Thursday, March 23, 2017

April revels! (And archive pics)

So April is nigh upon us, and I'll have fun by celebrating April 12-28. Why, you may ask?

Because Lionel Barrymore occasionally lied (specifically in We Barrymores) about his birthday--in his bio, written with Cameron Shipp, he starts off by claiming his birthday is April 12, 1878, which I have not seen in other substantive resources on him. His WWI draft card (in Mr. B's own handwriting), his birth certificate, and pretty much everything else published has his birthday as April 28, 1878.

It provides a nice 16 days or so for me to celebrate the achievements of this most reticent and mercurial of actors, and as it happens after my major endeavor of the first year's quarter, I'll be in a more relaxed mood to present info.

Lionel and Irene (Fenwick) Barrymore, c 1924: RELAXED.
I DO have some new info on Lionel Barrymore, some of which I'm not sure about sharing since not only do I not want to get scooped/robbed by wayward Barrymore-fans (ha), it's material I can use for a future bio on Mr. B.  I'm fascinated by how much material one can gather by flipping through old newspapers and magazines, as well as ad copy: for some reason, the Barrymores, Drews, and Rankins, as well as the Frohman companies, were very well covered in newspapers of the time, more than I expected.So there will be a few tidbits of gossip/biography forthcoming in April!

Hopefully I'll also have prepared some reviews to go up on that page, probably The Copperhead and The Show. I've grown more intrigued by the stage performances, though there is very sporadic material online about Lionel's plays versus John Barrymore's.  I still seek a promptbook for The Jest, for example! :) I'd like eventually to be able to recreate a performance of Mr. B's as one writer did for John Barrymore's Hamlet. That's quite the endeavor, but hey, why not...?

In time, with luck soon, I'll know about the fellowship to the Ransom Center in Austin, which will bless me with travel funds to spend some weeks in Austin researching Mr. B and Duel in the Sun.  In the meantime, enjoy a few pics from the Ransom Center exhibition, which includes items from the Gloria Swanson archive:

sent to GS by Kenneth Anger in the 1960s, full of sugar

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