Drew Barrymore

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Drew Barrymore
Barrymore at Music & Lyrics premiere, 2007
Born Drew Blythe Barrymore
(1975-02-22) February 22, 1975 (age 42)[1][2]
Culver City, California, U.S.
  • Actress
  • author
  • director
  • model
  • producer
Years active 1978–present
  • Jeremy Thomas (m. 1994; div. 1995)
  • Tom Green (m. 2001; div. 2002)
  • Will Kopelman (m. 2012; div. 2016)
Children 2
Parent(s) John Drew Barrymore
Jaid Barrymore
Relatives See Barrymore family
Website www.drewbarrymore.com
This article is part of a series on
Drew Barrymore

Drew Blythe Barrymore[3] (born February 22, 1975)[3] is an American actress, author, director, model and producer. She is a member of the Barrymore family of American stage and film actors, and is the granddaughter of actor John Barrymore. Barrymore began acting on television, and soon transitioned to film with roles in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and Irreconcilable Differences (1984).

Following a turbulent childhood that was marked by drug and alcohol abuse with two stints in rehab,[1][4] she wrote her autobiography, Little Girl Lost (1991). She appeared in a string of hit films, including Poison Ivy (1992), Boys on the Side (1995), Scream (1996) and Ever After (1998). She has also co-starred with Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer (1998), 50 First Dates (2004) and Blended (2014).

After Barrymore and Nancy Juvonen formed their production company Flower Films in 1995,[5] it went on to produce several films in which she also starred, such as Never Been Kissed (1999), Charlie's Angels (2000), Donnie Darko (2001) and her directorial debut Whip It! (2009). Other acting credits include Music and Lyrics (2007), He's Just Not That Into You (2009), Going the Distance (2010) and Miss You Already (2015). Barrymore won the Screen Actors Guild Award and the Golden Globe Award for her portrayal of Little Edie in Grey Gardens (2009). Barrymore currently stars with Timothy Olyphant in the Netflix comedy series Santa Clarita Diet (2017).

She was named an Ambassador Against Hunger for the UN World Food Programme (WFP). Since then, she has donated over $1 million to the program. A recipient of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Barrymore appeared on the cover of the 2007 People magazine's 100 Most Beautiful people.

Early life[edit]


Barrymore was born in Culver City, California, to actor John (1932–2004) and Jaid (born Ildikó Jaid Makó; 1946-),[1][6] an aspiring actress. Barrymore's mother was born in a displaced persons camp in Brannenburg, West Germany, to Hungarian World War II refugees.[7] Her parents divorced in 1984, when she was nine years old.[1] She is one of four children with a half-brother, John,[8] who is also an actor.

Anne Helm and father John Barrymore in Gunsmoke (1964)

Barrymore was born into acting: all of her paternal great-grandparents – Maurice Barrymore and Georgie Drew Barrymore, and Maurice Costello and Mae Costello (née Altschuk)[9] – as well as her paternal grandparents, John Barrymore and Dolores Costello, were actors;[9] John Barrymore was arguably the most acclaimed actor of his generation.[1][10] She is the niece of Diana Barrymore and the grandniece of Lionel Barrymore, Ethel Barrymore and Helene Costello,[11] the great-great-granddaughter of Irish-born John Drew and English-born Louisa Lane Drew, all of whom were actors, and the great-grandniece of Broadway idol John Drew, Jr. and silent film actor, writer and director Sidney Drew.[12] Her godfather is Steven Spielberg while her godmother is Anna Strasberg, Lee Strasberg's widow.[13] Meanwhile, Barrymore is the god-daughter of director Steven Spielberg,[4][5][14][15][16] and actress Sophia Loren.[17][18]

Her first name, "Drew", was the maiden name of her paternal great-grandmother, Georgie Drew Barrymore, and her middle name, "Blythe," was the original surname of the dynasty founded by her great-grandfather, Maurice Barrymore.[4] Barrymore recounted in her 1989 autobiography, Little Girl Lost, early memories of her abusive father, who left the family when Barrymore was six months old. They never had anything resembling a significant relationship and seldom spoke to each other.[19]


