Saturday, October 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Ethel Barrymore born in Philadelphia

Philadelphia was hometown of "America's First Family of Theater," the famous Drew-Barrymore clan.

Ethel Barrymore born in Philadelphia

Ethel Barrymore in 1901, wearing one of the dresses from Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines. (Wikimedia Commons)
Ethel Barrymore in 1901, wearing one of the dresses from Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines. (Wikimedia Commons)

Philadelphia was hometown of "America's First Family of Theater," the famous Drew-Barrymore clan.

Lionel and John Barrymore had a sister, Ethel, who was born August 15, 1879, in Philadelphia. She attended the Convent of Notre Dame in Philadelphia, and made her professional stage debut at the age of 14.

After an engagement with Henry Irving in London, she returned to New York City, where, under the Frohman banner, she appeared in Clyde Fitch's Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines (1901) and achieved instant success.

Although her original desire was to become a concert pianist, she made the theater her home and gained a reputation as an actress of dignity and warmth. Her most endearing portrayal was in The Corn Is Green (1940-42). Her work in films was limited, although in 1944 she won an Academy Award for best supporting actress in None But the Lonely Heart. A theater bearing her name was opened in 1928 in New York City. She died in 1959.

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HMP was conceived and formed in 2008 by Sam Katz as part of a plan to produce a multi-part series on the history of Philadelphia. It is now a full service production company with a focus on helping organizations with a rich history tell their stories through the powerful medium of film.

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