Lionel Barrymore

Barrymore in 1923, George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress)

Birth Name: Lionel Herbert Blythe

Date of Birth: April 28, 1878

Place of Birth: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Date of Death: November 15, 1954

Place of Death: Van Nuys, California, U.S.

Ethnicity: English, Irish

Lionel Barrymore was an American actor and director. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for A Free Soul (1931).

He was the son of actors Maurice Barrymore (Herbert Arthur Chamberlayne Blythe) and Georgiana Drew (Georgiana Emma Drew). His father was born in Amritsar, Punjab, India and his mother was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. He had English and Irish ancestry.

He was a brother of actors Ethel Barrymore (born Ethel Mae Blythe) and John Barrymore (born John Sidney Blyth). He was an uncle of actress Diana Barrymore and a great-uncle of actors John Blyth Barrmore and Drew Barrymore.

Lionel was married to actress Irene Fenwick, until her death. He had two children with his former wife, actress Doris Rankin.

Lionel’s paternal grandfather was William Edward Blyth, Sr. (the son of John Blake Blyth and Sophia Tubbs). William was born in Calcutta, India, and was a surveyor for the British East India Company. John was born in Essen, England, the son of William Blyth and Mary Wilson. Sophia’s father was possibly named William Tubbs.

Lionel’s paternal grandmother was named Charlotte Matilda Chamberlayne/Chamberlain (the daughter of Harry/Henry de Tankerville Chanberlain). Charlotte was born in West Bengal, India.

Lionel’s maternal grandfather was actor John Drew (born Jonathan Henry Drewland, the son of Francis Nelson Drew and Elizabeth O’Connor/Connor). John was born in Dublin, Ireland. Francis was the son of John Drew and Sarah Nelson.

Lionel’s maternal grandmother was actress Louisa Lane Drew (born Louisa Lane, the daughter of Thomas Frederick Lane and Eliza Trentner/Trenther/Tranter). Louisa was born in London, England. Thomas was the son of Thomas Haycraft Lane and Louisa Rouse.

Sources: Genealogies of Lionel Barrymore –

Genealogy of Lionel Barrymore (focusing on his mother’s side) –


Curious about ethnicity

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