Barrymore grew up on Poinsetta Place in West Hollywood until the age of 7, when she moved to Sherman Oaks.[20] In her 2015 memoir Wildflower, she says she talks "like a valley girl" because she grew up in Sherman Oaks.[20] She moved back to West Hollywood upon becoming emancipated at 14.[20] Barrymore attended elementary school at Fountain Day School in West Hollywood and Country School.[21] [22]

In the wake of her sudden stardom, Barrymore endured a notoriously troubled childhood. She was already a regular at the notorious Studio 54 as a young girl, smoking cigarettes at the age of nine, drinking alcohol at age eleven, smoking marijuana at age twelve and snorting cocaine at age thirteen.[1][4] Her nightlife and constant partying became a popular subject with the media.[1] She was in rehab at the age of fourteen,[1][4] where she spent eighteen months in an institution for the mentally ill.[23] A suicide attempt, also at age fourteen,[contradictory] put her back in rehab, followed by a three-month stay with singer David Crosby (of rock group Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young fame) and his wife.[10] The stay was precipitated, Crosby said, because she "needed to be around some people that were committed to sobriety."[10] Barrymore later described this period of her life in her autobiography, Little Girl Lost. After a successful juvenile court petition for emancipation, she moved into her own apartment at the age of fifteen.[19][19][10]

In June 1988 after an evening of heavy drinking, Barrymore confronted her mother, Jaid. She began breaking dishes and glasses until Jaid left. Shortly thereafter, a friend of Barrymore's and the friend's mother entered the house and whisked her into a waiting car. They took her to ASAP, a Van Nuys rehabilitation clinic, where she remained for twelve days.[19] Barrymore returned to Los Angeles and continued her therapy. Six days later, she boarded a plane for New York to audition for a play. Her stay in New York proved to be her downfall, as she found cocaine easily in nightclubs. One day later, she stole Jaid's credit card and flew with a friend back to Los Angeles, bought more cocaine, and went on an unauthorized shopping spree. Barrymore was quickly taken back to ASAP by private agents hired by Jaid.[19]

Barrymore's second stay at the clinic was less effective in the long term than the first. In March 1989, she went out to celebrate six months of sobriety. The friend she was with had a small amount of marijuana and Barrymore could not resist. She began feeling guilty over the fact that Jaid was unaware of her return to drugs and their relationship deteriorated. In June 1989, Barrymore moved into an apartment with a friend and struggled with her depression, which triggered a suicide attempt on July 4, 1989. Immediately after Barrymore slashed her wrists, a friend entered the apartment and rushed her to the hospital. From there, she returned to ASAP for more treatment. At the urging of her counselors, Barrymore, David Crosby and his wife, Jan Dance were released from custody in October 1989. One of Barrymore's counselors, a friend of Crosby and his wife, made the arrangement with hopes that a more supportive environment would help Barrymore control her habits. Jaid also agreed to begin therapy to address her codependency with Drew and begin to foster a more positive and structured relationship with her daughter.[19]



Barrymore with President Reagan, October 17, 1984.

Barrymore's professional career began when, at 11-months-old, she auditioned for a dog food commercial.[4] When she was nipped by her canine co-star, the producers were afraid she would cry, but she merely laughed, and was hired for the job.[4] After her film debut with a small role in Altered States (1980),[1] she played Gertie in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), directed by Steven Spielberg. He felt that Barrymore had the right imagination for her role after she impressed him with a story that she led a punk rock band.[24] E.T. is the highest-grossing film of the 1980s and made her one of the most famous child stars of the time. For her role, she earned a Young Artist Award for Best Supporting Actress.[4][25]

In the science fiction horror adaptation of the 1980 eponymous Stephen King novel Firestarter (1984), Barrymore played a girl having pyrokinesis and becomes the target of a secret government agency known as The Shop. In 1984, she played a young girl divorcing her famous parents in Irreconcilable Differences, for which she was nominated for her first Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress.[4][26] In a review in the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert stated: "Barrymore is the right actress for this role precisely because she approaches it with such grave calm."[27]

