The Great Profile John Barrymore (2017) by Mark Redfield


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“The Great Profile, John Barrymore”
(2017) by Mark Redfield.
Acrylic on canvas. 20x24

This cartoon is an original painting by the artist, and not a print or reproduction.

One of my favorite actors of all time! Gielgud thought Barrymore was the finest Hamlet of the 20th century!

John Barrymore (born John Sidney Blyth; February 14 or 15, 1882 – May 29, 1942) was an American actor on stage, screen and radio. A member of the Drew and Barrymore theatrical families, he initially tried to avoid the stage, and briefly attempted a career as an artist, but appeared on stage together with his father Maurice in 1900, and then his sister Ethel the following year. He began his career in 1903 and first gained attention as a stage actor in light comedy, then high drama, culminating in productions of Justice (1916), Richard III (1920) and Hamlet (1922); his portrayal of Hamlet led to him being called the "greatest living American tragedian".

After a success as Hamlet in London in 1925, Barrymore left the stage for 14 years and instead focused entirely on films. In the silent film era, he was well received in such pictures as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), Sherlock Holmes (1922) and The Sea Beast (1926). During this period, he gained his nickname, the Great Profile. His stage-trained voice proved an asset when sound films were introduced, and three of his works, Grand Hotel (1932), Twentieth Century (1934) and Midnight (1939) have been inducted into the National Film Registry.

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