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Georgiana Drew

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Georgiana Emma Drew (July 11, 1856 – July 2, 1893), aka Georgie Drew Barrymore, was an American stage actress.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, her family — parents John Drew and Louisa Lane Drew, brothers John Drew Jr. and Sidney, and sister Louisa — were all actors. She made her theatrical debut in 1872 in The Ladies' Rattle. She followed John Jr. to New York, where she acted in many Broadway hits, such as Pique and As You Like It. In Pique she met a young English actor, Maurice Barrymore, whom she married on December 31, 1876. They had three children: Lionel, Ethel, and John. She is a great-grandmother of actress Drew Barrymore.

According to a 2004 A&E Biography piece, the marriage, happy at first, became rocky as Maurice indulged in numerous affairs. Georgie even filed for divorce, but they reconciled. He asked her to tour with him and Helena Modjeska in a play he wrote; Georgie and the children had converted to Roman Catholicism under Helena's influence. Learning that he and Helena had resumed their romance, Georgie, who had been given ownership of the play by Maurice, forced her hand by closing it. Helena's husband, its producer, sued her. The real reason for Georgie's actions never got into the press.

In 1890 she had a great success in The Senator co-starring William H. Crane. In December 1891, illness forced her to leave the cast. Suffering from what turned out to be consumption, she traveled West in 1893 with Ethel to take a cure, but died a few months later in Santa Barbara, California. Reportedly her last words were, "Oh my poor kids!, what shall ever become of them". It was 14 year old Ethel's responsibility to see that her mother's body was returned to Philadelphia for burial by Mrs Drew & Maurice. This coast to coast journey would have lasted a week in 1893.


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