As Barrymore endured a troubled youth, she continued to act intermittently during the 1980s; she starred in the anthology horror film Cat's Eye (1985), written by Stephen King. The film received positive reviews and earned Barrymore a Young Artist Award nomination for Best Leading Young Actress.[28][29] She played Cathy Goodwill, the daughter of Beth (Alice Krige) in the romantic comedy See You in the Morning (1989). The New York Times criticized "the fashionable phoniness" of the film, but positively singled out Barrymore for her performance.[30]

After her twelve-day rehab treatment at ASAP,[31] Barrymore starred in Far from Home (1989), as a teenager who gets stranded with her father at the small town on a remote part of the desert. The film went largely unnoticed by audiences and received negative reviews from critics, who dismissed the sexual portrayal of her role.[32]


Barrymore with Corey Feldman at the 61st Academy Awards, March 29, 1989

In her late teens, her rebelliousness played itself out on screen and in print. Barrymore forged an image as a manipulative teenage seductress, beginning with Poison Ivy (1992), which was a box office failure, but was popular on video and cable.[1][33] Her character Ivy was ranked at #6 on the list of the top 26 "bad girls" of all time by Entertainment Weekly.[34] Also in 1992, at age seventeen, she posed nude for the cover of the July issue of Interview magazine with her then-fiancé, actor Jamie Walters, as well as appearing nude in pictures inside the issue.[35]

In the crime thriller Guncrazy (1992), she starred as a teenager who murders her sexually abusive stepfather after he teaches her how to use a gun.[26] Variety remarked she "pulls off impressively" her character,[36] for which she earned her second Golden Globe Award nomination. In 1993, she took on the role of the younger sister of a murdered ballerina in No Place to Hide and starred as a writer followed by what is apparently her evil twin in Doppelganger. Both thrillers were panned by critics and failed to find an audience.[37][38][39] She appeared in the western comedy Bad Girls (1994), which follows four former prostitutes on the run following a justifiable homicide and prison escape. Roger Ebert, in his review for the film, wrote for Chicago Sun-Times: "What a good idea, to make a Western about four tough women. And what a sad movie."[40]

She posed nude at age nineteen for the January 1995 issue of Playboy.[41][42] Steven Spielberg, who is also her godfather, gave her a quilt for her twentieth birthday with a note that read, "Cover yourself up."[4] Enclosed were copies of her Playboy pictures, with the pictures altered by his art department so that she appeared fully clothed.[43] During her appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, Barrymore climbed onto David Letterman's desk and bared her breasts to him, her back to the camera, in celebration of his birthday.[10] She modeled in a series of Guess? jeans ads during this time.[44]

By the mid and late 1990s, Barrymore re-established her image and continued to be a highly bankable star.[1][45] In Boys on the Side (1995), Barrymore played a pregnant girl who wants to escape from her abusive boyfriend.[46] The film went little seen in theaters but was positively received by critics.[47] In the same year, she appeared in Joel Schumacher's film Batman Forever, as Sugar, a moll to Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones).[48][49] In 1996, she made a brief but notable appearance in Wes Craven's slasher Scream. Barrymore read the film's script and was interested in being involved, approaching the production team herself to request a role. The producers were quick to take advantage of her unexpected interest, and signed her to play the lead role of Sidney Prescott,[50] but when she was faced with unexpected commitments, she instead played the smaller role of Casey Becker.[50] Scream was released to critical acclaim and made an impressive US$173 million worldwide.[51][52]

In The Wedding Singer (1998), Barrymore played Julia Sullivan, the friendly waitress of Robbie Hart (Adam Sandler).[53] Variety found the film to be a "spirited, funny and warm saga" that serves them up "in a new way that enhances their most winning qualities".[54] Budgeted at US$18 million, the film grossed US$123.3 million internationally.[55] That same year, she starred in Home Fries,[56] and Ever After which is inspired by the fairy tale Cinderella and served as a reminder, according to Roger Ebert, of how well Barrymore "can hold the screen and involve us in her characters".[57] She played the title role in the television special Olive, the Other Reindeer, for which she was nominated for an Primetime Emmy Award.[58] After Barrymore and Nancy Juvonen formed their company, Flower Films, in 1995,[59] she produced the company's first film, Never Been Kissed (1999), released to critical and commercial success.[60]


