Ethel Mae Blyth - aka. Ethel Barrymore
Birth Aug 15, 1879 - Philadelphia, PA
Death Jun 18, 1959 - Hollywood, CA
Born into a long-established American theatrical family, Ethel
Barrymore dreamed of being a concert pianist, but found that
acting was virtually the only profession for which she was truly
qualified - and which ensured a livable income. Ethel's first Broadway hit was Clyde
Fitch's 1901 play Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines,
in the role of a supercilious woman of wealth. Ethel received
glamorous roles, usually comic in nature, specially written for
her. Ethel was intrigued at the notion of working with her celebrated
brothers John and Lionel Barrymore, but the film vehicle chosen
by MGM, Rasputin and the Empress (1932), showed only Lionel to
advantage. After ten years of unsuccessful plays - excepting
a "comeback" in the 1940 hit The Corn is Green.
Ethel accepted Cary Grant's personal invitation to play Grant's
mother in None But the Lonely Heart (1944), for which
she was nominated and won an Oscar. After the World War in 1946
Ethel left for Hollywood and landed in the films The Spiral Staircase
(1946), The Farmer's Daughter (1947) and Pinky (1949). One of
her last efforts was a syndicated anthology, Ethel Barrymore
Theatre, in which she hosted and occasionally acted. Ethel Barrymore
two-word assessment of acting on television was that "It's
hell."CLICK HERE FOR Ethel
Barrymore Photo 1906.
Portrait of Jenny was an interesting video. Joseph Cotton
is an artist Eben Adams. Jenny is a ghost who had died many years
ago in a Tidal wave in New England at a lighthouse that Adams
had painted. It is much like the Twilight Zone. Adams falls in
love with "Jenny" actress Jennifer Jones. Ethel Barrymore
purchases Adams and supports his belief in Jenny.
Deadline USA, Humphreny Bogart plays the good guy and Ethel
saves the day. Every newspaper writer or publisher should watch
this one, especially Larry Flynt. Never Kill A Story.
One must not ignore Ethel's private life for there are gold
nuggets there also. In 1909 Ethel Barrymore married Russell Griswold
Colt, it lasted fourteen years and produced three children Ethel
B. Colt, Samuel P. Colt and John Drew Colt.
Russell was a stockbroker and executive of the Lewis Arms
Company. His father was Samuel Pomeroy Colt who founded the 500-acre
Colt Farm and Drive in Bristol, R.I. Russell's father was Samuel
Pomeroy Colt, president of the United States Rubber Company.
His brother was Le Baron Bradford Colt a well known lawyer, judge
and U.S. Senator (1913-1919) for the state of Rhode Island. In
1876,1877, 1878, Samuel P. Colt was a member of the general assembly
and from 1879-85 was assistant attorney-general. Samuel married
Eliabeth M. Bullock the daughter of a well known judge James
Russell Bullock. Russell's grandfather was Col. Samuel Colt,
who with a small inheritance perfected the famous revolver. In
1835 while in Calcutta at the age of 21 he took out his first
patent for a revolving firing pistol. A company was formed in
1835. In 1842 when the Mexican war broke out he designed another
model so that he would win Government contracts. Samuel Colt
Sr. also invented a submarine battery of great power and efficiency,
and as early as 1843 laid operated a submarine cable from Coney
Island and Fire Island to New York City. From the mouth of the
harbor to the Merchant's Exchange.
In 1944 Ethel won her one and only Oscar for the film None
But the Lonely. The setting is in Liverpool and her son is Cary
Grant. Ethel has a portrait of herself as a young lady hanging
on the wall. Carrying the dialect of a British lad came easy
for Grant, yet it was not so easy for Ethel. Because of trials
and tribulations in collaboration of her dialect is what earn
Ethel her Oscar. It is truly a story of how a family sticks together
and does not leave their love ones at a time of need. This film
was almost fifty years after Ethel had acted with her uncle John
Drew and Maud Adams at the Waldorf-Astoria.
