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 We know Drew Barrymore as an American actress, film director, and film producer. Moreover, we know her as a member of the Barrymore family of American actors and the granddaughter of John Barrymore. But what do you know about the Young drew Barrymore? Her journey was from a troubled childhood to a famous Hollywood celebrity. It was filled with a difficult childhood, drug addiction, divorce, cutting her wrists, and more. It is almost like she lived two lives. 

She came into acting when she was too young and with a lot of obstacles in life, she became a successful person. Her path was not that easy, but she managed to do her best to break the cycle her parents struggled to escape and give her children what she didn’t have in her childhood. 

The story of Young Drew Barrymore on her tragic life.

 Drew Barrymore

Let us see the story of young Drew Barrymore and how she overcame everything in her life to be successful. 

Life of young Drew Barrymore

Family of Drew Barrymore 

Drew Barrymore in full Drew Blythe  Barrymore was born on February 22, 1975, in Culver City, California, U.S. She was born one of four children to the aspiring actor Jaid and film star husband John Barrymore. Drew was born among the 4th generation of Barrymores.  She was from a family background with Legends of the industry.  

As a child, she had low- self-esteem, as she never looked in the mirror, and thought she was beautiful. Because she used to be teased by other children, and her father left her when she was just six months old. 

Her father was an alcoholic, violent, and physically abusive.  When she was 3 years old,  she remembered her father stomping into the kitchen and throwing her mother to the ground, against the wall, grabbing a bottle of tequila, and leaving the house. 

She entered the industry at just 11 months

Due to their family background as said in the 2015 memoir, Wildflower,  she got the opportunity to do her first role in a pet food commercial at just eleven months. She got the role when laughed at the starring dog when it nipped at her during the audition. 

She didn’t get a big break until about five years ago. She was cast in  Steven Spielberg’s E.T., the movie was said to be the most popular movie in history. The involvement of Barrymore happened just because she lied during an audition.  She did whatever it took to get the role even at the age of 6. She made up stories during auditions to catch the attention of the casting directors, like claiming that she was a drummer in a rock band, a chef, and so on to be a part of Poltergeist.

Young Drew Barrymore


Even though Spielberg did not make her a part of Poltergeist, he loved her so much and gave her a role in E.T. and Drew Barrymore used to admit that he was the one who single-handedly changed her life. Her godparents were actor Sophia Loren, Anna Strasberg, and director Steven Spielberg.  

Life after fame

When she was just nine years old, she consumed liquor. At Rob Lowe’s birthday party she started pouring liquor over her ice cream and got drunk for the first time. With the fame, she got a life no other child could live. She was into industry parties, like clubs, and bars. Her mother first took her to studio 54 and both of them went to clubs throughout Barrymore’s childhood. The parties were only for adults, and only young Drew Barrymore got the opportunity to be a part of it. She used to go there regularly, once a week, and sometimes up to five times, but nothing was enough for her. 

Drugs and drinks 

At the age at which she should play with dolls and pick out colors for braces, she was actually getting into drugs. She had already been smoking cigarettes for about a year when she first picked up weed just at the age of 10 and a half. Whenever her mother was not by her side, she was handed alcohol and got drugs where she could. 

But at a time she got bored with smoking and wanted to try heavier stuff, she never cared about what anybody else thought. 

For all the pain during childhood, young Drew Barrymore, approached drugs, especially cocaine.  She had a life where she spent her days sneaking out,  running away for nights,  sleeping for long hours, and mood swings. 

When she was 11 years old, while filming Babes in Toyland, she got drunk and listened to heavy metal in a hotel room in Munich. A rock band came through and stole dozens of laundry bags full of clothing and threw them into the river from the Hotel’s balconies. 

Things got worse

She was admitted to rehab twice, but the drug treatment didn’t work much.  In 1990 a cover story was published, where she had broken her sobriety and tabloids but moved with rumors of attempted suicide. 

When Barrymore celebrated six months of sobriety by smoking with her friend, she ended up in a car accident and cracked her head against the window.  She was found guilty and her relationship with her mother deteriorated.  The depression got worse when her estranged father called her begging for money.   Finally, she found out her friends were mad at her. 

She felt her dad hates her, she is fat, and ugly with no money. She thought nobody likes her and so she grabbed a knife and went into the living room and cut her wrist. 

She was admitted to a psychiatric facility 

She was a real wild child and just got out of control that no one knew what to do with her. Her mother noticed her behavior and called a friend and drove her to the institution in the middle of the night for treatment. 

