Posted on January 16, 2015
He’s part of the notorious Barrymore family and is often remembered for his role as the villainous Mr. Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life, but he had many great roles throughout his career. Here’s our Lionel Barrymore timeline.
Lionel Herbert Blythe is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Maurice Barrymore and comedian Georgiana Drew. His siblings are actors John Barrymore and Ethel Barrymore. His grandfather is stage star John Drew. He is great uncle to Drew Barrymore.
Marries Doris Rankin.
Father Maurice Barrymore dies.
Lionel makes his screen debut in The Paris Hat.
Daughter Ethel is born and dies within one year.
Has a role in the silent film, The New York Hat, with Mary Pickford.
Daughter Mary is born and dies within one year.
Daughter Mary dies.
Stars in the silent film, The Copperhead.
Divorces Doris Rankin.
Marries actress Irene Fenwick.
He moves to Hollywood.
Stars in the silent film, Sadie Thompson.
Is nominated for an Academy Award for best director for Madame X.
Stars in the talkie, A Free Soul.
Wins the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in A Free Soul.
Stars in Rasputin and The Empress with siblings John and Ethel Barrymore.
Lionel stars with brother John in Arsène Lupin.
Lionel stars with brother John in Grand Hotel.
Lionel stars with brother John in Night Flight.
Lionel stars with brother John in Dinner at Eight.
His wife Irene dies at the age of 47.
Lionel becomes confined to a wheelchair after a hip injury and severe arthritis.
Plays the role of Mr. Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart.
Stars in Key Largo with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.
Publishes an autobiography called We Barrymores.
Publishes the novel, Mr. Cantonwine: A Moral Tale.
Stars with sister Ethel in Main Street to Broadway. It is Lionel’s last film.
Dies of a heart attack in Van Nuys, California.