Ethel Barrymore was an Academy Award-winning American actress and a member of the famous Barrymore family.
Ethel Barrymore was highly regarded as a charming and charismatic stage actress in New York City and a major Broadway performer. Her first appearance in Broadway was in 1901, in a play called "Captain Jinks of the Horses Marines". She was a great Nora in "A Doll's House" by Ibsen (1905), and a passionate Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet" by Shakespeare (1922).
She was also a strong supporter of the Actors' Equity Association and had a high-profile role in the 1919 strike. In 1926, she scored one of her greatest successes as the sophisticated spouse of a philandering husband in W. Somerset Maugham's comedy, "The Constant Wife". In July 1934 she starred in the play "Laura Garnett", by Leslie and Sewell Stokes, at Dobbs Ferry, New York State.
She made her first motion picture in 1914 and in the 1940s, she moved to Hollywood, California and started working in motion pictures. The only two films that featured Ethel with her two brothers, John and Lionel, were "National Red Cross Pageant" (1917) & "Rasputin and the Empress" (1932).
She won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the 1944 film "None but the Lonely Heart" opposite Cary Grant, but made plain that she was not overly impressed by it. She made such other classic films as "The Spiral Staircase" (1946), a wonderful thriller directed by Robert Siodmak, "Pinky" (1949), and "Kind Lady" (1951). Her last film appearance was in "Johnny Trouble" (1957). She also made a number of television appearances in the 1950s. Her later roles were usually that of a kindly but sophisticated, and wise, older woman.
Ethel died from heart disease in 1959 at her home in Hollywood, California two months shy of her 80th birthday. She is interred in the Calvary Cemetery, East Los Angeles.
The Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York City is named after her.
- The Paradine Case (1947) — cast: Lady Sophie Horfield
- Show Business at War (1943)
- Images from the Hitchcock Gallery (click to view larger versions or search for all relevant images)...