The Info List - Dolores Costello

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DOLORES COSTELLO (September 17, 1903 – March 1, 1979) was an American film actress who achieved her greatest success during the era of silent movies . She was nicknamed "The Goddess of the Silent Screen". She was stepmother of John Barrymore
John Barrymore
's daughter Diana , by his second wife Blanche Oelrichs
Blanche Oelrichs
, the mother of John Drew Barrymore and Dolores (Dee Dee) Barrymore, and the grandmother of John Barrymore III , Blyth Dolores Barrymore, Brahma Blyth (Jessica) Barrymore, and Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore


* 1 Early years * 2 Film
career * 3 Later years

* 4 Filmography

* 4.1 Child roles * 4.2 Adult roles

* 5 References * 6 External links


Dolores Costello
Dolores Costello
was born in Pittsburgh
, PA ; the daughter of actors Maurice Costello and Mae Costello (née Altschuk). She was of Irish and German descent. She and her younger sister, Helene , made their first film appearances in the years 1909–1915 as child actresses for the Vitagraph Film
Company . They played supporting roles in several films starring their father, who was a popular matinee idol at the time. Dolores Costello's earliest listed credit on the IMDb
is in the role of a fairy in a 1909 adaptation of Shakespeare 's A Midsummer Night\'s Dream .


Dolores Costello
Dolores Costello
with husband John Barrymore
John Barrymore
and children John Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore
and Dolores Barrymore (1934)

The two sisters appeared on Broadway together as chorines and their success resulted in contracts with Warner Brothers Studios
Warner Brothers Studios
. In 1926, following small parts in feature films, she was selected by John Barrymore to star opposite him in The Sea Beast , a loose adaptation of Herman Melville
Herman Melville
's Moby-Dick
. Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
soon began starring her in her own vehicles. Meanwhile, she and Barrymore became romantically involved and married in 1928.

Within a few years of achieving stardom, the delicately beautiful blonde-haired actress had become a successful and highly regarded film personality in her own right, and as a young adult her career developed to the degree that in 1926, she was named a WAMPAS Baby Star , and had acquired the nickname "The Goddess of the Silver Screen".

Warners alternated Costello between films with contemporary settings and elaborate costume dramas. In 1927, she was re-teamed with John Barrymore in When a Man Loves , an adaptation of Manon Lescaut
Manon Lescaut
. In 1928, she co-starred with George O\'Brien in Noah\'s Ark , a part-talkie epic directed by Michael Curtiz
Michael Curtiz
. Tenderloin (1928), starring Dolores Costello, was the second Vitaphone
feature to have talking sequences. It is considered a lost film, where today only the Vitaphone
soundtrack survives

Costello spoke with a lisp (something that her granddaughter, Drew Barrymore, seemingly inherited), and found it difficult to make the transition to talking pictures, but after two years of voice coaching she was comfortable speaking before a microphone. One of her early sound film appearances was with her sister Helene in Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
's all-star extravaganza, The Show of Shows (1929). Her acting career became less a priority for her following the birth of her first child, Dolores Ethel Mae "DeeDee" Barrymore (born April 8, 1930) and she retired from the screen in 1931 to devote time to her family. She would have another child ( John Drew Barrymore
John Drew Barrymore
), but the marriage proved too difficult due to her husband's increasing alcoholism , and they divorced in 1935.

She resumed her career a year later and achieved some successes, most notably in Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936 ), and The Magnificent Ambersons (1942 ). She retired permanently from acting following her appearance in This is the Army
This is the Army
(1943), again under the direction of Michael Curtiz
Michael Curtiz

Making a rare radio appearance, Costello appeared as the Danish Countess Elsa on the radio program Suspense with an air date of August 28, 1943. The title of the episode is The King's Birthday written by Corporal Leonard Pellitier US Army.


In 1939, she married Dr. John Vruwink, an obstetrician who was her physician during her pregnancies, but they divorced in 1950. Costello spent the remaining years of her life in semi-seclusion, managing an avocado farm. Her film career was largely ruined by the destructive effects of early film makeup, which ravaged her complexion too severely to camouflage. Her final film was This Is the Army
This Is the Army
(1943). In the 1970s her house was inundated in a flash flood which destroyed a lot of her property and memorabilia from her movie career and life with John Barrymore
John Barrymore

Shortly before her death, she was interviewed for the documentary series Hollywood (1980) discussing her film career. She died from emphysema in Fallbrook, California
Fallbrook, California
, in 1979, and was interred in Calvary Cemetery, East Los Angeles .

