Drew Blyth Barrymore (born February
22, 1975) is an American actress, film producer and film director. She is
the youngest member of the Barrymore family of American actors and
granddaughter of John Barrymore. She first appeared in an advertisement
when she was eleven months old. Barrymore made her film debut in Altered
States in 1980. Afterwards, she starred in her breakout role in E.T. the
Extra-Terrestrial. She quickly became one of Hollywood's most recognized
child actors, going on to establish herself in mainly comic roles.
Following a turbulent childhood which was marked by drug and alcohol abuse
and two stints in rehab, 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, and Everyone Says I Love You. Subsequently, she established
herself in romantic comedies such as The Wedding Singer and Lucky You.
In 1990, she and partner Nancy Juvonen formed the production company
Flower Films, with its first production the 1999 Barrymore film Never Been
Kissed. Flower Films has gone 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. Barrymore's more recent projects include He's Just
Not That into You, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, and Everybody's Fine. 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 issue.
Barrymore was named Ambassador Against Hunger for the United Nations World
Food Programme (WFP). Since then, she has donated over $1 million 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 was awarded 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.
Barrymore was born in Culver City, California, the daughter of American
actor John Drew Barrymore and Ildikó Jaid Barrymore (née Makó), an
aspiring actress born in a Displaced Persons camp in Brannenburg, West
Germany to Hungarian World War II refugees. Barrymore is of Irish descent
on her father's side through an ancestor, actor Maurice Costello. Her
parents divorced after she was born. She has a half-brother John Blyth
Barrymore, also an actor, and two half-sisters, Blyth Dolores Barrymore
and Brahma (Jessica) Blyth Barrymore.
Barrymore was born into acting: her great-grandparents Maurice Barrymore
and Georgie Drew Barrymore, Maurice Costello and Mae Costello (née
Altschuk) and her grandparents John Barrymore and Dolores Costello were
all actors; John Barrymore was arguably the most acclaimed actor of his
generation. She is the grandniece of Lionel Barrymore, Ethel Barrymore and
Helene Costello, the great-great-granddaughter of John Drew and actress
Louisa Lane Drew, and the great grandniece of silent film
actor/writer/director Sidney Drew. She is also the god-daughter of
director Steven Spielberg, and Sophia Loren.
Her first name, Drew, was the maiden name of her paternal
great-grandmother, Georgie Drew Barrymore; her middle name, Blyth, was the
original surname of the dynasty founded by her great-grandfather, Maurice
Barrymore's career began when she auditioned for a dog food commercial at
eleven months old. When she was bitten by her canine co-star, the
producers were afraid she would cry, but she merely laughed, and was hired
for the job. She made her film debut in Altered States (1980), in which
she got a small part. A year later, she landed the role of Gertie, the
younger sister of Elliott, in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which made her
famous. She received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress
in 1984 for her role in Irreconcilable Differences, in which she starred
as a young girl divorcing her parents. In a review in the Chicago
Sun-Times, Roger Ebert states: "Barrymore is the right actress for this
role precisely because she approaches it with such grave calm." He
concludes with saying that "The Drew Barrymore character sees right
through all of this. She doesn't care about careers, she wants to be given
a happy home and her minimum daily requirement of love, and, in a way, the
movie is about how Hollywood (and American success in general) tends to
cut adults off from the natural functions of parents."
In 1991, at the age of 16, Barrymore became engaged to Leland Hayward,
grandson of Hollywood producer Leland Hayward. However after a few months,
this engagement was called off. Soon afterward, Barrymore was engaged to
and lived with musician/actor Jamie Walters in 1992-93.
She was married to Welsh bartender turned bar owner Jeremy Thomas from
March 20 to April 28, 1994. Her second marriage was to comedian Tom Green
from July 7, 2001 to October 15, 2002. Green filed for divorce in December
2001. In 2002, Barrymore began dating Strokes' drummer Fabrizio Moretti,
soon after they met at a concert. Their five year relationship, however,
ended on January 10, 2007. She most recently dated Justin Long, however,
they confirmed their split in July 2008. The couple reunited in 2009 and
Us Weekly reported that they signed on to co-star in the upcoming film
Going the Distance.
In the 1990s Barrymore was frequently described as bisexual, although she
said in a 1997 interview that she had not "been with a woman in about two
years". In 2004, she was quoted 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".
In March 2007, former magazine editor Jane Pratt claimed on her Sirius
Satellite Radio show that she had a romance with Barrymore in the
Barrymore was formerly a vegetarian, but has since begun to eat meat.
I know certain actors are
totally screwed up on drugs, yet it gets covered up. Why wasn't I
excused for 'exhaustion' or 'the flu'?
There's something liberating about not pretending. Dare to embarrass
If I ever start talking to you about my 'craft', my 'instrument',
you have permission to shoot me.
I believe in fate. I believe that everything happens for a reason,
but I think it's important to seek out that reason - that's how you
I believe you can be the person that you dream of being.
[On her favorite movies to make]: I try to make movies that I would
want to go see rather than ones I would just want to do as an actor.
I want people to have movies full of romance and hope and
empowerment, something they can escape into and feel good about. I
love happy endings.
[On her morning routine]: Every morning I stay in bed for ten
minutes to ponder my place in the universe. Then I wash my face and
check my karma.
Life is very interesting. In the end, some of your greatest pains
become your greatest strengths.
I love levity. As crazy as I am, I just love to laugh!
I'm getting older so those dark circles are really starting to show.
Now, I'm starting to look like Night of the Living Dead.
When I lay my head on the pillow at night, I can say "I was a decent
person today". That's when I feel beautiful.
There's nothing like the power of a smile.
[As quoted in Woman's World (5-24-05 issue]: I'd rather be a few
pounds heavier and enjoy life than be worried all the time.
I don't want to sit around and hope good things happen. I want to
make them happen.
[Quoted in Woman's Day, 11-1-05]: My whole life, I've wanted to feel
comfortable in my skin. It's the most liberating thing in the world.
My parents are not bad people. It was just a case of them not
wanting a child.
You have to fight unhappiness like a dragon with fire and breathe.
"As much light as I have inside me, there's just as much darkness,
I'm afraid. There's a polarity, and I still have demons to work
"I love women who have fought to the change the world and made a
difference. I want to be one of them myself".
"I did karaoke once-a Pat Benatar song-and my friends looked at me
with disgust." (In Style/Sept/2006)