History Goddess Logo
Your email:

View the Archive

John Barrymore

Wife #4: Elaine Barrie

The fourth and final wife of John Barrymore was like his first three wives and was very young. But Elaine Barrie (July 16, 1915 – March 1, 2003) was a spitfire with a mind of her own and ambition to boot. She was born Elaine Jacobs in New York City and had fallen in love with John when she saw him in the 1931 film Svengali. She changed her last name to Barrie because of its similarity to Barrymore. She was a Hunter college student of nineteen when she went to visit John at New York Hospital, where he was taken after suffering from severe symptoms of alcoholism. There was instant attraction and fireworks between the two and Elaine knew how to play John to get out of him what she wanted. She wanted to be with him and she wanted him to help her into acting. John, just like he had assisted Katherine and Michael in their acting ambitions, proceeded to help Elaine achieve her acting goals. Accompanied by her parents, who approved of their daughter’s match with John, the couple was married in Yuma, Arizona on November 8, 1936. The spent the first night of their honeymoon at Los Angeles’s Beverly Wilshire Hotel, frequently interrupted by phone calls made by John’s drinking buddies known as the Bundy Street Boys, who were having fun with the fact that their compatriot was now a married man again.

His marriage to Elaine was troubled in the beginning and never got better. Their temperaments and jealousies doomed their relationship from the beginning. Working together on stage productions strained their marriage even more where it became apparent that they could not work together. The couple was formally divorced in 1941with John commenting on the finalization, “Ah, it’s wonderful. Even if, after all, it’s no new experience for me. I’m glad for her, too. It’s no particular distinction being called ‘Mrs. Barrymore.’ There have been so many of them. Now I’m free to resume my search for the perfect mate.” (Kobler, p. 352) The settlement included their house would go to Elaine, a cash settlement of $8,500 was given to her, no alimony was awarded and she could not call herself privately or professionally “Mrs. John Barrymore.” But John never found his perfect mate, as his deteriorating health made that goal impossible. When he died in 1942, Elaine was the only former wife who made an appearance at his funeral. Her later years were spent dating a few Hollywood stars like Ray Milland and Errol Flynn, writing her autobiography about her marriage to John Barrymore, All My Sins Remembered (1964), and working at brokerage house in New York City. She died there in 2003 at the age of eighty-seven having never remarried. She stated that no man could replace John Barrymore.

Previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9   10  11  12  13  14  15  16  Next

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict
Valid CSS!
All content unless otherwise noted is © 2010, Jill Nicholson