Chatsworth Celebrities Lionel Barrymore 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society

Chatsworth Celebrities Lionel Barrymore 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society

Chatsworth Celebrities Lionel Barrymore 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 1 Chatsworth Celebrities Lionel Barrymore Lionel Barrymore (1878-1954) was a member of the theaters royal family of Barrymores Lionel, Ethel and John. His parents were Maurice Barrymore and Georgiana Drew, reigning stage stars of their day that came to America in the 1870s and performed Hamlet in New York, also performing in London often. While Lionels parents traveled to their performances, the three children lived with their grandmother in various great houses in Philadelphia. All of the children were well educated in the arts and theatre. In 1938, at the age of 60, Lionel purchased 22 acres in Browns Canyon at 11050 Independence Ave, Chatsworth. Lionel was Honorary Mayor of Chatsworth in 1952, and died of a heart

attack in 1954 at the age of 76. Lionel is the great-uncle of Drew Barrymore, who had a breakout role as a child actress in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), which had scenes filmed in nearby Porter Ranch. 11/20/2018 Lionel Barrymore at his Chatsworth Ranch, photo courtesy of Jerry England Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 2 Chatsworth Celebrities Lionel Barrymore From Lionels 1951 autobiography, We Barrymores, his father had been middleweight amateur boxing champion of England in an era when fighters did not wear pillows on their hands. His father: Maurice was a wit and a talented performer to whom there were two abiding mysteries in life: he

never correctly estimated either his bank account or his capacity to hold liquor. His father introduced Lionel to Mr. Clemens (Mark Twain). Lionel proceeded to recite paragraphs of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn to Mark Twain, to the point that at the end of his recital there were tears in Twains eyes. Georgie Drew Barrymore, with her three children, Ethel, Lionel and John 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 3 Lionel Barrymores early career Lionel made his debut on the New York Stage at 15 (1893) in The Rivals, in which his grandmother, Louisa Lane Drew, played Mrs. Malaprop. I stunk, Lionel opined afterward, and

he recalled that his grandmother left him a note telling him regretfully he was somewhat inadequate and was no longer needed in the cast. Later she told him to continue on the stage. Lionel said in later years he had no stomach for the stage but became an actor because it seemed the easiest way to make a living. An 1887 portrait in the Library of Congress of Louisa Lane Drew as Mrs. Malaprop in The Rivals 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 4 Lionel Barrymores stage career Lionel had a very successful stage career, with 40 different stage appearances, from 1893 to

1925. Most of the performances were on Broadway in New York, many of them running for over 100 performances over multiple years. In 1918 Lionel Barrymore appeared in The Copperhead as Milt Shanks, which ran for 120 performances at the Shubert Theatre on Broadway in New York 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 5 Lionel Barrymores silent film career During his stage career, he began working at Biograph Studios in New York with D. W. Griffith.

One of his first silent movies was The New York Hat (1912), with Mary Pickford and Lillian Gish. He also was in Judith and Bethulia (1914) that was filmed in Chatsworth. A screenshot of the Biograph short (sixteen minutes) The New York Hat (1912) showing Mary Pickford and Lionel Barrymore 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 6 Lionel Barrymores career in Hollywood In 1925, he left the theatre, signing a contract with MetroGoldwyn-Mayer. He would

become good friends with Louis B. Mayer. He made an easy transition to talking movies in 1929 because of his stage training. He preferred movies to stage acting, it was much easier and you didnt have to memorize your lines. Jackie Cooper and Lionel Barrymore as Billy Bones in Treasure Island (1934) 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 7 Lionel Barrymores career in Hollywood He appeared in a total of 131 silent movies, and 82 talking

movies, for a total of 213. He is given credit for inventing the boom microphone, saying why dont you put it on the end of a fishing pole? Captains Courageous would be the last picture with Barrymore standing. Mickey Rooney, Lionel Barrymore (as the captain) Spencer Tracy, and Freddie Bartholomew in Captains Courageous (1937) 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 8 1936, a catastrophic year, at the age of 58 Lionel broke his hip as he leaned on a drafting board, upset it, tripped and fell. After a slow recovery, he gradually learned to walk a little. Then in 1937, while working on

the movie Saratoga with Clark Gable, he tripped over a sound cable, fell heavily and snapped his hip again. As he said in his autobiography, this time I did not come out on my feet. Walking was difficult and dangerous for him, and he chose to confine himself to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Louis B. Mayer instructed his MGM writers to invent scenes for Lionel where he did not have to walk; he could sit behind desks, he could act in beds, he could be in a wheelchair. He ended up making over forty movies after the second accident. 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 9 Lionel Barrymores career in Hollywood He became best known as a grumpy and irritable character actor.