In Flower Films' second film Charlie's Angels (2000), Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu played the trio of investigators in Los Angeles. The film was a major box office success and helped solidify the standing between Barrymore and the company.[4][61] Later, she starred in Riding in Cars with Boys (2001), as a teenage mother in a failed marriage with the drug-addicted father (based on Beverly Donofrio's real-life story).[1] When the production of Richard Kelly's Donnie Darko was threatened, Barrymore stepped forward with financing from the company, and played the title character's English teacher.[62] Although the film was less than successful at the box office in the wake of 9/11, it reached cult film status after the DVD release, inspiring numerous websites devoted to unraveling the plot twists and meanings.[62]

In 2002, Barrymore starred with Sam Rockwell and Julia Roberts in George Clooney's directorial debut Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, based on the autobiography of television producer Chuck Barris.[63] In 2003, she reprised her role as Dylan Sanders in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle,[1][61] and starred with Ben Stiller in Duplex. Flower Films and Happy Madison Productions produced 50 First Dates (2004), which Barrymore reunited with Adam Sandler.[64][65] Summing up Barrymore's appeal, Roger Ebert, in his review for the film, remarked that Barrymore displayed a "smiling, coy sincerity," in what he described as a "ingratiating and lovable" film.[66]

Barrymore at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival

In the American adaptation of the 1997 eponymous British remake Fever Pitch (2005), Barrymore played Lindsey Meeks, the love interest of Ben Wrightman (Jimmy Fallon). The film grossed a modest US$50 million worldwide and was favorably by reviewers who felt it "has enough charm and on-screen chemistry between [Fallon and Barrymore] to make it a solid hit".[67]

She and Hugh Grant starred in Music and Lyrics, which focuses on the relationship that evolves between a former pop music idol and an aspiring writer as they struggle to compose a song for a reigning pop diva. The romantic comedy, released in February 2007, received largely positive reviews, with the Washington Post finding the two to be "great together" in it.[68] The film was a commercial success, grossing US$145 million globally.[69][70] That same year, Barrymore starred in Curtis Hanson's Lucky You.[71][72] A lukewarm critical and commercial reception greeted the film upon its release,[73][74] with The New Yorker remarking that her role "belongs in front of a sixth-grade class, not [where the film is set]."[75]

In 2009, Barrymore starred in the ensemble comedy He's Just Not That Into You, which garnered mixed reviews from critics, who observed her limited time on screen,[76][77][78] while it grossed US$178 million worldwide.[79] She played the lead role of Edith Bouvier Beale alongside Jessica Lange as her mother in the HBO film Grey Gardens, directed by Michael Sucsy and based on the 1975 documentary of the same name. The television film was a huge success, winning five Primetime Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards. Rolling Stone writer Peter Travels found Barrymore to be a "revelation" in her role[80] and she won it for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film for her performance.

Barrymore made her directorial debut film Whip It (2009), in which she also starred alongside Ellen Page and Marcia Gay Harden, and centers on an obsession with beauty pageants and the Austin Hurl Scouts roller derby team.[81] Critical reception towards the film was largely positive despite it did not make an impression commercially.[82][83] For her venture, she was nominated for a Bronze Horse at the Stockholm Film Festival and for the EDA Female Focus Award at the 2009 Alliance of Women Film Journalists. In Everybody's Fine, Barrymore played the daughter of Frank Goode (Robert De Niro).[84] The drama flopped at the box office and garnered average reviews,[85] but Stephen Holden for The New York Times considered Barrymore "as ingenuous as ever" in what he described as a "small role".[86][87]


In 2010, Barrymore co-starred with Justin Long in Nanette Burstein's Going the Distance. The film follows a couple dealing the ups and downs of a long-distance relationship, while commuting between New York City and San Francisco. It garnered generally mixed reviews by critics,[88] who summed it as "timelier and a little more honest than most romantic comedies",[89] and budgeted at US$32 million,[90] the film made US$40 million at the worldwide box office.[91]