It is related that when Ethel Barrymore stood hestitating
on her first stage appearance some one in the gallery yelled
out: "Speak up, Ethel. Don't be afraid. The Drews is all
One of Ethel's last films, was a year before I was born Young
At Heart. I find it a great film for I have it interesting
from a family sort of way. The story revolves around a music
composer and a piano player. I always had a crush on Doris Day.
She has to be one of the best performers, singers and as an actress.
What a great cast. It was strange to see her with Frank Sinatra
who had the best voice as a male singer. The color was perfect,
shots in Connecticut looked like Malibu. One has to wonder how
Sinatra sang so good and smoked so much. Doris Day also is portraited
as a smoker. 1954 was almost 60 years since Ethel began acting
on stage at The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where she had a room.
I think what caught my attention in this film was that Doris
won the Oscar for The Man Who Knew Too Much in 1956 when uncle
Harold was unable to get nominated. For he wrote the lyrics to
Around the World in 80 Days two weeks before Oscar night
for MIchael Todd. Also that Harold wrote the lyrics to Sinatra's
first Oscar nomination and this film came a year after Sinatra
won an Oscar for From Here to Eternity. Like my uncle
Harold Adamson, Ethel had five Oscar nominations and won her
one and only acting side-by-side with Cary Grant. Harold received
his last Oscar with Grant for the film An Affair to Remember.
Young At Heart is truly a film to Remember. Ethel Barrymore would
pass away five years later in 1959.
Painting on 1909 Photograph
of Ethel Barrymore - Again Looking Like Drew
CLICK HERE FOR Ethel
Barrymore Photo Gallery-1902-1906.
CLICK HERE FOR SECOND
Ethel Barrymore Photo Gallery-1908-1913.
CLICK HERE FOR THIRD
Ethel Barrymore Photo Gallery-1910-1928.
CLICK HERE FOR FOURTH
Ethel Barrymore Photo Gallery-1925-1930. Portait of daughter
Ethel B. Colt.
CLICK HERE FOR FIFTH
Ethel Barrymore Photo Gallery.
CLICK HERE FOR SIXTH
Ethel Barrymore Photo Gallery.
FILMS OF ETHEL BARRYMORE
- 1957 Johnny Trouble as: Mrs. Chandler
- 1954 Young at Heart as: Aunt Jessie
- 1953 The Story of Three Loves aka Equilibrium Mrs. Pennicott
- 1953 Main Street to Broadway
- 1952 Deadline U.S.A. as Mrs. Garrison
- 1952 Just for You as Allida de Bronkhart
- 1951 Kind Lady as Mary Harries
- 1951 The Secret of Convict Lake as Granny
- 1951 It's a Big Country as: Mrs. Brian Patrick Riordan
- 1949 The Great Sinner as Grandmother
- 1949 The Red Danube as Mother Superior
- 1949 Pinky as Miss Em
- 1949 That Midnight Kiss as Abigail Budell
- 1948 Portrait of Jennie aka Tidal Wave as: Miss Spinney
- 1948 Moonrise as: Grandma
- 1947 Moss Rose as: Lady Sterling
- 1947 The Farmer's Daughter as: Mrs. Morley
- 1947 The Paradine Case as Lady Sophie Horfield
- 1947 Night Song as Aunt Willey
- 1946 The Spiral Staircase as Mrs. Warren
- 1944 None But the Lonely Heart as: Ma Mott
- 1943 Show Business at War aka March of Time, The, Volume
IX, Issue 10 as: Herself
- 1933 All at Sea
- 1932 Rasputin and the Empress aka Rasputin: The Mad Monk
as: The Czarina
- 1918 Whirlpool
- 1918 Our Mrs. McChesney as Emma McChesney
- 1917 Life's Whirlpool
- 1917 Call of Her People
- 1917 An American Widow
- 1917 White Raven
- 1916 Awakening of Helena Richie aka The Awakening of Helen
- 1914 The Nightingale
CLICK HERE FOR Maurice Barrymore Store items with this Portrait
- Best Supporting Actress (win) None But the Lonely Heart 1944
- Best Supporting Actress (nom) The Spiral Staircase 1946 Academy
- Best Supporting Actress (nom) The Paradine Case 1947 Academy
- Best Supporting Actress (nom) Pinky 1949 Academy