"If I ever start talking to you about my 'craft', my 'instrument', you have permission to shoot me."
In the public eye from birth, Drew Barrymore, a high school drop out millionaire with drop dead gorgeous looks and a social conscience has had a superstar lifestyle so far, and with an acting career which is still gathering speed, looks as if she has many options for adventures in the future. A drug addict and alcoholic by the age of nine, with megastar godparents, Drew lives a high profile with all the highs and lows that comes with it.
Famous from Birth
Born at 11:51AM on 22nd February 1975 in Brotman Memorial Hospital Culver City, California USA, Andrew Blythe Barrymore weighed 6 pounds 5 ounces. Her parents, American John Drew Barrymore and Hungarian Ildiko Jaid Barrymore were separated at the time due to her father's alcohol consumption and habit for getting arrested for drunk driving.
As well as having famous parents, she has many other famous relatives including Great grandfather Maurice Costello, Grandfather John Barrymore and Grandmother Dolores Costello. Her godparents are just as impressive with Sophia Loren, Anna Strasberg and Steven Spielberg.
On leaving hospital, Drew was taken to live with her mother in a duplex. Whilst living here, a friend of her mother, who prefers to be called Jaid, submitted a photo of Drew to a theatrical agent who were happy to put Drew on their books for future work.
Drew's first job came in the form of an television commercial for Puppy Choice dog food at the age of 9 months in 1975. By the age of two she had starred in her first tv movie, Suddenly, Love as a boy called Bobby Graham.
In the meantime, her mother Jaid had decided that trying to co-ordinate her own acting career with her young daughters blossoming career was too much to cope with as a single mother. She though that as she herself was,
"still a young woman with ambitions of her own"
she ought to give her own career priority, and refused to let Drew continue acting. At the age of 4, Drew didn't like this decision and demanded that she be allowed to continue her career. Drew was successful in her pleas and filmed another television commercial, this time for Pilsbury chocolate chip cookies
Work from then for Drew came in constantly. In 1980 she starred as Leslie Bogart in Bogie, and as Margaret Jessup, the daughter of William Hurt's role in Ken Russell's film Altered States.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
After an appearance in another commercial, this time for Rice Krispies, Drew appeared in her most famous role, Gertie in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. This pushed Drew firmly in to the limelight and superstardom at the tender age of 7 with a BAFTA nomination for most outstanding newcomer.
The same year Drew made an appearance at the opening celebration of the EPCOT Center, auditioned for the part of Carol Ann in Poltergeist and was the youngest person ever to host the show Saturday Night Live. Whilst Barrymore was the guest host of Saturday Night Live, the viewers voted that Andy Kaufman would never be allowed to return to the show.
A Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress followed in 1984 for the role as Casey Brodsky in Irreconcilable Differences as well as being listed as one of the twelve most promising actors of 1984 in John Willis Screen World.
Alcoholism and Addictions
Drew's early career had severe detrimental effects to her health. By the age of 9 she had started drinking alcohol, and was found drunk at a birthday party which was being held for Rob Lowe. Within a year she had started to smoke marijuana, and by 12 she had started using cocaine.
Her drug and alcohol use was highly publicized in the press.
"I know certain actors are totally screwed up on drugs, yet it gets covered up. Why wasn't I excused for 'exhaustion' or 'the flu'?"Drew Barrymore
After being in rehabilitation for a couple of weeks, Drew left the clinic. Her mother hired private investigators to trace her and bring her home. After another three months in rehab, she was clean from drugs and alcohol and took part in interviews claiming she was sober and filmed an anti drug movie. Keeping off drugs wasn't easy for Drew and she started taking them again just before attempting to commit suicide at the age of 15.
She went back into rehab, this time completing the course. On leaving the clinic she cut the ties with her mother who she claims had been very controlling throughout her life. Her autobiography, Little Girl Lost, which she wrote with help from Todd Gold at the age of 14 was then released. She is mentioned in the Guinness book of records as the youngest person to write this kind of book.
In 1991 Drew changed the direction of her career by choosing roles which were more meaty that her previous childish characters. Through films such as Motorama and Poison Ivy she gained a reputation for playing vampy trailer park lolitas. For Poison Ivy she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress.
This kick-start to her career led to Drew getting her career back on track. After a brief role on prime-time soap 2000 Malibu Road as Lindsay Rule, she appeared in a number of shows including Guncrazy which gained her a Golden Globes for Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV the next year.
Also in 1992 Drew was asked to be Godmother to Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain's child, Frances Bean Cobain who was born on 18th August, a request she accepted.