On August 2, 2011, Barrymore directed the music video for the song "Our Deal," for the band Best Coast, which features Chloë Grace Moretz, Miranda Cosgrove, Tyler Posey, Donald Glover, Shailene Woodley and Alia Shawkat.[92] Barrymore starred opposite John Krasinski in the drama Big Miracle (2012), which covers Operation Breakthrough, the 1988 international effort to rescue gray whales from being trapped in ice near Point Barrow, Alaska.[93] The film saw her play Rachel Krameron, based on Greenpeace activist Cindy Lowry.[94] Despite a positive critical reception, the film bombed commercially.[95]

Barrymore at the Berlin premiere of Blended (2014)

In Blended (2014), Barrymore played Lauren Reynolds, a recently divorced woman ending up on a family resort with Jim Friedman (Adam Sandler). Film critic James Berardinelli dismissed the "hit-and-miss humor" of the story and wrote that "as [Sandler and Barrymore] are concerned, the third time is definitely not the charm",[96] as part of an overall lukewarm critical response.[97] The film, however, ultimately grossed US$128 million worldwide.[98] She and Toni Collette starred in Miss You Already (2015), as two long-time friends whose relationship is put to the test when one starts a family and the other becomes ill. Reviewers embraced the film, while it received a limited theatrical release.[99][100]

Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant starred in the Netflix sitcom Santa Clarita Diet, as a couple whose leading vaguely discontented lives take a dark turn after the husband's wife becomes a zombie. Both actors have executive producing roles.[101] The single-camera series premiered on February 3, 2017.[102]

Other career highlights[edit]

In 1999, Barrymore was honored by the Young Artist Foundation with its Former Child Star "Lifetime Achievement" Award commemorating her outstanding achievements within the film industry as a child actress.[103] In 2006, she began a recurring role in the animated comedy Family Guy as Brian Griffin's simple-minded girlfriend, Jillian Russell.[104] She subsequently appeared in a total of eleven episodes.[104][105][106][107] She was the subject of the 2005 documentary My Date with Drew. In it, an aspiring filmmaker and Barrymore fan used his limited resources to gain a date with her.[108] On February 3, 2004, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[109]

Barrymore's films compiled a worldwide box office gross that stood at over US$2.3 billion. According to The Hollywood Reporter's annual Star Salary Top 10, she was tied for eighth place on the top ten list of actresses' salaries, commanding 10 to 12 million dollars per film for 2006.[110] Barrymore became the youngest person to have hosted Saturday Night Live (SNL) having hosted on November 20, 1982 at 7 years of age, a record that remained unbroken as of 2015.[111][112] On February 3, 2007, Barrymore hosted SNL for the fifth time,[61] making her the second female host (after Candice Bergen) in the show's history to do so. She hosted again on October 10, 2009, becoming the first female to host six times. In March 2012, Barrymore began co-hosting the twelfth season of The Essentials, a film showcase on Turner Classic Movies that spotlighted significant classic films.[113] She co-hosted alongside TCM regular Robert Osborne.

Barrymore sporting an unusual appearance with two-tone hair

Barrymore became a CoverGirl Cosmetics's model and spokeswoman in 2007.[114] In February 2015, she remained one of the faces of CoverGirl, alongside Queen Latifah and Taylor Swift. The company partnered with her because "she emulates the iconic image of CoverGirl with her fresh, natural beauty and energetic yet authentic spirit," said Esi Eggleston Bracey, Vice President and General Manager of CoverGirl Cosmetics North America. She brought not only her personality into this endorsement but also her creative side, as she also helped create the ads.[115] She was No. 1 in People's annual 100 Most Beautiful People list in 2007.[116] Later, she was named the new face for the Gucci jewelry line.[117][118] As a model, Barrymore signed a contract with IMG Models New York City.

