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Lionel Barrymore – actor of theater, cinema and radio, winner of the “Oscar” for his role in the movie “Free Soul” in 1931. Barrymore is well known as Henry Potter villain in the comedy drama “It’s a Wonderful Life” in 1946.
Lionel was born in Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (USA) April 28, 1878. He began his acting career in 1890, performing with his grandmother Louisa Lane Drew. And from the age of twenty he played on Broadway with his uncle John Drew Jr.. He has appeared in such productions as “second in command” and «The Mummy and the Hummingbird».
In 1910, after many years spent in Paris, Lionel Barrymore returned to work on Broadway, which earned a reputation as a character actor and drama. He confirmed his talent in many productions, including “Peter Ibbetson,” “Invasion”, “Joke”. Last performance in which Barrymore played, called “Laugh, clown, laugh.”
Film debut Lionel took place in 1911 in the film “The Battle”. This was followed by shooting in the “Friends” movie, “The New York Hat” 1912 “Battle of the gorge Elderbusha”, “Three Friends” 1913 “Judith of Betulia” 1914.
In 1924, Barrymore completely left work on the Broadway, and is fully focused on a career in film. In 1925, the actor played Frederick Harmon in the dramatic film “Fifty-fifty” with Hope Hampton and Louise Glam. Since 1926, Barrymore has worked mainly in the film company MGM, starring such actors as John Gilbert, Lon Chaney Sr., Jean Harlow, Wallace Beery, Marie Dressler, Greta Garbo.
Since 1929, Lionel Barrymore directed film “Madame X», «The Unholy Night», «The Sea Bat» (1930), “Dance for a dime” (1931).
For the role of the lawyer-alcoholic in the film “Free Soul” in 1931 the actor received the award “Oscar” after it was nominated in 1930 as “Best Director” for the film “Madame X”.
In 1930-1940-ies Barrymore played stereotypical characters, grouchy, but nice older men in the films “The Mysterious Island”, “Grand Hotel” in 1932, “Captains Courageous”, 1937, “you can not take it with you” in 1938, “Duel in the sun” 1946, “Key Largo” in 1948.
Last film starring Lionel Barrymore called “Main Street to Broadway” was released in 1953. November 15, 1954 the actor died after a heart attack.