In this book, accomplished biographers Lucy Ellis and Bryony Sutherland turn their attention to the much-loved child star of E.T. - The Extra Terrestrial. As heir to the impressive Barrymore acting dynasty, Drew was born in 1975 to John Barrymore Jr and his wife, Ildyko Jaid. John was an irresponsible, abusive drunk whom Jaid was forced to leave before Drew was born. Working all hours as a single parent, Drew felt abandoned by her mother, and rejected by her father.
At just eleven months, she made her first commercial, for dog food, and a year-and-a-half later Drew appeared in a television movie. At six, she starred in E.T., capturing viewers' hearts in a way that no other child actress had since Shirley Temple. Before reaching puberty, Drew was both a movie star and an international icon.
But her burgeoning career was soon eclipsed by her offscreen antics. She took her first drink at nine, progressed to marijuana 18 months later and began using cocaine aged 13. Drew had inherited her family's tragic legacy of substance abuse and became known as a wild party girl. By 1988, Drew was in rehab; she finally emerged clean a year later, after a relapse and failed suicide attempt.
Drew Barrymore might well have lived out the rest of her years as another washed-up child star. But after a two-year absence, she reinvented herself as a vampy sex-symbol and returned to the big screen in Poison Ivy and later, Batman Forever. In 1996, she underwent another image transformation, from slut to sweetheart, and appeared in a string of hit films, including Woody Allen's Everyone Says I Love You, Ever After, The Wedding Singer and Riding In Cars With Boys. Drew formed her own company, Flower Films, and has achieved success as an actor and producer in films such as Never Been Kissed, Charlie's Angels, Donnie Darko, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle and the upcoming rom-com reunion with Bill Stiller, Duplex.
With her career back on track, Drew's personal life has continued to be eventful. Her marriage at nineteen to Welsh bar owner, Jeremy Thomas, lasted less than three weeks. Five years later, she supported her boyfriend anarchic comedian, Tom Green, through testicular cancer. After several hoaxes, the couple finally wed in 2001, but filed for divorce six months later. Drew was rumoured to be walking down the aisle a third time in 2003 with new beau, Fabrizio Moretti.