Continuum, 2002.
  • Wallace, David. Lost Hollywood. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2001.
  • Wayne, Jane Ellen. The Leading Men of MGM. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2005.
  • Willian, Michael. The Essential It's a Wonderful Life: A Scene-by-Scene Guide to the Classic Film. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2006.

Further reading[edit]

  • Menefee, David W. The First Male Stars: Men of the Silent Era.

External links[edit]