Ethel Barrymore (who is Ethel Barrymore?)

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Ethel Barrymore was an American stage and screen actress whose career spanned six decades. She was born Ethel Mae Blythe on August 15, 1879, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Part of the Barrymore clan, she was one of the second generation of one of the most prominent acting families in America. Her siblings John Barrymore and Lionel Barrymore were also acclaimed actors.

Barrymore's stage debut occurred in 1894, and she soon became known for her talent and stage presence. She performed in a variety of plays, ranging from comedies to Shakespeare, and was renowned for her versatility as a performer.

Her Broadway debut came in 1895 in the play "The Imprudent Young Couple". Her first great success, however, was in "Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines" (1901), and she later starred in many successful plays including "A Doll's House" by Henrik Ibsen, and "The Constant Wife" by W. Somerset Maugham.

Ethel was not just respected in the theater but also made significant contributions to film. She made her motion picture debut in 1914 with "The Nightingale" but worked selectively in cinema. Her appearance in 1944's "None but the Lonely Heart" opposite Cary Grant earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Beyond her acting skills, Barrymore was noted for her beauty, poise, and expressive voice. She was often portrayed as an emblem of elegance and sophistication, both on-stage and off. Throughout her career, she resisted the lure of Hollywood and remained primarily a theatre actress, considered one of the best of her generation.

She authored an autobiography titled "Memories: An Autobiography" by Ethel Barrymore, published in 1955, offering insights into her life and the acting world of her time.

Her personal life saw her married once, to Russell Griswold Colt, from 1909 until their divorce in 1923. They had three children together, Samuel, Ethel, and John. The name "Barrymore" has become synonymous with acting excellence, as her descendants have continued the family's acting legacy.

Ethel Barrymore passed away on June 18, 1959, in Los Angeles, California. Her contributions to the performing arts have left a lasting legacy, and she is remembered as an icon of the stage and a pioneer for women in the entertainment industry.

The Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York City, opened in 1928, is named in her honor and continues to serve as a venue for Broadway productions, a testament to her enduring impact on American theatrical history.

For more detailed information about her life and career, you can refer to her autobiography, or consult biographical compilations such as "The Barrymores: The Royal Family in Hollywood" by Carol Stein. Further details on her stage and screen legacy can be found in various historical archives, especially those dedicated to American theater history and Hollywood cinema.

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