Tuesday, April 25, 2017

In which Mr. B has another first, re: smoking

According to http://www.fairmont.com/press-room/articles/thesavoyonehundredfirsts/ (on the historic "firsts" of the Savoy Hotel in London):

"71. The first fireproof eiderdown provided to an unsuspecting guest was for actor Lionel Barrymore, who had a habit of chain-smoking while reading in bed."

It is a certainty both Barrymore boys developed a lifelong smoking habit from their early teens: John and Lionel recount a story of them discovering a freebie trading card of their mother, Georgiana Drew, in a freshly opened pack of cigarettes, and Lionel then decking someone who dared to insult her image on the card.  Many, many people tell stories of the omnipresence of his smoke, and at the end of his life in his car, while writing "We Barrymores" with Cameron Shipp, he dumped cartons of cigarettes into a large can in the front seat of his car and chain-smoked. Here are a few of the zillion Mr. B-smoking pics out there:

c. 1928 or so, MGM
1936, I believe, Jack in the midst of Elaine drama
On set circa 1937
Women Love Diamonds
Claire Trevor with her own smoke kisses Mr. B, 1948
Body and Soul
Arsene Lupin
The Splendid Road

Post five of Lionel Barrymore Birthday Blog Bash. Smoking is a nasty habit. Don't pick it up! (Do as I say, not as I do, in other words!)

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