Drew Barrymore Confirms Long-Standing Rumor That Her Late Grandfather’s Body Was Stolen for a Poker Game
There was an old Hollywood rumor that old Hollywood actor John Barrymore was dug up by his best friends, Errol Flynn and W.C. Fields, to go on one last rich man romp. Well, Drew Barrymore, the granddaughter of John, has confirmed that those SOBs really did do it.
Drew Barrymore did Hot Ones from home, being her adorable self as expected, and around 4:50, the host of the show asked, “Is it true your grandfather’s body was stolen from the morgue by W.C. Fields, Errol Flynn, and Sadakichi Hartmann so that they could prop him up against a poker table and throw one last party with the guy?”
Barrymore, sporting a grin on her face, confirmed that the story was in fact true: “Not only yes, but there have been like cinematic interpretations of that.” She mentioned a Blake Edwards film called SOB and, of course, Weekend at Bernie’s but doesn’t confirm for sure that it’s based on her late grandfather’s experience.
To quote Alexis Rose, “Eww.”
For those who are not big classic Hollywood stans, let me give you a breakdown of the characters in this story.
The Corpse: John Barrymore, the third big name in the Barrymore and Drew theatrical family line, who got his big break playing Hamlet on the stage. Known for his exceptional profile and drinking habits, despite his skill and having left a powerful early acting resume, the end of his career was a bit more tragic. He died in 1942 at the age of 60.
Gravedigger #1, W.C. Fields: a legendary American comedian who was known for his misanthropic persona. He is considered by some to be one of the comedic geniuses of his time. He died Christmas 1946 at 66.
Gravedigger #2, Errol Flynn: an Australian-born actor known for two things, his roles as a leading man during the Golden Age of Hollywood, most notably Robin Hood, and the statutory rape charges against him in 1942. He died in 1959 at the age of 50.
Gravedigger #3, Sadakichi Hartmann: an art and photography critic of German and Japanese ancestry. During WWII, while he was not placed in an internment camp due to his age and health, the FBI would come to visit his home frequently because of his Japanese heritage. He passed away in his seventies, before the war ended, on November 22, 1944.
With the exception of Flynn, these guys were not at all spring chickens while digging up this body, and many were not far behind him.
At the end of confirming this long-standing rumor, the younger Barrymore says that she hopes her friends will do the same for her. I cannot say that I find the idea of digging up my best friend and propping her up against a wall very appealing. However, considering these three men seemed to be dripping with … alcohol, maybe they thought it would at least be worth it.
What kind of party would you throw with your friend’s corpse?
(image: Saeed Adyani / Netflix)
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