DREW BARRYMORE Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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The daughter of actor John Drew Barrymore Jr. and Ildiko Jaid, Barrymore’s great-grandparents were actors Maurice Barrymore and Georgiana Drew, and her grandparents were actors John Barrymore and Dolores Costello. The director Steven Spielberg is her godfather.


Barrymore, a talented young actress, has been as well known for her wild antics off-screen as for her acting ability. Ildiko Jaid, estranged from husband John Barrymore Jr., began taking her daughter to auditions as a tiny baby. The youngest Barrymore appeared in her first television commercial, for Puppy Choice dog food, before she was a year old. She made her screen debut at age four in Ken Russell’s Altered States (1980). At age seven, Barrymore landed her most famous role as Gertie, the adorable little sister in E.T.: The Extraterrestrial (1982). She appeared on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and became the youngest-ever host of Saturday Night Live.


Jaid began taking her daughter to night clubs, and it was at Studio 54 and the China Club where Barrymore developed a pre-teenage fondness for drugs and alcohol. At age 13, an enraged Barrymore became violent when she was unable to throw her mother out of the house. She was placed in rehabilitation and later wrote of the experience in her autobiography, Little Girl Lost.


Because of her reputation as a wild child in trouble, film projects were slow to materialize. Barrymore made some minor films, including Irreconcilable Differences, Firestarter and Cat’s Eye, and in the 1990s began starring in a series of films that exploited her bad-girl image, including Poison Ivy (1992), Guncrazy (1992), the TV prime time soap, Malibu Road (1992), and The Amy Fisher Story (1993), a made-for-TV movie based on the Joey Buttafuoco scandal.


Barrymore entered into a short-lived marriage to actor Jeremy Thomas at age 19, which lasted from March to May of 1994. She continued her outrageous behavior in the early 1990s by posing nude, multiple tattoos and all, for spreads in Andy Warhol’s Interview and in Playboy. She also exposed her breasts on TV to a shocked David Letterman at his Late Night show birthday celebration.


Her cinematic luck began to change in 1995 when she turned in a solid performance in Boys on the Side with Whoopi Goldberg and Mary-Louise Parker. She made a memorable terror-filled appearance in the blockbuster Scream (1996) and co-starred in Woody Allen’s musical Everybody Says I Love You, the same year. In 1998, she costarred in the popular comedy, The Wedding Singer with Adam Sandler, and in Ever After, a version of the Cinderella story costarring Anjelica Huston as her evil stepmother. She reportedly received $3 million for the latter project, which met with a decidedly favorable reception.


Barrymore, who founded her own production company, Flower Films, in 1994, got her first credit as executive producer in 1999 with the likable comedy Never Been Kissed, in which she also starred. She produced and starred in the hit film version of Aaron Spelling’s popular 1970s TV series, Charlie’s Angels, playing alongside Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu as the titular trio of private detectives. A sequel is planned for June 2002 entitled Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. In late 2001, Barrymore starred in Penny Marshall’s Riding in Cars with Boys.


In the summer of 2000, Barrymore became engaged to the eccentric Canadian comic Tom Green, of MTV’s The Tom Green Show, who had a cameo role in Charlie’s Angels. After many false wedding rumors (some started by Green himself), the pair eloped in March 2001. The couple filed for divorce six months later; the divorce was made final in October 2002.