1994 was a busy year for Drew. On March 20th she married Jeremy Thomas. The marriage unfortunately only lasted two months and the couple were divorced on the 29th April the same year. Drew also filmed Bad Girls and Inside the Goldmine this year.
More films came for Drew in 1995 too. She was offered the role of Nomi Malone in Showgirls but declined this offer which Elizabeth Berkley from Saved By The Bell took up. This was a good business decisions by Drew as this film went on to be a huge flop, and the films which she did choose to take part in were much more successful, especially Batman Forever.
This year Drew also appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman on David Letterman's birthday. Drew had always had a crush on Letterman and for a special birthday present she danced on his desk and the flashed him out of the sight of the cameras. Barrymore, now 20, also posed nude for a few magazines. First was on the cover of Interview magazine with her boyfriend of the time Jamie Walters, then for a advertisement campaign for Calvin Klein, and posing nude for Playboy in January.
Her godfather, Steven Spielberg, gave her a copy of this edition of Playboy for her birthday which had been altered by his art department so that it looked as if she was wearing clothes. He gave this to her hidden in a quilt with a note saying Cover yourself up.
In 1996, Drew was offered the lead role in the Wes Craven's teen horror flick Scream. She refused this offer choosing to play the smaller part of Casey Becker for a fee of $500,000. She did this as she thought it would be more fun that the larger role. This decision led to another change of image for Drew moving from a loose woman to a teenage sweetheart.
As well as starring in Best Men and Wishful Thinking in 1997, Drew dated Luke Wilson and Ryan Phillippe. She was also named by People magazine as one of the top 50 most beautiful people in the world.
Drew's reputation as a sweet natured young woman was enhanced by her roles which she took in 1998. The role as Cinderella figure Danielle De Barbarac in Ever After earned her not only $3,000,000 but a hit at the box office. The Wedding Singer also proved to be popular earning her the title of MTV's Best Kiss and a nomination for MTV's Best On-Screen Duo both with Adam Sandler.
By 1999 Drew had expanded her career to being executive producer on projects she was involved with such as Never Been Kissed. In this film, as well as being executive producer she starred as a geeky reporter Josie Geller hammering the final nail into the coffin of her wild child reputation. This was proved by the Drew winning the 1999 Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Award for favorite movie actress.
She made herself even more popular by taking out some of her fans with whom she shared the same birth date shopping to Frederick's of Hollywood. Whilst there she treated then to an impromptu fashion show trying on outfits which she bought if they decided that they liked them.
Around the same times as acting in and producing Charlie's Angels which earnt her $9,000,000, Drew started dating Tom Green. In February of 2001, Drew's $3,000,000 mansion in Beverley Hills caught fire due to an electrical fault whilst the couple were inside sleeping. They were woken up by one of Drew's dogs and escaped before her home burnt down to the ground with Drew losing all her possessions. The next month Green and Barrymore eloped to the South Pacific to marry, before coming home to remarry in front of friends and relatives in Malibu. This marriage didn't last long though with Green filing for divorce on 17th December 2001.
The split came as a shock to Drew, however friends of Green tell of erratic behaviour from Drew which was unbearable.
"Drew still behaves like the five-year-old brat she was when she became famous. Tom just could not take any more."A friend of Tom Green
Friends of Drew became extremely worried about Drew fearing that she would revert back to her previous addictions.
"She has been through so much and we always worry about her slipping back into the drugs that almost killed her. We are all rushing to her side." Lauren Duff, a friend of Barrymore.
After Tom Green, Drew found love with Brandon Davis, the heir to Marvin Davis, his grandfather's, $4.2 billion oil and film fortune.
"After things with Tom didn't work out the last thing I expected was to meet another Mr Right. But just when I was about to give up on love, I met Brandon. I'm happy again." Drew Barrymore.
The rights to the Barbarella comic book has been bought by Warner Brothers who are planning a remake of the 1968 film which starred Jane Fonda as a 40th century astronaut. The plans are that Drew will fill the title role in this remake and produce the film.
Drew lives with her dogs Flossie and Templeton and is a strict vegetarian. She does work for many charities including the Pediatric AIDS Foundation and has been a spokesperson for the Female Health Foundation since December of 1996.
She had a strong belief in vegan morals and has in the past refused to appear on the front cover of Vogue as the magazine wanted her to wear clothes made by a company which trades in fur. She said that she would only agree to do the cover if she could wear cruelty-free clothing from Stella McCartney, the fashion designer daughter of Paul and Linda McCartney. Since then, in August 2002, she has started eating meat and wearing leather.
She suffers from insomnia, anaemia, claustrophobia, compulsive obsession and occasional depression. She also has 6 tattoos.
She is also allergic to garlic, bee stings, perfume and coffee.
Television and Film Credits