Ethel Barrymore

Ethel Barrymore

Highest Rated: 100% Moonrise (1948)

Lowest Rated: 50% Pinky (1949)

Birthday: Invalid date

Birthplace: Not Available

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. Like all her forebears, she worked her way up the theatrical ladder from bits to full leads. Though she was quite popular on the road and in Europe, her first full-fledged Broadway hit was Clyde Fitch's 1901 play Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines, in the virtuoso role of a supercilious woman of wealth. Her later attempts to excel in the Classics were to no avail; from Captain Jinks on, she was confined to glamorous roles, usually comic in nature, specially written for her. Disdaining movies for the most part (several silent films notwithstanding) 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 -- and a brief retirement, she was more open to films, accepting Cary Grant's personal invitation to play Grant's mother in None But the Lonely Heart (1944), for which she won an Oscar. A few encore stage appearances later, Ethel "went Hollywood" full force with strong character roles in such films as The Spiral Staircase (1946), The Farmer's Daughter (1947) and Pinky (1949), her trademarked aristocratic features and crisp enunciation becoming even more pronounced with the advancing years. One of her last efforts was a syndicated anthology, Ethel Barrymore Theatre, in which she hosted and occasionally acted. Even so, Ethel Barrymore was as uncompromising in her assessment of TV as she was of other persons and things that displeased her: Her two-word assessment of The Tube was "It's hell."


Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Moss Rose Actor 2015
No Score Yet All at Sea Actor 2010
86% Young at Heart Aunt Jessie 1954
No Score Yet The Story of Three Loves Mrs. Pennicott 1953
No Score Yet Main Street to Broadway Herself 1953
86% Deadline - U.S.A. Mrs. Garrison 1952
No Score Yet Just for You Allida de Bronkhart 1952
No Score Yet It's a Big Country Mrs. Brian Patrick Riordan 1951
No Score Yet The Secret of Convict Lake Granny 1951
No Score Yet Kind Lady Mary Herries 1951
No Score Yet The Red Danube Mother Superior 1949
50% Pinky Miss Em 1949
No Score Yet The Great Sinner Granny 1949
No Score Yet That Midnight Kiss Abigail Trent Budell 1949
83% Portrait of Jennie Miss Spinney 1948
80% The Paradine Case Lady Sophie Horfield 1948
No Score Yet Night Song Aunt Willey 1948
100% Moonrise Grandma 1948
100% The Farmer's Daughter Mrs. Morley 1947
86% The Spiral Staircase Mrs. Warren 1946
No Score Yet None But the Lonely Heart Ma Mott 1944
60% Rasputin and the Empress Empress Alexandra (The Czarina) 1933


No Score Yet Playhouse 90


Miss Spinney says: Don't be soft, Matthews. I'm an old maid, and nobody knows more about love than an old maid.