Barrymore: Lionel Barrymore

The Barrymores' older son, Lionel Barrymore, 1878–1954, b. Philadelphia, first appeared in minor roles in the company of Louisa Lane Drew, his grandmother, and John Drew, his uncle. A much admired character actor, he is best remembered for his work in films, e.g., Dinner at Eight (1933), You Can't Take It with You (1938), and in 15 Dr. Kildare films. He received an Academy Award in 1931 for his performance in A Free Soul. His portrayal of Scrooge in Dickens's Christmas Carol won him a wide radio audience from 1936. In later life, crippled and confined to a wheelchair, he became known for his portrayals on radio. Barrymore, who loved art and music more than the theater, composed over 100 unpublished musical pieces and was a member of the American Society of Etchers. He also wrote a novel, Mr. Cantonwine: a Moral Tale (1953).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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