Aunt of John Drew Barrymore and 'Diana Barrymore (I)'.
Daughter of Maurice Barrymore and Georgiana Barrymore; grand-daughter of Louisa Drew and stage actor John Drew (1827-62); niece of Sidney Drew; cousin of S. Rankin Drew.
Great-aunt of Drew Barrymore.
In 1951, she accepted the Oscar for best actress in a leading role on behalf of Judy Holliday, who wasn't present at the awards ceremony.
In her most important films her character was often that of a sick woman, sometimes in bed about to die.
In Italy, she was often dubbed by Giovanna Scotto (The Spiral Staircase (1945) and The Paradine Case (1947)), Tina Lattanzi (Pinky (1949)) and Lola Braccini. She was once dubbed by Wanda Capodaglio in Moonrise (1948).
Raised Roman Catholic (along with her brothers) after her mother converted under the influence of legendary Polish actress Helena Modjeweska. Ethel was the only sibling to remain devout, and she never remarried after her divorce (divorce being forbidden to Catholics at the time).
Returned to work one month after giving birth to her son Samuel Colt in order to begin performing in the Broadway production of "Tante".
Screen, stage, and television actress.
She and Lionel Barrymore were the first Oscar-winning brother and sister in the acting category.
The reason she turned down Winston Churchill's marriage proposal was that she didn't think he had much of a future.
The three Barrymore siblings--Ethel, Lionel Barrymore and John Barrymore--appeared in only one film together: Rasputin and the Empress (1932). A decade after John's demise, Lionel and Ethel appeared in Main Street to Broadway (1953), which incidentally was Lionel's last film.
Turned down a marriage proposal from Winston Churchill because she thought he didn't have much of a future.