Drew Barrymore has been working regularly on Turner Classic movies with Robert Osborne talking about classic movies and introducing them. Her face has changed quite a bit in recent years. I realized she finally really looks like a Barrymore.
That’s no small thing because she is this generation’s only representative of what is the longest running act in show business.
Several families have two or three generations of actors and a couple of families have three or more generations of directors. Only one has been on stage and screen for more than 100 years. The royal family of the theatre, the Barrymores.
- Herbert Arthur Chamberlayne Blyth (aka Maurice Barrymore)
- ∞ married Georgiana Emma Drew, and had three children: Lionel, Ethel, and John.
- Lionel Barrymore
- ∞ Married Doris Rankin (first wife), and had two daughters. Marriage ended in divorce.
- Mary Barrymore (died at infancy)
- Ethel Barrymore II (died at infancy).
- ∞ Married to Irene Fenwick (second wife, until her death)
- Ethel Barrymore
- ∞ Married Russell Griswold Colt, and had three children. Ethel’s children also acted, primarily on the stage.
- Samuel Peabody Colt
- John Drew Colt
- Ethel Barrymore Colt. ∞ Married John Romeo Miglietta, and had John Drew Miglietta (born 10 September 1946)
- John Barrymore
- ∞ Married to Katherine Corri Harris (first wife, divorced)
- ∞ Married Blanche Oelrichs (second wife, divorced), and had:
- Diana Blanche Barrymore
- ∞ Married Bramwell Fletcher
- ∞ Married John R. Howard
- ∞ Married Robert Wilcox
- ∞ Married Dolores Costello (third wife, divorced), and had:
- Dolores Ethel Mae Barrymore (living).
- ∞ Married Thomas Fairbanks (first husband, divorced) and had a daughter Hillary Klaradru Fairbanks (living), who ∞ married Thomas Randolph and had a daughter Isabelle Harrison Barrymore Randolph. Also she had a son Anthony John Barrymore Fairbanks who ∞ married Dianne Zaninovich and had a daughter Samantha Mae Barrymore Fairbanks.
- ∞ Married Lew Bedell (second husband) and had two children Dore Lewis Bedell and Stephanie Mae Bedell
- John Drew Barrymore (Jr.)
- ∞ Married Cara Williams (first wife, divorced)
- John Blyth Barrymore
- ∞ Married Rebecca Pogrow
- Blyth Lane Barrymore
- Sabrina Brooke Barrymore
- ∞ Married Jacqueline Manes
- John Blyth Barrymore IV
- ∞ Married Gabriella Palazzoli (second wife, divorced)
- Blyth Dolores Barrymore. ∞ Married Antonio Gioffredi and had two children Gabriella Gioffredi and Nicole Gioffredi
- ∞ Married Nina Wayne (third wife, divorced)
- Jessica Barrymore
- ∞ Married Ildiko Jaid (fourth wife, divorced)
- Drew Barrymore
- ∞ Married Jeremy Thomas (first husband, divorced)
- ∞ Married Tom Green (second husband, divorced)
- ∞ Married Will Kopelman (third husband)
- Olive Barrymore Kopelman
- ∞ Married to Elaine Barrie née Jacobs. (fourth wife of John Barrymore, Sr., divorced)
As of this writing, other than John Drew, Diana, Drew, and John Blyth, none of the other members of John Barrymore‘s family entered the entertainment industry.
Louisa Lane Drew 1840-48
Family of Georgiana Emma Drew, mother of Lionel, Ethel, and John, also quit acting.
- John Drew, actor
- ∞ Louisa Lane Drew, actress
- Georgiana Emma Drew, ∞ wife of Maurice Barrymore and mother of Lionel, Ethel, and John.
- John Drew Jr.
- Louise Drew, ∞ married performer Jack Devereaux; their son John Drew Devereaux was a Broadway stage manager
- Sidney Drew, known for the Mr. & Mrs. Sidney Drew comedy act
- Sidney Rankin Drew, left his acting career to join the Lafayette Escadrille, and was killed in action
- Louisa Drew, actress
What got this post started? Garry and I got to talking and speculating how many genuine acting dynasties we could think of with at least three generations where at least one member of each generation has done something noteworthy as a performer. Not a director, producer or writer. An actor. Only.
Define “noteworthy” please!
It started when we noticed a Capra listed as a crew member of an NCIS episode. Garry wondered if this was a fourth generation of Capras. There was a Frank Capra I, II and III, so it seemed likely to be a member of the same family. However, they are all directors. No actors. So they don’t count in this particular equation.
If you want to play movie trivia with Garry, you play by his rules. He declared that in order to count as an actor for that generation, he or she must have “made a mark,” that is, have done something that in Garry’s opinion counts, eliminating families like the Osbournes which probably should be eliminated on principle anyhow. Reality shows, no matter how popular, do not count. Nor does working as a reporter. Don’t argue with Garry about this. You will lose.
This genealogy got a lot more complicated than I expected. The members of acting dynasties marry each other, divorce each other, have children by each other as well as with other partners. Then there are the adopted and step children of everybody’s former marriages. It gets hard to keep track.
It turns out, following the Garry Guidelines, there are not as many families as I thought. Plenty of two generation families, a handful of three generation families — and only one family that has more than three generations. Barrymore.
Of this great family, Drew is only working member, its only current representative.There are many other members of the family. Although none of them are acting, it doesn’t mean they or their offspring won’t enter the family business in the future. It’s quite a legacy to live up to. Talk about pressure.
If you want to see the other families or at least most of them, you can look them up; just Google “multi-generational acting families”. The Wikipedia entry omits several significant British acting families. This link takes you to an alphabetical list of show business families. The intricacies of the marriages, divorces and resulting complex relationships will make your head spin.
The Barrymore family reigns. No other family comes near the prominence or longevity of this family of actors.
The Wikipedia entry on the Barrymore family tree includes actors and non-actors. There are quite a few family members who are not in show business. The acting family members are in blue. Most of the Barrymores married no more than once or twice, so it’s easier to track them than some other families.