Happily Ever After: The Drew Barrymore Story

Paperback | October 31, 2000

byLeah Furman, Elina Furman

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Drew Barrymore was a star by the time she was seven years old, a drug addict by twelve, and a has - been before her sixteenth birthday. But with the resounding success of such recent films as Ever After: A Cinderella Story, The Wedding Singer, Never Been Kissed (produced by Drew's production company, Flower Films) and Charlie's Angels, Drew Barrymore has reclaimed her place as one of Hollywood's hottest young actors. Her inspirational comeback from a highly publicized battle with drug and alcohol addiction has left this former child star wiser, happier, and more triumphant then ever.

From her struggle to reenter Hollywood to her many acclaimed movies, from a strained relationship with her mother and a failed marriage to a newfound sense of peace and enduring love, HAPPILY EVER AFTER offers a fascinating look at the troubled Little Girl Lost and the beautiful woman she grew up to be!

An unauthorized biography

From the Paperback edition.

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From the Publisher

Drew Barrymore was a star by the time she was seven years old, a drug addict by twelve, and a has - been before her sixteenth birthday. But with the resounding success of such recent films as Ever After: A Cinderella Story, The Wedding Singer, Never Been Kissed (produced by Drew's production company, Flower Films) and Charlie's Angels,...

From the Jacket

Drew Barrymore was a star by the time she was seven years old, a drug addict by twelve, and a has - been before her sixteenth birthday. But with the resounding success of such recent films as Ever After: A Cinderella Story, The Wedding Singer, Never Been Kissed (produced by Drew's production company, Flower Films) and Charlie's Angels,...

Leah and Elina Furman are New York-based writers, and sisters, who have coauthored many books, including In His Eyes: The Julio Iglesias Jr. Story, Rock Your World: Meet the Moffatts, The Heat Is On: 98°, Heart of Soul: The Lauryn Hill Story, Felicity: Meet the Stars, James Van Der Beek, and The Everything After College Book.From the P...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:204 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.35 inPublished:October 31, 2000Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345483251

