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Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore Born: February 22, 1975, Los Angeles, CA Adorable child star turned precocious blonde bombshell. The product of an acting dynasty that runs from great-grandfather Maurice Barrymore and great-grandmother Georgiana Drew through grandfather John Barrymore and grandmother Dolores Costello through father John Barrymore, Jr. Drew Barrymore appeared in TV commercials before reaching the age of one and became a cherished Middle-American icon playing Gertie, the cute little sister in E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982). After several more roles in inferior films, Barrymore began to attract less attention for her acting than for the increasingly sordid tabloid stories about her pre-adolescent addictions to drugs and alcohol. Many saw her as following the tragic pattern set by John and Diana Barrymore. After undergoing rehab and—another Barrymore tradition—publishing a memoir, Little Girl Lost (1989), the resilient teen made an impressive comeback in the early 1990s, riding a wave of celebrity and controversy. Barrymore portrayed Lolita-like teens in POISON IVY (1992), GUNCRAZY (1992) and the ABC-TV movie THE AMY FISHER STORY (1993), based on the sordid case of the Long Island teenager who shot the wife of her former lover. While the TV-movie was a purely exploitative enterprise, the films were boosted by Barrymore's confident performances. The actress has been hailed as both emblematic of her time—a teenager who endured all the worst excesses of the 80s and then parlayed her survival into a marketable persona—and an accomplished young actress poised on the brink of major achievement. BAD GIRLS (1994), a routine Western featuring four gun-toting women, did not, however, rank as an example of this. Her next major feature, BOYS ON THE SIDE (1995), a female road movie co-starring Whoopi Goldberg and Mary-Louise Parker, cast Barrymore in what could have been a typical blonde bimbo role. She managed to eclipse typecasting by turning in a performance that had depth and an assuredness that had not previously been completely realized. Not one to rest on her laurels, Barrymore continued to ensure that everyone knew her name with some memorable extracurricular antics including doing a birthday dance for bemused talkshow titan David Letterman which culminated in her flashing her breasts for Dave's eyes only. Journalists also seem vulnerable to the charms of the young enchantress; she garnered much newsprint by stripping on stage at a trendy NYC performance space and baring it all in Playboy. Barrymore somehow makes naughty seem nice. The resurgent star appeared in two more 1995 features: MAD LOVE (opposite Chris O'Donnell), a mildly popular if critically derided tale of teen lovers on the road, and BATMAN FOREVER as Sugar, a small ornamental role in a great big noisy summer sequel. This assignment reunited her with O'Donnell and old friend director Joel Schumacher, for whom she had worked previously on TV in his charmingly trashy short-lived primetime soap "2000 Malibu Road" (CBS, 1992).

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