Diana Barrymore





3/3/1921 , New York, New York



Birth Name

Diana Blanche Barrymore Blythe




Diana Barrymore was born on March 3, 1921, to "The Great Profile" John Barrymore and his second wife, Blanche Oelrichs (known to her readers as the poet Michael Strange), in New York, New York. Diana was cast off early to nannies and sent to boarding school, at the tender age of six. What attention she may have garnered from her absentee parents ended for the most part with their divorce in 1928. This criminal neglect by her parents was to have a profoundly negative psychological affect on Diana and she would spend most of her short life acting out in ways guaranteed to attract the attention she so desperately craved. Beginning in her teens, Diana was dressing in clothing that was unsuitable for a young girl and smoking and drinking in public long before she was legally old enough. This behavior continued in her choice of career, acting, of course. Diana Barrymore did make an attempt at further schooling to hone her craft when she enrolled in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York at age sixteen in 1938, but she stayed only a year and moved into the spotlight of the theater and films by 1939. She would appear on stage and in five major films over the next three years before drug and alcohol abuse ended any hope of Diana carrying on the Barrymore legacy. Diana was married three times over the remainder of her life and these marriages ended in divorce and widowhood with her third husband dying in 1955. She never married again after his death. By this time, Diana had been in and out of rehab several times and spent time incarcerated on a number of occasions from very public brawls with the men in her life. An autobiographical work about her life "Too Much, Too Soon" was published and a film made out of it in 1958. Diana cooperated in both projects. Her death, a suicide at age 38, came as no surprise to those that knew her or those that only read about her exploits in the papers. Diana Barrymore's sad, tragic life, remains one of the true tragedies to come out of Hollywood.