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March 8, 2021

30 Beautiful Photos of American Actress Diana Barrymore in the 1940s

Born 1921 in New York City, New York, Diana Barrymore decided to study acting and enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts while in her teens. Because of the prominence of the Barrymore name in the world of theatre, her move onto the stage began with much publicity including a 1939 cover of Life.

At age 19, Barrymore made her Broadway debut and the following year made her first appearance in movies with a small role in a Warner Bros. production. In 1942, she signed a contract with Universal Studios who capitalized on her Barrymore name with a major promotion campaign billing her as “1942’s Most Sensational New Screen Personality.”

However, alcohol and drug problems soon emerged and negative publicity from major media sources dampened her prospects. After less than three years in Hollywood, and six significant film roles at Universal, Barrymore’s personal problems ended her career.

In 1957, Barrymore published her autobiography, Too Much, Too Soon, with help and encouragement from ghostwriter Gerold Frank, which included her portrait painted by Spurgeon Tucker. In July 1957, she promoted the book by appearing on Mike Wallace’s TV show The Mike Wallace Interview. The following year, Warner Bros. made a film with the same title starring Dorothy Malone as Barrymore and Errol Flynn as her father.

Barrymore died in 1960. Her death has been attributed to a drug overdose, but her autopsy failed to find a cause of death and found no indication of overdose.

Take a look at these vintage photos to see the beauty of young Diana Barrymore in the 1940s.


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