At the time of his death from cancer in 2004, John Drew Barrymore was being supported to the tune of $48,000 a year by his daughter, actress Drew Barrymore.
All four of John Drew Barrymore's children (one son and three daughters), have the name "Blyth" some where in their name. One daughter has Blyth as a first name and the other three children have Blyth as a middle name.
John Drew Barrymore got caught up in the martial arts craze of the 1970's. He guest starred on David Carradine's hit series, Kung Fu , in 1974. However, this enthusiasm for martial arts had a dark side with Barrymore as daughter Drew has commented that her father, at times, used her as his personal punching bag, to practice his martial arts moves on. The last time this happend, Drew was seven. She threw a chair back at her father and did not speak to him again for seven years.
John Drew Barrymore's daughter, actress Drew Barrymore, has commented that her father was very unmaterialstic. She has been quoted as saying that she didn't think he had owned a pair of shoes in the forty years prior to his death in 2004.
John Drew Barrymore spent the last three decades of his life as a recluse, at times, and an alcohol swilling, drug addicted, derelict, spouting religious dogma on street corners at other times. Sadly, this man with such roots in the Hollywood film community, was left bereft of income and family for a long period of times due to his addictions and violent tendencies. Daughter Drew has publicly stated that there were long periods that she didn't know his whereabouts. In 2003, John Drew Barrymore appeared before a judge, in a Los Angeles courtroom, wheelchair bound, to determine his guardianship, as all the years of substance abuse had finally rendered him totally incompetent.
John Drew Barrymore's last film appearance was an uncredited role in the 1976 film The Baby Blue Marine.
John Drew Barrymore went into the motion picture business with no training of any type. His first efforts on the screen were a major embarrassment for his famous acting family, but they remained supportive, in spite of his continued flops and harsh reviews from critics about his lack of talent.
After failing to score as a film star in America, John Drew Barrymore, left the United States in the early 1960's and went to Italy to work in the film industry there. His most famous role there was opposite Steve Reeves's Aeneas, as Ulysses in the "The Trojan Horse" in 1961.
John Drew Barrymore's mother, Delores Costello, did not want her son to become an actor. She feared that the temptations that are connected with the entertainment field would cause John Drew to follow down the same path of alcohol abuse and vice that destroyed his father, John Barrymore. Ms. Costello sent John Drew to military school, but he ran away and signed a contract to appear in his first film, "The Sundowners" at age seventeen in 1950.
Drew Barrymore wrote a scathing account of her relationship or actually lack of relationship with her absentee father, John Drew Barrymore, in her memoir, "Little Girl Lost". Drew's mother ,Jaid, had already left John Drew at the time of the Drew 's birth and her relationship with her father was sporadic during her childhood. In her book, Drew refers to their relationship as "abusive" and "chaotic". In later years, Drew Barrymore and her father reached a sort of peace. He became ill with cancer and it was Drew who supported him until his death in 2004. Upon his passing, Drew commented that her father was a cool cat and asked that people smile when they thought of him.
John Drew Barrymore walked off the set, during the initial filming of an episode of the original "Star Trek" series. Another actor (Robert Brown) had to be found to replace him in the role of Lazarus that he had been hired to play. Barrymore received a six-month S.A.G. suspension for the act.
John Drew Barrymore inherited a large trunk of Barrymore memorabilia from his mother, Delores Costello, upon her death in 1979. Mr.Barrymore gave the memorabilia (stills, journals, letters, ect,.) to a friend, Carol Stein Hoffman, and had her turn the material into a coffee table style book, "The Barrymores:The Hollywood's First Family" The book was published in 2001.
John Drew Barrymore and his son John Blyth Barrymore decided to pay homage to their respective father and grandfather,John Barrymore, by adhering to his last wish that he be cremated. John Barrymore died in 1942 (the executors of Barrymore's will disregarded his specific instructions for cremation and had his body entombed at the Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles) and this sudden wish to honor John Barrymore came about in 1980, but better late than never. John Drew and John Blyth opened the mausoleum, where John has been interred for 38 years ,at the time, and proceeded to move the solid bronze coffin into a van for removal to the local crematorium. It might be a good time to mention that this gesture, of family goodwill, by son and grandson Barrymore, was being fueled by an unknown brand, but large amount, of the hard stuff (alcohol) and various other pharmaceuticals. John Drew was said to have stated at the time, he wanted to see his father's remains, and stayed while the body was removed from the coffin for cremation. He also commented that he was so drunk that he wouldn't remember it, anyway.
There was a period in the 1950s that John Drew Barrymore was suspended from the Actor's Equity for one year. This suspension resulted from continual tardiness to filming and alcohol use during filming.
John Barrymore enlisted in the United States Navy during World War Two. It was discovered by Naval authorities several weeks later that Barrymore was only thirteen years old. He was very mature physically for his age and this was how he managed to fool the Naval recruiters initially. Barrymore was released from Naval duties and sent back to the custody of his mother, Delores Costello.
John Drew Barrymore claimed to have met his famous actor father John Barrymore only once.
John Drew Barrymore was married four times. His first wife was Cara Williams, with whom he he had son, John Blyth Barrymore. Mr.Barrymore's second marriage was to Gabriella Palazzoli and produced daughter Blyth Delores Barrymore. The third marriage of John Drew Barrymore was to IIdiko Jaid Mako and this marriage resulted in the birth of well known, present day actress, Drew Barrymore. John Drew Barrymore fourth marriage was to Nina Wayne and they became the parents of daughter Brahma Jessica Blyth Barrymore.
John Drew Barrymore has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It is located at 7000 Hollywood Blvd. Barrymore's star was awarded for his work in television.
John Drew Barrymore: I don't mind if my acting is compared to him ( his father, John Barrymore). The trouble is that people expect me to live like him.
John Drew Barrymore: I am not a nice, clean-cut American kid at all. I'm just a human being. Those things just happen.