CAIRO - 22 February 2018: February 22 is the birthday of Hollywood darling Drew Barrymore, a member of the renowned Barrymore acting family. She's even Steven Spielberg's goddaughter.
Born in 1975, Barrymore was the daughter of actor John Barrymore Jr and actress Ildiko Jaid, or Jaid Barrymore. Her parents soon divorced, with her mother getting Barrymore to act as soon as she was a year old, starring in commercials. While she first debuted in the surreal 1980 film “Altered States”, it was “E.T: The Extraterrestrial” two years later that turned the young little girl into a Hollywood star.
Alas, with fame came trouble; Barrymore was drinking by the time she was 10 and grew into a 'bad girl' image, which she exploited but led to harming her career. She started living on her own by the time she was 15, but found herself chasing controversy, especially after exposing herself on TV during the “David Letterman Show” in 1995.
She managed to turn things around when she founded her own production company, Flower Films. Eventually, she grew out of her bad girl image to become a romantic leading lady, finding a niche that she excelled at.
Here's a look at ten of her best roles:
E.T: The Extraterrestrial (1982)
Spielberg's beloved classic about a young boy who meets the titular ET also served as the world's first major introduction to the charming sweetness of a young Barrymore. She played little sister Gertie, who formed her own special little friendship with the alien visitor.
After “ET”, Barrymore began to take up more serious roles even while she was still a child; here she stars in an adaptation of a novel by Stephen King, where she portrays a troubled little girl with psychic powers, capable of starting fires just by thinking and on the run from government agents.
Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)
Having shed her reputation as a bad girl, Barrymore started her voyage into the world of romance. One of her most notable early romantic films is this charming re-telling of “Cinderella”, this time set in France with the twist that the fairy tale was based on real events; Barrymore portrays Danielle, sent to live with a wicked stepmother after the death of her father. She finds hope and romance in a meeting with the Prince Henry (Dougray Scott), who she helps shape into both a better man and king. Leonardo Da Vinci's even there to help them out.
Never Been Kissed (1999)
The first film Barrymore worked on as producer, she also starred as the leading lady in this quirky rom-com about a newspaper reporter named Josie Geller, who finds herself going back to high-school for an undercover story. While High School's filled with bad memories, it also provides a chance for her to finally find love.
Charlie's Angels (2000)
Bringing the 1975 TV series to the big screen, Barrymore stars alongside Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz as the titular 'Charlie's Angels', three Private Investigators working for the mysterious Charlie, who use martial arts, espionage and their good looks to kick butt in secret missions. Barrymore also served as the film's producer.
Donnie Darko (2001)
Despite having a minor role in this surreal, mind-bending cult classic, Barrymore was instrumental in getting made, as she helped serve as producer, helping director Richard Kelly acquire the funds and actors needed to finish. Barrymore portrayed Donnie's quirky teacher, Karen Pomeroy.
Riding in Cars with Boys (2001)
Based on real events, Barrymore portrays single mother Beverly Donofrio, who had a bright future as a potential writer before becoming pregnant at age 16. Despite it all, she struggles to finish her education and pursue her dream career, but the pressures of parenting and her disastrous marriage threaten her dreams.
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)
George Clooney directed this adaptation of Game show host Chuck Barris's memoir, where he claims to have lived a double life as a CIA Hitman. Barrymore stars as Penny, love interest to Chuck Barris.
50 First Dates (2004)
Starring alongside Adam Sandler for this quirky rom-com, Barrymore portrays Lucy Whitmore, who falls in love with Sandler's character, Henry Roth. Just as Henry's ready to start a serious relationship with her, he discovers an odd aspect about Whitmore; she suffers from short-term memory loss, meaning she'll constantly forget about Henry, over and over. He doesn't let that stop him however; he's dedicated to making her fall in love, over and over again.
Gray Gardens (2009)
This HBO adaptation of a 1975 documentary of the same name tells the story of Edith Bouvier Beale (Jessica Lange) and her daughter Edith (Barrymore), or 'Big and Little Edith', the aunt and cousin to President JFK's wife, Jacqueline Kennedy. These two eccentric women lived away from society in the derelict mansion of Grey Gardens.