Look! John Barrymore praises Carole (again)   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2012.10.21 at 19:37

Current mood: optimisticoptimistic

carole lombard twentieth century john barrymore inscribed large

Whenever Carole Lombard felt a bit down — and given her ebullient personality, such times likely were few and far between — seeing this picture probably served as an emotional tonic. It was inscribed by John Barrymore, the legendary actor with whom Carole co-starred in her most pivotal picture, “Twentieth Century,” and he wrote it to “a grand actress and a grand person.”

When he wrote that in 1934, little did he know that while her star was rising, his was falling. John Barleycorn and other vices would soon render John Barrymore a has-been, despite efforts from friends (including Lombard, who insisted he get a key supporting role and third billing in 1937’s “True Confession”).

By the fall of 1940, the man once deemed “The Great Profile” was reduced to appearing in silly fluff such as “The Invisible Woman” (which would premiere near year’s end). But Look magazine, in its Nov. 5 issue, ran a piece from Barrymore along the lines of Lombard’s 1938 article for the magazine where she chose the 10 most interesting men outside of Hollywood (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/94261.html).

look magazine 110540 large

The story is called “The 13 Most Fascinating Women In John Barrymore’s Life,” and I would not have known about this had it not been for the fine site dearmrgable.com, which ran the article earlier this month. The Gable tie-in is obvious — Mrs. Gable at the time was one of the 13 mentioned. (Surprised? Of course not.)

carole lombard look110540 john barrymore small

Here’s the rest of the roster, including all of John’s wives (again, no surprise):

look 110540 john barrymore fascinating women 01
look 110540 john barrymore fascinating women 02
look 110540 john barrymore fascinating women 03
look 110540 john barrymore fascinating women 04
look 110540 john barrymore fascinating women 05

An intriguing group of females.

Here’s what Barrymore had to say in his introduction:

The most fascinating woman I ever knew was my grandmother, Mrs. John Drew. But if you ask me to define glamour -– well, I simply can’t. One doesn’t define that, and therein lies its charm.

Actually, I haven’t the slightest notion as to what constitutes glamour. I really feel that to find out would be one of life’s tragedies -– especially where a man’s search for it in a woman is concerned. It is the very elusiveness of the quality, and the inability to define it that provides the incentve for the search that never should end.

The best parallel I can give for glamour is that it’s like rare stamps. A stamp collector may have a wonderful time searching all his life for an Ecuadorian Blue which might be worth $30,000, but let him actually find the stamp,and his fun is over.

“Thank Heaven, I have never found out just what glamour is, despite the fact I have known many glamourous, fascinating women. It would be easier to answer “What does glamour cost?” In my own case, I should say, “Everything I have been able to acquire during a more or less active life.”

Here is my list of the most glamorous women I have known. I am grateful to every one, for all have added zest and interest to my work and play.

There wouldn’t be much more of this “more or less active life” for Barrymore, as he left us a few months after Lombard did, on May 30, 1942:

la times 053042 john barrymore

On a happier note, we want to congratulate Drew Barrymore on giving birth to a daughter, Olive Koperman, on Sept. 26. The name makes sense for anyone who knows Drew, as the first work of her production company was the charming holiday animated special “Olive, The Other Reindeer” (where she voices the title character).

olive the other reindeer 00

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Posted October 21, 2012 by vp19 in Uncategorized

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