In the center, she knew she couldn’t mess around,  because if she did she would be thrown either in the padded room or put on a stretcher tied up. There she lived for 18 months.  It was like recruitment training, and boot camp. She felt horrible and dark. Her life was not normal and she badly felt a need for a severe shift. 

During her stay, she formed lifelong bonds. She became friends with one of the other girls. When she came out from there she was a more respectable person and she felt so different.  

Legally divorced her parents

She had a complicated relationship with her mother. She wanted to change her life, so she had the need to change her relationship with her mother. So she filed for emancipation. 

According to the wildflower memoir, she was emancipated by the courts at the age of 14. She had to part ways with her mother and live on her own because both of them had driven their relationship into the ground. 

Her mother lost her credibility as a parent for taking young Drew Barrymore to Studio 54, instead of sending her to school. Her mother had to take the blame for Drew being out of control as she was working since she was 11 months old. She felt so sad.

She was living alone and had no idea how to run an apartment at the age of 14. She saw fungus growing everywhere. The neighborhood was dangerous and she was scared to sleep. 

The job she did

Young Drew Barrymore

At the age of 14, the casting directors would laugh at her when she showed up for an audition. So she tried to support herself with a normal job. It was tough for her to do jobs without a driver’s license and little experience.  She had to drop out of school and ended up working at a local cafe.

She struggled for work throughout the rest of her teens. But in 1995, she appeared on David Letterman and flashed the talk show host. It was her turning point. 

She watched herself and her friends laughing and realized the end of an era for her. She started to journey into a lack of nudity in any public forum. 

Drew Barrymore marriage 

She met her love Leland Hayward in 1990 when she was 16 years old. But within months both of them called off their relationship. She fought her way back at 17, in a film called Poison Ivy, and in the same year in 1992, she and her fiance actor Jamie Walters posed for a magazine interview. 

In 1994, She met a British Bar owner Jeremy Thomas in Los Angeles where she was a patron. When she met him she was just 19 years old and he was 31. After just six weeks of dating, she tied the knot with him. When they were partying with their friends they thought of marrying at 4 a.m and by 5.30 a.m they tied the knot.  But they filed for divorce in less than two months. 

In the late 90s, she dated a fellow actor Luke Wilson. But they parted ways. But she truly fell in love with the industry and the audiences. And she met her second husband actor Tom Green, with whom she starred in the 2000 movie Charlie’s Angels. She was with him for 9 months. 

She was into depression

She met the Strokes Drummer, Fabrizio Moretti, and had a five-year relationship with him. But later she married to the art consultant Will Kopelman the son of former Chanel CEO Arie in 2012 and that year she gave birth to her first daughter, Olive. After two years, she gave birth to her second child, Frankie. 

She suffered from postpartum depression for six months. But she got the time to spend with her daughters and in 2014, she produced two films. 

She got divorced in 2016, and she felt it was the biggest failure. It was her worst nightmare, as she had to raise her kids, unlike her own upbringing. 

Her achievements 

She became one of the first women in Hollywood to found their own production company. It was her flower productions, which she did at the age of 20 alongside producer Nancy Juvonen. Under the banner of flower, she launched a beauty company called well flower beauty. 

Drew Barrymore whip

She was the lead in the Netflix horror/comedy Santa Clarita Diet, in which she played a real estate agent and mum who becomes a zombie and starts to crave human flesh. This became popular and critically praised by many.

In 2009, she directed her first full-length feature film Whip it. It was about a teenage misfit who finds herself signing up for a roller derby team. It received positive reviews but was not a box office success. 

She is extremely proud of her acting lineage. She loves acting and she has always played herself. She is a contented mother now and fits for playing such roles. She mostly refers to the characters she has played in the recent years as panting labradors, as she is eager to please and love. 

She insists that she has neither time to play demanding roles. She starred in the comedy-drama Miss you already. 

Drew Barrymore as a mother

After her daughters arrived, her priorities changed. Earlier she felt that everything she did in film mattered to her the most and it was her whole world. But now her priorities changed to kids, friends, marriage, work, and health. Drew Barrymore said that she knew she would not repeat the mistakes of her parents. And put them in too-adult circumstances. She wanted to be very traditional and she thought that she would never have had children unless she is incredibly stable and willing to put them first. 

Apart from all her success, Drew doesn’t want her daughters to become child actors.

Final thoughts

No matter how hard life was, Drew Barrymore was strong enough to overcome them and be successful. From being a drug addict, cutting her wrists, and getting legally divorced from her parents and love life, she never gave up in her life.  

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