John Barrymore lists the thirteen most fascinating women in his life, from Look magazine, Nov. 5, 1940:

The most fascinating woman I ever knew was my grandmother, Mrs. John Drew. But if you ask me to define glamour–well, I simply can’t. One doesn’t define that, and therein lies its charm.

Actually, I haven’t the slightest notion as to what constitutes glamour. I really feel that to find out would be one of life’s tragedies–especially where a man’s search fir it in a woman is concerned. It is the very elusiveness of the quality, and the inability to define it that provides the incentve for the search that never should end.

The best parallel I can give for glamour is that it’s like rare stamps. A stamp collector may have a wonderful time searching all his life for an Ecuadorian Blue which might be worth $30,000, but let him actually find the stamp,and his fun is over.

Thank Heaven, I have never found out just what glamour is, despite the fact I have known many glamourous, fascinating women. It would be easier to answer “What does glamour cost?” In my own case, I should say, “Everything I have been able to acquire during a more or less active life.”

Here is my list of the most glamorous women I have known. I am grateful to every one, for all have added zest and interest to my work and play.

Of course, John’s Twentieth Century co-star Carole Lombard made the list!

carole lombard john barrymore

The rest of John’s list:

ethel barrymore virginia weidler

elaine barrie john barrymore

greta garbo fay compton

katharine hepburn

paulette goddard

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2 Responses to The 13 Most Fascinating Women in John Barrymore’s Life

  1. Rick says:

    Thanks for sharing such an intriguing piece of nostalgia. It was sad, though, to read his description of daughter Diana, knowing her later struggles with alcoholism and her death by overdose.

  2. Tao says:

    Thanks for sharing this. Really nice to hear positive depictions of women from a very sexist time.

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