Lionel Barrymore

Lionel Barrymore (April 28, 1878 – November 15, 1954) was an American actor of stage, screen and radio. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in A Free Soul (1931), and remains perhaps best known for the role of the villainous Henry Potter character in Frank Capra's 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life. He was also a member of the illustrious theatrical Barrymore family. Lionel Barrymore was born Lionel Herbert Blythe in Philadelphia, the son of actors Georgiana Drew Barrymore and Maurice Barrymore. He was the elder brother of Ethel and John Barrymore, the uncle of John Drew Barrymore and Diana Barrymore, and the great-uncle of Drew Barrymore. Barrymore was raised a Roman Catholic. He attended the Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In her autobiography, Eleanor Farjeon recalled that when she and Barrymore were friends as toddlers, she would take off her shoes and he would kiss her feet. He was married twice, to actresses Doris Rankin and Irene Fenwick, a one-time lover of his brother John. Doris's sister Gladys was married to Lionel's uncle Sidney Drew, which made Gladys both his aunt and sister-in-law.

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