Photo of Lionel Barrymore Lionel Barrymore

The son of thespians Maurice Barrymore and Georgia Drew, Philadelphia native Lionel Barrymore was born April 28, 1878, the eldest brother of actors Ethel and John Barrymore and the future great uncle of actress Drew Barrymore.

Barrymore began his prolific career on stage and built a reputation as a serious actor before transitioning to film, copping an Oscar nod for directing Madame X (1929) and winning the statuette for his brilliant performance in A Free Soul (1931). Known for playing lovable grumps, he starred in numerous movies throughout the 1930s and '40s, including Grand Hotel (1932), Dinner at Eight (1933), You Can't Take It with You (1938) and a series of Doctor Kildare films. But he's perhaps best remembered for his portrayal of villainous miser Mr. Potter in director Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (1946).

On Nov. 15, 1954, Barrymore died of a heart attack at age 76.

Lionel Barrymore in Key Largo

Key Largo

1948 NR

As a destructive hurricane wreaks havoc outside, Army veteran Frank McCloud (Humphrey Bogart), war-widow Nora Temple (Lauren Bacall) and her invalid father-in-law face a worse storm inside the Temples' tumbledown Florida hotel in Key Largo. Frank merely stopped by to pay his respects to Nora, only to find the hotel commandeered by exiled gangster Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson). Will the war-weary Frank step up to fight again?

  • Lionel Barrymore in You Can't Take It with You You Can't Take It with You
  • Lionel Barrymore in It's a Wonderful Life It's a Wonderful Life
  • Lionel Barrymore in Grand Hotel Grand Hotel
  • Lionel Barrymore in Captains Courageous Captains Courageous
  • Lionel Barrymore in The Little Colonel The Little Colonel
  • Lionel Barrymore in David Copperfield David Copperfield
  • Lionel Barrymore in The Divorcee / A Free Soul The Divorcee / A Free Soul
  • Lionel Barrymore in D.W. Griffith: Years of Discovery D.W. Griffith: Years of Discovery
  • Lionel Barrymore in Mata Hari Mata Hari
  • Lionel Barrymore in Hollywood's Legends of Horror Collection Hollywood's Legends of Horror Collection
  • Lionel Barrymore in Night Flight Night Flight