He also performed on CBS radio as Ebenezer Scrooge from 1934 to 1953, broadcast annually on Christmas Day. Lionel Barrymore (as Henry F. Potter in a wheelchair) and James Stewart in Its a Wonderful Life (1946) 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 10 Lionel Barrymores personal life In 1904 at the age of 26, Lionel married Doris Rankin who was 16. They went to Paris where Lionel studied art for

two years. They had two daughters, neither of which survived infancy. In 1923 Lionel married his second wife Irene Fenwick. In 1926 they built a 10 room house at 802 No. Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hills. Irene Fenwick and Lionel Barrymore in the Claw 1921 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 11 Lionel Barrymores personal life Lionels second wife, Irene Fenwick, died on Christmas Eve in 1936 at the age of 49, at their home for 10 years at Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hills. Irene had been unwell for many years.

Lionel mentions in his autobiography that he and Irene were no contribution to the night-life side of Hollywood. During Irenes illness they became close friends with Mrs. Mary Ellen Wheeler and her three daughters, Violet, Florence and Murdie (Florence and Murdie were registered nurses). As Irenes illness became worse, the Wheelers were often at the Roxbury home. Their presence and friendship is one of the blessings that have been showered on me, one of the arrangements made from above, for they were with me in the garden on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, 1936, when Irene suddenly died. 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 12 Lionel Barrymores personal life I was supposed to go on the radio in A Christmas Carol the next day. Jack (John)

took my place. I went home with the Wheelers. I never returned to Roxbury Drive. A recent photo of 800 (was 802) North Roxbury Drive, Beverly Hills. Zillow has the estimated value at $10 Million, 5,709 sqft. on acre with a swimming pool, ten rooms, two-stories with Spanish tile, built in 1926. 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 13 Lionel Barrymores personal life When Irene died, so did Lionel Barrymore. Unable to stay at the Roxbury Drive house, the Wheeler's moved him in with them. He took only his personal belongings

with him, while the rest of Roxbury remained intact. Irene's personal item's remained as she had left them. Lionel retained a caretaker to mow the lawn and trim the bushes and a housekeeper to keep the inside cleaned, dusting the rooms and polishing the brass door knocker. He turned 802 North Roxbury Drive into a shrine to Irene. He would never live in the house again, though he would visit and remember his lost love. Since it kept her memory alive for him, he couldn't bring himself to sell it. Keeping the Roxbury Drive Memorial drained his wallet and in 1949, thirteen years after his wife's death, he was forced to sell the house and all of Irene's treasures to pay back taxes. 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 14 Sycamore Woods - 11050 Independence Ave In April 1939, Lionel

announced his purchase of 22 acres in Chatsworth. 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 15 The Neighborhood in 1938 Dec 1938 UCSB aerial photo 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 16

Driving Directions to Sycamore Woods - 11050 Independence Ave When writer Gene Fowler wanted to visit him, Lionel gave him these directions: Dec 1938 UCSB aerial photo "Go straight along Sepulveda, almost to San Fernando, left on Devonshire Blvd until you come to 'Popes Market', where you turn right on Canoga Blvd and follow the road until you come up to the gates of the ranch" 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore

17 80 years later - Sycamore Woods - 11050 Independence Ave Dec 1938 UCSB aerial photo 11/20/2018 2018 Google Maps. The red circle is the approx. location of the Barrymore house site. Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 18

A photograph of the ranch house - 11050 Independence Ave 2018 Google Maps. The red circle is approx. location of Barrymore house site. House outline in red, Sycamore outline in green Dec 1938 UCSB aerial photo above, circa 1960 photo at right. The Barrymore estate was described as a rambling ranch house. The house surrounded a huge sycamore on three sides, with the tree shading the westerly porch/patio. 11/20/2018

Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 19 A photograph of the ranch house - 11050 Independence Ave A enlargement of the previous photo, highlighting the porch and patio, and shade from the sycamore tree. Notice the retaining wall in front of the porch, a similar wall will be seen later in the barbeque area behind the house. 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore

20 Another photograph of the west porch - 11050 Independence Ave Excerpts from the 1941 Los Angeles Times article: He is the lonliest man in Hollywood and yet one of the best loved in all America. Stranger still, he maintains two homes, one for himself, one for his memories. Barrymore lives in a rambling farmhouse out at Chatsworth. Here he raises roses, orange trees, Indian corn and razorback hogs. The hogs came about by chance, being acquired to root out the rattlesnakes. Photo at right, 1941 Los Angeles Times article 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore

21 More photographs of the ranch - 11050 Independence Ave Photo at left, courtesy Jerry England Photo at right, Lionel Barrymore with his dogs Sally and Johnny 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 22

