Date: 25th March 2001
Stunning CHARLIE'S ANGELS (2000) star DREW BARRYMORE has been called on to help save a piece of America's acting history from developers.
The former E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) actress, who is in temporary accommodation after her own house recently burned down in Los Angeles, America, has been asked by conservationists to help preserve the farmhouse in Fort Lee, New Jersey, where the young American film industry was based.
Writer MARGOT PETERS described the house of Drew's British great- grandfather, MAURICE BARRYMORE, as a place where "theatre people flocked, shocking the locals with drinking and horseplay. The place was overrun with animals, hangers-on, and Maurice's women".
The Barrymores were once known as the royal family of American theatre. Drew's grandfather JOHN, celebrated star of classic films MOBY DICK (1930) and HAMLET (1933), made his acting debut in the town. The Barrymore house was a virtual actors' colony - timeless stars such as the MARX BROTHERS and W.C. FIELDS filmed there in the days before Hollywood - and there are moves to preserve the three-storey home as a museum to America's acting history.
But this will only happen if the site can be rescued from developers, who want to tear it down to make way for flats. Drew's spokesman, EDDIE MICHAELS, says, "It was not something that she had been focused on until very recently." (EJB/WNBTI/MCM)