Drew Barrymore Biography: Chapter One

Drew Blyth Barrymore was born on February 22, 1975 at the Brotman Medical Center in Culver City, CA. Her mother Ildiko Jaid Mako was a struggling actress who also worked side jobs at places like the legendary Troubadour. Her father John Drew Barrymore, Jr. was a member of the illustrious Barrymore acting family. Jaid left Drew’s father before she was born due to his alcohol & drug use and abusive behavior. From birth, Jaid and Drew lived alone in a small West Hollywood duplex. The absence of a father in the home would impact much of Drew’s childhood and adolescence.

Jumping back generations before the Drew we know and love was born, a famous acting family bore the names Drew, Blyth, and Barrymore as their surnames dating all the way back to the 1880s. There is a great history of acting in her family and that was one of the reasons Drew’s mother was attracted to John Drew Barrymore when they first met. Some of the most well-known Barrymores were the 3 siblings Lionel, Ethel, and John Barrymore (aka The Great Profile). Drew’s father was the only son of John, and although he dabbled in acting a bit, he didn’t follow in the family footsteps as closely. Drew always felt connected to the family she’d never met, especially her grandfather.

As an easy going baby with a natural gift in front of the camera, Jaid’s friends often suggested she try to get Drew into acting as well. Jaid was hesitant, but eventually took 11 month old Drew on an audition for a Gainsburger Puppy Food commercial. At the audition, the puppy bit little Drew on the nose. Instead of crying, she burst into laughter and the part was immediately hers.

Jaid continued to resist getting Drew involved in Hollywood until a friend of hers was directing a TV movie called Suddenly, Love and wanted Drew to play the main character’s child. A two year old Drew threw herself into the role, which was actually that of a boy! Around age 4, an eerily aware Drew told her mother that acting was what she wanted to do, even though she knew it would be hard. Jaid listened to her and Drew’s career became the family priority. She went on to a few more bit parts in commercials and the TV movie Bogie, and then made her feature film debut with a small role as William Hurt’s daughter in 1980’s Altered States.

Chapter 02

Biography text written by Ashley Lampton & Anne Olivares and accurate to the best of our knowledge.
Information and photos compiled from various sources. Please do not reproduce this content without permission.
© The Drewseum 2010