Miss Ethel Barrymore was not always so fortunate. There was a time when she

liked every play she read, and "C.F." did not yield to her wiles. One day a well

known dramatist whose comedies have had a certain vogue asked Mr. Frohman to

read his new play, with a part he thought very objective to Miss Barrymore.

"Would you like me or Ethel Barrymore to read the play first?" inquired Frohman,

with a covert smile. The author thought he would cinch the matter then and there.

He knew the part was a good one and that the star was sure to see herself in it, and

the deal to go through. So he declared for the star to read it first. "All right, I'll

send it to her at once," said "C.F. with a chuckle. The Dramatist, in his mind, had

already signed his contract.

Three weeks afterwards the manuscript was returned without a line, Mr. Frohman's almost invariable rule when returning a play. He is wary of committing his opinion to paper. Well,

imagine the author's consternation! Mr. Frohman being out of t own, he hurried to Brooklyn to interview the star, after a matinee. "Mr. Frohman has taken the play!" cried she. "Taken it!" gasped the author, and then between gasps he told what had transpired.

"Why," exclaimed Miss Barrymore ingenuously, "I liked that play so much, that I even wrote Mr. Frohman the names of some of the people I should like to have in my support."

Then the dramatist fled. It was six months before he recovered, and six more before he realized the fatal, tactical error he had committed. Any fool can write a play, but alas! it takes a genius to sell one.

"In the play "TANTE" Ethel was Madame Okraska the leading lady. It was

based upon a Douglas Sedgwick's book and was written by C. Haddon Chambers.

Madame Okraska is no sense of the word a sympathetic role. On the contrary, she

is a splendidly drawn type of the artistic genius, so wrapped up in herself that her

selfishness has become a perfect obsession. Unless supreme adulation is paid her,

she is rude and intolerant. She feeds upon the constant and cloying praise of

ill-balanced sycophants. Every one must be sacrificed if need be that her whims

and vagaries be observed. Not the style of part in which Miss Barrymore's host of

admiters are accustomed to see her reveal her art. But it is such a splendid acting

role, so admirably conceived and drawn, so varied in detail, and withal so truly

human, that she rises to it with all the enthusiasm of a genuine artist, and gives

one of the most brilliant and fascinating performances of her histrionic career."

"The scene between Miss Barrymore and Miss Wright, in which they part after a

quarrel, with the most punctilious politeness, is one of the best-written and

best-acted scenes the modern stage has heard or witnessed in years."


Edward Murrow: "Which of your movies do you like best, Miss Barrymore?"

Ethel Barrymore: "I never saw any of them. There I could draw the line...Let me have my dream, please!" Person to Person, 1955.

Drew Barrymore has said the same. that she does not view her movies. Drew's facial features look much like her grand-aunt Ethel and Georgina (Drew) Barrymore.

In 1944 Ethel Barrymore received an Academy Award for her performance in None But the Lonely Heart acting as the mother of Cary Grant.

In the book The Barrymores: "Lionel noted his sister's fortieth milestone as manager not only of herself but by necessity of her brothers as well. Recollecting his "first real glimpse of her on stage at sixteen," he signed: "If a brother may say so, she was something to glimpse at." The other brother, John Barrymore said: "one has only to think about her to be invested with the God-given quality of humility." Adding that Ethel had given him and Lionel their start in the theater, he humorously implied that this contribution was not to her credit." In 1921 Ethel was the queen in the play Clair de Lune, which was written by John Barrymore's first wife Michael Strange. The Barrymores, by James Kotsilibas-Davis, 1981, p. 244

Ethel Barrymore starred in a play The Kingdom of God, adapted by Helen and Harley

Granville-Barker. This was the production given in her own, The Ethel Barrymore Theater.

Photo by Mortimer Offner. In each phase of the life of Sister Gracia, Miss Barrymore is

brilliantly true. The girl who foregoes youth to be helpful to the helpless, the woman who

sacrifices love that she may continue her good work among the lowly, the aged dame for

whom life can only spell service--all three stages in Sister Gracia's life are made deeply

realy through the alchemy of Miss Barrymore's art. The Kingdom of God may not be a

great play...but the combination of The Ethel Barrymore Theater and Miss Barrymore had

given Broadway a distrinction and a dignity of which it has not been able to boast for a

long time.