The barbeque area - 11050 Independence Ave The following photos were taken in 2011, before completion of the Sierra Canyon School athletic fields. The barbeque area was behind the Barrymore house, built into the slope on the east side of the property. The area still exists today, on the east side of the lacrosse field. Main entrance to BBQ and patio area, looking east 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 23

The barbeque area - 11050 Independence Ave BBQ and patio area, looking east 11/20/2018 BBQ patio looking south Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 24 The barbeque area - 11050 Independence Ave Retaining walls north of patio area 11/20/2018

Steps from patio north Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 25 The barbeque area - 11050 Independence Ave Retaining walls in front of the patio at the house Similar retaining walls north of todays barbeque patio area 11/20/2018

Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 26 At Lucys Ranch 1944 Lucille Ball and Lionel Barrymore at Lucy and Desis Chatsworth ranch for Lucys birthday party 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 27 The Barrymore easement and access to his ranch home Notice that in 1938, access to the house required the crossing of

Browns creek. (blue circle) Dec 1938 UCSB aerial photo Sierra Canyon School provided us with title search documents from their lower campus, which at that time was owned by Reginald and Mary Wild. Included was an Aug 13, 1938 easement to Lionel Barrymore. It was 30 ft wide, along the eastern line of their property, ending 150 ft. south of the northern edge of their property. So Barrymore crossed the creek before he got to the north end of the Wild property. (easement in yellow) 11/20/2018

Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 28 The Barrymore easement and access to his ranch home By 1944, trees lined the Barrymore easement on the Wild property (some of those trees remain today). Nov 1944 UCSB aerial photo Another entrance road from DeSoto was added. There was a gate with pillars at the entrance to the Barrymore estate at Independence and Rinaldi (circled in red in the photo on the right and the closeup below)

11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 29 Pillars at the entrance to Barrymores ranch home Nov 1944 UCSB aerial photo Emma Johnson Graves (1873-1962), riding Duke. Pillars at the Entrance to the home of Lionel Barrymore movie star 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 30

Sycamore Woods residents in 1940 The 1940 census listed the following residents at the Barrymore estate: Lionel Barrymore (62), friends Mary Ellen Wheeler (66), Violet Wheeler (42) and Florence Wheeler (40) Servant Alonzo Miller as cook with his wife Willie as maid. Murdie Wheeler (38) with her husband Stanley Campbell (30) lived in nearby Studio City. 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 31 The Wheeler/Campbell family connection Murdie Wheeler and husband Stanley Campbell had Barrymore connections. Stanley worked at MGM as a makeup artist for Lionel Barrymore (and his more famous brother John Barrymore), and was also Lionels driver. Murdie and Stanley were married in 1938, two

years after Lionel left the Beverly Hills house and the same year Lionel began building Sycamore Woods. In 1942 two of the pallbearers for John Barrymore were WC Fields and Stanley Campbell. In 1952, when Lionel Barrymore was installed as Chatsworth Honorary Mayor, Stanley Campbell was present and also said a few words. Jan 10, 1952 Van Nuys News 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 32 Lionel Barrymores years in Chatsworth Lionel Barrymore remained active in Hollywood from 1939 to 1954, when he died of heart congestion at the age of 76. He had a special car with controls that would allow him to drive to sound studios in Hollywood.

He also was a renowned painter, music composer, and was considered for an Academy Award for Best Director. He appeared in a total of 213 movies, 38 of them filmed after he moved to Chatsworth. He also broadcast A Christmas Carol on radio each Christmas from 1934 to 1953. In 1951 he wrote an autobiography, We Barrymores. Once a week for 10 months he would drive his car 20 miles to his collaborator, where they would sit in the car and chat while a secretary took notes in the back seat. His thoughts on Chatsworth My domestic arrangements today are as pleasant as any mans. I live in Chatsworth, a place about the size that would be sneered at as a farm back East but is solemnly called a ranch in Southern California. At first, it was my ambition to raise chickens. When marauding weasels got them, I decided that there was no profit in producing rodent food and purchased a cow. I am usually on the road through the San Fernando Valley by 6 oclock in the morning. 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 33 The Barrymore estate becomes the Wheeler estate

In 1954 Lionel Barrymores will named the second daughter Florence Wheeler as the sole beneficiary of his $25,000 estate. In July 1955 it was published that Lionel owed $40,000 in back taxes, and a Judge hoped to salvage $25,000 from sale of paintings, etchings, music, literary and other rights. There was an auction held on Wilshire Blvd. later that year, that included over 1,000 items collected by Barrymore, including his own recordings such as Casey at the Bat, and the skull that his brother John used when he played Hamlet. 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 34

The Barrymore estate becomes the Wheeler estate CHS Life Member, Cindy Cooley Sage, shared her memories of the Wheeler family with us, as she lived at 11047 De Soto, just south of the Wheeler Estate. (Wheeler estate circled in red) Nov 1944 UCSB aerial photo The Cooley family lived there from 1954 to 1966, on a ten acre lemon ranch that she remembers as heavenly, with lemon blossoms in the air.