Dolores Costello
Dolores Costello
has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame
for her contributions to Motion Pictures, at 1645 Vine Street.



Dolores Costello
Dolores Costello
appeared as a child actress in many films made between 1909 and 1915 . Among them are:


000000001909-01-01-00001909 A Midsummer Night's Dream

000000001910-01-01-00001910 The Telephone

000000001911-01-01-00001911 Consuming Love, or St. Valentine's Day in Greenaway Land A Geranium

000000001911-01-01-00001911 The Child Crusoes

000000001911-01-01-00001911 His Sister's Children

000000001911-01-01-00001911 A Reformed Santa Claus

000000001911-01-01-00001911 Some Good in All

000000001912-01-01-00001912 Captain Jenks\' Dilemma

000000001912-01-01-00001912 The Meeting of the Ways

000000001912-01-01-00001912 For the Honor of the Family

000000001912-01-01-00001912 She Never Knew; Lulu's Doctor

000000001912-01-01-00001912 The Troublesome Step-Daughters

000000001912-01-01-00001912 The Money Kings

000000001912-01-01-00001912 A Juvenile Love Affair

000000001912-01-01-00001912 Wanted ... a Grandmother

000000001912-01-01-00001912 Vultures and Doves

000000001912-01-01-00001912 Her Grandchild

000000001912-01-01-00001912 Captain Barnacle's Legacy

000000001912-01-01-00001912 Bobby's Father

000000001912-01-01-00001912 The Irony of Fate

000000001912-01-01-00001912 The Toymaker

000000001912-01-01-00001912 Ida's Christmas

000000001913-01-01-00001913 A Birthday Gift

000000001913-01-01-00001913 The Hindoo Charm

000000001913-01-01-00001913 In the Shadow

000000001913-01-01-00001913 Fellow Voyagers

000000001914-01-01-00001914 Some Steamer Scooping

000000001914-01-01-00001914 Etta of the Footlights

000000001914-01-01-00001914 Too Much Burglar

000000001915-01-01-00001915 The Evil Men Do


She restarted her motion picture career in 1923 after spending several years modeling in New York.


1923 The Glimpses of the Moon Bit part LOST

Lawful Larceny Nora the maid LOST; six minutes survive

1925 Greater Than a Crown Isabel Frances / Princess of Lividia ?

Bobbed Hair Bit part EXTANT ; foreign archive Spain

1926 Mannequin Joan Herrick EXTANT ; Library of Congress

The Sea Beast Esther Harper EXTANT (George Eastman House)

Bride of the Storm Faith Fitzhugh LOST FILM

The Little Irish Girl Dot Walker LOST FILM

The Third Degree Annie Daly EXTANT (Library of Congress)

1927 When a Man Loves Manon Lescaut
Manon Lescaut
EXTANT (Turner/Warner Bros.)

A Million Bid Dorothy Gordon INCOMPLETE (Library of Congress- Italian title cards)

Old San Francisco Dolores Vasquez EXTANT (Turner/Warner Bros.)

The Heart of Maryland Maryland Calvert EXTANT (incomplete; Library of Congress)

The College Widow Jane Witherspoon LOST FILM

1928 Tenderloin Rose Shannon LOST FILM

Glorious Betsy Betsy Patterson EXTANT (silent only, Vitaphone
talking, music and sound effects missing)

Noah\'s Ark Mary/Miriam EXTANT (Turner and/or UCLA Film

* ^ Motion Picture Performers. A bibliography of magazine and periodical articles, 1900–1969; compiled by Mel Schuster. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1971. * ^ Rainho, Manny (March 2015). "This Month in Movie History". Classic Images (477): 26. access-date= requires url= (help ) * ^ Olive Borden: The Life and Films of Hollywood\'s Joy Girl by Michelle Vogel page 89; Retrieved February 10, 2016 * ^ Orson Welles: A Biography by Barbara Leaming page 222; Retrieved February 10,