ISBN - 13:9780345483256


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Read from the Book

America 's AngelOur first meeting with Drew Barrymore took placewhen we were still in grade school. Although that wassome eighteen years ago, we remember that day asclearly as if it were yesterday. We piled into the backseatof our parents' navy blue Buick Skylark and headed forthe movie theater to see E.T.--The Extra-Terrestrial.Throughout the ride, all we could think about was theupcoming movie. We couldn't wait to get in our seatsand see what all the kids in school had been talkingabout. At the time, we'd never heard the name "DrewBarrymore" before. We didn't know who she was, whatshe looked like, or where she came from. All we caredabout was that lovable alien who'd made such an impressionon us during TV commercials for E.T.The two magical hours that we spent in the theaterthat Sunday afternoon surpassed our wildest expectations.As we stumbled out of our seats, trying to chokeback the lumps in our throats and the tears in our eyes,we knew that for as long as we lived, we would neverforget either E.T., or the pudgy little blond girl who almoststole the show.Her name, of course, was Drew Barrymore.While she might not have been the stuff of householdconversation just yet, her face was permanently embeddedin the mind of every man, woman, and child who'dseen Steven Spielberg's highest grossing movie to date,E.T.Pretty soon, Drew was dubbed America's little darlingand began popping up all over. When she starred in1984's Irreconcilable Differences, we talked about goingto see "the new Drew Barrymore movie." She wasthe first movie star with whom kids of a certain agecould identify, the Shirley Temple of the 1980s, thecutest, the most famous, the best-loved kid in the U.S.,perhaps the world.President Reagan and the First Lady invited her tothe White House. NBC put her front and center on thestage of Saturday Night Live. The Academy Awards andthe Golden Globes saw her walking the red carpet yearafter year. Drew was always in the spotlight.And then, just like that, she was gone. Not a snap-shot,not a movie, not a word. Nothing.In January 1989, she hadn't been out of circulationlong enough for anyone to notice a conspicuous absence.That's when the National Enquirer sounded thealarm: E.T. STAR IN COCAINE AND BOOZE CLINIC--AT 13!Parents were horrified. Kids of all ages were dumb-founded."How could this have happened to our littleDrew?"The scion of the Barrymore acting dynasty, Drew wasnothing less than a national treasure. For generations,the Barrymores had been making headlines on the stage,on the screen, and on the party circuit. Everyone knewof the illustrious family's personal woes, checkeredwith alcoholism and drug addiction. But Drew was supposedto be different. She'd spoken out against drugabuse. She'd starred in our favorite films. She'd capturedour hearts as we watched her grow up. Thiswasn't supposed to happen to her.As details of Drew's addiction began to leak out, thecontroversy wreaked havoc upon her image as afun-loving but essentially down-to-earth child star.Overnight, Drew became the poster girl for excess andteenage rebellion. She went from everyone's role modelto public enemy number one. Indeed, prevailing wisdomsuddenly dictated that Drew Barrymore was nothingmore than a very bad girl.It was Drew's darkest hour. When she got out of rehab,no one wanted to hire her. Many of her old friendsdisappeared without a trace. Cast out of the industry,Drew might have easily reverted to her old habits. Butjust as all signs pointed to what might have been anothertragic ending in the Barrymore saga, Drew choseto do the unpredictable--she fought back.At fourteen years of age, Drew Barrymore authoredLittle Girl Lost, the autobiography that detailed her descentinto and arduous climb out of the depths of despair.The book was an instant best-seller, and Drewwas back on top, a heroine to young adults nationwide.That was more than ten years ago. Over the lastdecade Drew has worked steadily toward reclaiming thevery fame, fortune, and respect that she'd been so quickto throw away as a child. The 1990s have been good toDrew, and while this biography will recap some of theevents narrated in Little Girl Lost, it is the new and triumphantly self-improved Drew who is the shining focusof Happily Ever After: The Drew Barrymore Story.HeiressDynasty . . . the word alone conjures up a parade ofgrandiose images, which is perhaps why so much hasbeen made of Drew Barrymore's legacy. Her genealogybears the honorable Barrymore coat of arms; her dominionis the world of stage and screen; her crown jewelsare gold-plated Oscars and acclaimed films. To earnthis distinction, she had only to be born. Not unlikePrince William, Drew is the heir to a royal familythrone. Indeed the Barrymores are called "The FirstFamily of the Theater." Most of us naturally assumedthat with this throne came a fortune.Hearing of Drew's celebrated lineage, we believed shewas born with the proverbial silver spoon. "Hollywoodroyalty," they said, and we envisioned her coming ofage on a sprawling Bel Air estate where a staff of servantswas paid to cater to her every childish whim."Acting dynasty," they said, and we were led to understandthat she was a princess and her life a fairy tale.How were we to know the truth: Drew Barrymorewas born into a single-parent household, a latch-key kidcompletely disconnected from the deceased ancestorswho had so glorified her famous last name?"Drew and I started with nothing but the clothes on my back,"Drew's mother, Jaid Barrymore, said on This Eveningwith Judith Regan.No family. No friends. No money. How had it cometo this? Drew is the proud heiress of thoroughbred thespianbloodlines as pure as they are long. Reaching back intothe 1800s, the glamour-personifying predecessors whoinformed Drew's talent were more than mere superstars.For over a century, the Barrymores have representedAmerica's cultural aristocracy, that singularly charming,witty, and talented coterie that best exemplifies all thatis most noble and most eccentric about true greatness.It's mind-boggling to consider how many books,plays, and movies have been written to either spoof,honor, or expose the ostentatious display of genius thatis the Barrymore family. Awards and theaters have beennamed after this hallowed clan. The story behind thefamily tree, however, is as full of corkscrew twists andhairpin turns as is the history of Drew Barrymore's publicpersona.The young star's name is itself no flight of fancy, nolast minute caprice on the part of her parents. In fact,every part of Drew Blythe Barrymore's auspiciousmoniker stems from a family surname. Drew is actuallythe maiden name of her great-grandmother GeorgianaDrew, a renowned stage actress who was born in 1854to the equally lauded actors John and Louisa LaneDrew of Philadelphia.As the daughter of a celebrated husband-and-wifeacting team, it is perhaps not surprising that Georgiana(or Georgie as she was more commonly known) wenton to marry one of the most respected performers of herday, Maurice Barrymore. Born Herbert Blythe in 1847,Maurice came to the U.S. by way of Great Britain wherehe studied law at Cambridge. But donning the barrister'swig evidently failed to satisfy his flair for the dramatic;he quit the profession, changed his name, andjoined the theater. By 1875 he was in New York.It was while working as a leading man at AugustinDaly's theatrical company that Maurice met and fell inlove with Georgie Drew. Within a year of his arrival inthe U.S., the two were married. Countless rave reviews,six years, and three children later, the future of the Barrymorelegacy was secured. Lionel, Ethel, and John Barrymore--never was so much raw acting talent assembledbeneath one stage name. This is the triumviratethat would give the family its prominent place in performingarts history.As the trio matured, so did their family's reputation.The upper crust of New York society was just as smittenwith the Barrymores as the theatergoing Philadelphianshad been with the Drews. Horse-drawn carriages, sparkling jewels, motley brocade gowns,everything was beautiful at the playhouse. On the homefront, however, the Barrymore life lost some of its luster.Beset by Maurice's infidelity and alcoholism, the Barrymoremarriage was not a happy one. By far the biggest blow to the family, however, came while Lionel, Ethel, and John were still in their teens. At only thirty-sevenyears of age, their mother died of tuberculosis,leaving her children to the care of their maternal grandmother,Louisa Lane Drew, who along with her late husbandmanaged to endow the children with just as manyvices as talents.Like his kindred spirit of a son-in-law, John Drew hadbeen known for his prodigious drinking. So severe washis condition that he actually reveled his way into anearly grave long before either Lionel, Ethel, or John wereeven born. Meanwhile Louisa Lane, the grande dame ofa matriarch whom the grandkids called Mummum andloved like a mother, rarely lost her icy reserve andpreached the virtues of this stoicism by withholding bothher approval and her affection from the children. Theseheirlooms from the Drew branch of the family treewould go on to characterize the Barrymores' lives, astales of their infamous aversion to emotional entanglementsand their fatal penchant for drugs and drinkwould subsequently snowball to monstrous proportions.Strangely enough, these proclivities would endure toaffect Drew Barrymore's life just as surely as if she herselfhad been born some one hundred years earlier intothe Philadelphia home of her great-great-grandparents.The saga of the three Barrymores is now the stuff ofHollywood legend. The Golden Age of American cinemawouldn't have been as bright had it not been forthis troika of actors who rode the wave of filmmakingall the way from the silent screen to the talkies. Althoughtoday's generation of Barrymore fans might notknow it, these were the Barrymores who made the realheadlines and inspired awestruck mortals to pen somany documentaries, plays, books, and scripts.From the Paperback edition.