Reginald and Mary Wild lived at 11052 Independence. 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 35 The Barrymore estate becomes the Wheeler estate Cindy does not recall the Wheelers ever using the lower Independence access. Only the De Soto driveway right above their house. Nov 1944 UCSB aerial photo It was far superior as an allweather access (okay, in

comparison to the Brown's Creek access, which was seasonally impassible - but remember even De Soto was a dirt road for years). When it rained hard, my dad took us to Chatsworth Park Elementary School with the orchard tractor because of the mud. 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 36 The Barrymore estate becomes the Wheeler estate In 1959, the first Wheeler daughter, Violet (Benson) Wheeler, published a book, I Becky Barrymore, the autobiography of a famous cat, illustrated by Lionel Barrymore.

Benson gave an autographed copy to Cindys mother, Carolyn. 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 37 The Barrymore estate becomes the Wheeler estate Cindy Cooley Sages memories of the house: The second daughter Florence was vivacious and spirited. Always full of wisdom and down-to-earth spirituality. Just a wisp of a woman - she was equally at ease in her Hollywood clothes, or her garden duds, with her shears attached somewhere to her. Their home was rambling and full of treasures (artwork, paintings, silver tea sets, elaborate china, linens, beautiful furniture and all the trimmings of a luxurious '40s-50's lifestyle).

The home was shaped in sort of a crescent and many rooms opened out into some part or other of the gardens and sycamores. Each had a patio surrounded by a low rock wall, making it completely charming. On hot Chatsworth summer days, it was cooler and shaded. You couldn't quite see the creek from there (but we were small). The lawns seemed endless. 11/20/2018 Florence Wheeler and Cynthia Cooley at her 18th birthday party (11047 De Soto) Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 38 The Barrymore estate becomes the Wheeler estate Cindy Cooley Sages memories of the Barrymore/Wheeler house after the 1970 brush fire:

The cat that survived the 1970 fire Orrin and I sifted ashes after the fire. We found some melted jewelry, and melted silver, most likely from their gorgeous sterling silver tea/coffee set. How fitting that it was a cat that survived (if only ceramic). It's head was just visible in the ashes. We have kept it all these years. The Sages kept in touch and visited Murdie and Stanley in their later years in Westlake Village. 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 39 The Barrymore estate becomes a part of the Sierra Canyon School Athletic Fields The property was known as the Wheeler estate locally for many years.

Mary Ellen and Violet died in 1961 and 1963; Florence died in 1969. The property was then willed to the remaining sister, Murdie Wheeler Campbell, who had married Stanley Campbell, Lionels makeup man and driver. An October 1970 LA Times article on structure fires (Calabasas Fire), listed 11050 Independence Ave, Owner = Campbell, Damage = $60,000. Murdie and Stanley never lived at the estate according to our searches. Cindy and Orrin Sage said that the Campbells lived at Westlake Village in their later years. They died in 1979 and 1978 and are buried with the rest of the family at Rosedale Cemetery in Moosejaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. At some point, the property was purchased by Charles Smith, who owned it for a number of years, and it was then sold to Sierra Canyon School in 2007. 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 40 Drew Barrymore

Lionel is the great-uncle of Drew Barrymore, who had a breakout role as a child actress in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), which had scenes filmed in nearby Porter Ranch. She was 7 years old. Drew Barrymore is currently filming Season 3 of Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix, which is filmed in the Santa Clarita Valley. 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 41 Drew Barrymore / ET Filming Locations ET the Extra Terrestial (1982) Filming Locations in Yellow. Lionel Barrymore Estate Location (1939-1970) in Red. 11/20/2018

Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 42 Drew Barrymore continues the Barrymore family legacy 11/20/2018 Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 43 Sources/Acknowledgements Sierra Canyon title search documents on 11052 Independence, donated by Howard Wang, founder Sierra Canyon School. Documents include a 1938 easement to Lionel Barrymore.

1951 We Barrymores, an autobiography by Lionel Barrymore Nitrateville.com, BurbankBob 2010 blog post, Memories and photographs from Cindy Cooley Sage Photo archives Chatsworth Historical Society https://www.nitrateville.com/viewtopic.php?t=7421 Prepared by Ann & Ray Vincent, Chatsworth Historical Society, November 2018 11/20/2018

Chatsworth Historical Society - Chatsworth Celebrities - Lionel Barrymore 44

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