1001 W 75TH ST. WOODRIDGE, IL 630-427-1880

Hollywood Memorial

John Barrymore

Drew Barrymore’s grandfather became a major Broadway star in ‘The Fortune Hunter’ in 1909. He debuted on the screen in 1914 in ‘An American Citizen’ and his good looks and remarkable talent made him a star, known as ‘The Great Profile.’ In the early days of talking films, he became a romantic leading man but heavy drinking took its toll on him and he sadly degenerated into an old man before his time. Barrymore had been a friend and contemporary (and drinking buddy) of his fellow Philadelphian W. C. Fields. A notorious lady’s man, John was fond of sailing and owned his own yacht, ‘The Mariner,’ on which he could escape unhappy wives, mistresses, lawyers, and creditors. John died in 1942 and was mourned not just for the loss of his life, but for the loss of his grace, wit and brilliance he brought to the silver screen. Barrymore collapsed while appearing on a radio show and died some days later in his hospital room. His dying words were ‘Die? I should say not, dear fellow. No Barrymore would allow such a conventional thing to happen to him.’ According to Errol Flynn’s memoirs, film director Raoul Walsh ‘borrowed’ Barrymore’s body after the funeral, and left his corpse propped in a chair for a drunken Flynn to discover when he returned home from The Cock and Bull Bar. Known for his Shakespeare, his epitaph reads ‘Good Night Sweet Prince.’ He was buried in a crypt in the mausoleum next to his brother Lionel, with sister Ethel nearby in Calvary Cemetery in East Los Angeles but that crypt is now empty. In his life he had expressed a desire to be buried back in Philadelphia, so his son (also a notorious drunk and Drew Barrymore’s father) removed him years later, supposedly with the casket leaking all the way to the crematorium as his son drove off with the casket in the back of his station wagon.