In May 2007, Barrymore was named Ambassador Against Hunger for the United Nations World Food Programme[119][120] and later donated $1 million to the cause.[61][121] As a guest photographer for a magazine series called "They Shoot New York," she appeared on the cover holding a Pentax K1000 film camera.[122] She expressed hopes of exposing her work in a gallery one day, as she had documented the most recent decade of her life with a Pentax camera.[123]

Personal life[edit]

In 1992, she underwent breast reduction surgery and has said on the subject:

"I really love my body and the way it is right now. There's something very awkward about women and their breasts because men look at them so much. When they're huge, you become very self-conscious. Your back hurts. You find that whatever you wear, you look heavy in. It's uncomfortable. I've learned something, though, about breasts through my years of pondering and pontificating, and that is: Men love them, and I love that."[124]

Concerning her sexuality, Barrymore said in an interview with Contact Music in 2003, "Do I like women sexually? Yeah, I do. Totally. I have always considered myself bisexual."[125] Barrymore was quoted in 2004 as saying, "A woman and a woman together are beautiful, just as a man and a woman together are beautiful. Being with a woman is like exploring your own body, but through someone else. When I was younger I used to go with lots of women. Totally. I love it."[126]

Barrymore is the godmother of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love's daughter, Frances Bean Cobain.[127]

Barrymore has spoken of how she has grown much more stylistically conservative since the birth of her children.[128]

Barrymore tattooed the names of her two daughters on the inside of her right wrist.[129]

Barrymore is a supporter of Hillary Clinton and introduced the presidential candidate at a fundraiser in 2015.[130]

Relationships, marriages and family life[edit]

In 1991, at the age of 16, Barrymore became engaged to Leland Hayward, namesake and grandson of Hollywood producer Leland Hayward.[131] The engagement was called off a few months later.[132] Barrymore was engaged to and lived with musician and actor Jamie Walters from 1992 to 1993.[133]

Barrymore married her first husband, Welsh-born Los Angeles bar owner Jeremy Thomas, at age nineteen on March 20, 1994. She filed for divorce from him less than two months later.[1][10] By many accounts, the split-up was much less than amicable.[19]

Barrymore dated MTV host and comedian Tom Green in 1999, before getting engaged in July 2000 and married a year later.[1] Together, they starred in Charlie's Angels and Green's directorial film debut Freddy Got Fingered. Green filed for divorce in December 2001,[134] which was finalized on October 15, 2002.[134][135]

In 2002, Barrymore began dating The Strokes' drummer Fabrizio Moretti, soon after they met at a concert.[1][61] Their five-year relationship ended in January 2007.[61][136] She began dating Justin Long,[137] but they broke up in July 2008.[138] While filming Going the Distance," Barrymore and Long reunited in 2009, but broke up again in 2010.[139]

In early 2011, Barrymore began dating art consultant Will Kopelman, the son of former Chanel CEO Arie Kopelman.[140] The couple announced their engagement in January 2012,[141][142] and married on June 2, 2012 in Montecito, California.[143] Four days later, the couple's wedding image appeared on the cover of People magazine.[144] Barrymore and Kopelman have two daughters: Olive Barrymore Kopelman (born September 26, 2012)[145] and Frankie Barrymore Kopelman (born April 22, 2014).[146] On April 2, 2016, Barrymore and Kopelman released a statement confirming they had separated and intended to divorce.[147] On July 15, 2016, Barrymore officially filed for divorce, which was finalized on August 3, 2016.[148][149]


Awards and nominations[edit]


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  2. ^ "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1247). February 22, 2013. p. 32. 
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  13. ^ Barrymore, Drew (2015). Wildflower. New York: Dutton. p. 103. ISBN 9781101983799. OCLC 904421431. Anna would soon become my godmother, at my mother's request, a relationship that would become so important to me as a kid because she was so kind and nurturing. 
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  22. ^ http://www.fountaindayschool.com
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Further reading[edit]

  • Aronson, Virginia. Drew Barrymore. Chelsea House, 1999. ISBN 0-7910-5306-7
  • Bankston, John. Drew Barrymore. Chelsea House Publishers, 2002. ISBN 0-7910-6772-6
  • Barrymore, Drew. Little Girl Lost. Pocket Star Books, 1990. ISBN 0-671-68923-1
  • Dye, David. Child and Youth Actors: Filmography of Their Entire Careers, 1914-1985. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 1988, p. 11.
  • Ellis, Lucy. Drew Barrymore: The Biography. Aurum Press, 2004. ISBN 1-84513-032-4
  • Hill, Anne E. Drew Barrymore. Lucent Books, 2001. ISBN 1-56006-831-0

External links[edit]