Since making her Hollywood debut in the '80s, Drew Barrymore has been one of the most liked and popular celebrities in the entertainment industry. From her cult-classic films to her high-profile relationships, this actress is no stranger to the many facets and complexities of growing up in Tinseltown. In celebration of her 46th birthday on Feb. 22, 2021, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at the actress and talk show hosts's colorful life and career through photos. Keep reading to learn more about this beloved star…
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Baby Drew! Drew Barrymore — seen here in Los Angeles in 1979 — was born on Feb. 22, 1975, in Culver City, California, to actor John Drew Barrymore — a scion of the Barrymore acting dynasty — and aspiring actress Jaid Barrymore, who divorced when she was 9. While he isn't technically related to her, Drew's godfather is a notable name too: He's acclaimed filmmaker Steven Spielberg!
Drew Barrymore has three half-siblings on her father's side, including actor John Blyth Barrymore III, who's seen here with Drew and the child star's mother, Jaid Barrymore, during a tribute to the siblings' grandfather, the late actor John Barrymore, in the centenary year of his birth in June 1982. As Drew grew up, she would become estranged from both of her parents for the majority of her life.
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She'd made her acting debut two years prior in Ken Russell's "Altered States," but it was her work in the 1982 Steven Spielberg-directed film "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" (pictured) that made Drew Barrymore a star. At just 7, the actress captivated moviegoers with her endearing and exceptional portrayal of Gertie, Elliott's little sister, a performance that won her a Young Artist Award for best supporting actress. "E.T." was also a box office success that became the highest grossing film of the '80s. In no time, Drew had become one of the most famous child actors in the world.
The success of "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" took Drew Barrymore around the globe. She's seen here at the film's London premiere in November 1982 where she presented a plush toy version of the main character to Princess Diana as director Steven Spielberg and co-stars Henry Thomas and Robert Robert MacNaughton looked on.
In 1984, Drew Barrymore appeared in the film adaptation of Stephen King's novel "Firestarter," in which she played a young girl with pyrokinesis who, as a result, was targeted by a secret government agency. That same year, she also starred in "Irreconcilable Differences," a film about a young girl who divorces her self-absorbed parents and appoints her nanny as her legal guardian. At just 9, Drew's portrayal of Casey Brodsky, the film's protagonist, garnered her a Golden Globe Award nomination for best supporting actress!
The roles kept coming! Drew Barrymore also starred in the 1985 Steven Spielberg-directed horror flick "Cat's Eye," which landed her a best leading young actress nomination at the Young Artist Awards.
Drew Barrymore's notoriously troubled childhood was the subject of much media scrutiny. By 8, she'd dubbed herself a "party girl." At 9, she was hitting hotspots like Studio 54 with her mother. At 13, she went to rehab for drug and alcohol addiction and spent 18 months in a mental health hospital, only to be sent back after she attempted suicide. At 14 (seen here), she was emancipated from her parents. In an interview with The Guardian, Drew opened up about how it was the institution that suggested she separate from her parents, which in hindsight is a decision she's grateful she made. "It was a very important thing to experience for me," she said of her stay. "It was very humbling, very quieting. Maybe it was necessary, because I came out of there a more respecting person. And my parents didn't teach me that, and life wasn't teaching me that. I came out in a very different way… but I still was me."
In February 1990 just before her 15th birthday, Drew Barrymore released the book "Little Girl Lost" in which she described her spiral into alcohol and drug addiction. She's seen here posing outside the studios of Sally Jessy Raphael's talk show, where she plugged the successful memoir the same month it came out.
In 1992, Drew Barrymore starred in the Tamra Davis-directed crime drama "Guncrazy." According to Drew, she instantly felt connected to the film's protagonist, Anita Minteer. "Anita was very close to home for me," she told The New York Times in 1993. "Not that I was so much like her. I'm not. But I had the best understanding of her than any character I've ever played in my life." It seemed like critics agreed as the performance garnered her a best actress in a miniseries or TV movie nomination at the 50th Annual Golden Globe Awards.
A definite cult classic! In 1992, Drew Barrymore also starred as Ivy in the coming-of-age thriller "Poison Ivy." She played the eponymous character — a cunning, seductive teen who manipulates rich girl Sylvie Cooper in an effort to seduce her father. While it isn't one of her most acclaimed roles, her portrayal of this stylish bad girl is among her most memorable.
Throughout the 1990s, love was definitely in the air for Drew Barrymore. In 1991 at 16, she was engaged to Leland Hayward, the grandson of a big-time Hollywood producer, though they called it off just a few months later. From 1992 to 1993, she was engaged to musician-actor Jamie Walters. And in 1994, she married her first husband, Welshman Jeremy Thomas, a Los Angeles bar owner — the pair are pictured here at the premiere of Drew's film "Bad Girls" in April 1994. But it wasn't meant to be: She filed for divorce less than two months after they wed.
Another headline-making moment for Drew Barrymore? When she famously posed in her birthday suit for Playboy magazine in early 1995. In a 2014 interview with ABC News, the actress said that while she doesn't regret appearing in the magazine at 19, she would caution her own daughter against it. "I would not let her. I don't think I would," she said. "I would influence her not to, because my life choices are supposed to be the gateway to somebody else's. That's my journey. The best kind of parent you can be is to lead by example."
During a taping of "Late Show with David Letterman" in April 1995, 20-year-old Drew Barrymore pulled quite the stunt when she flashed the host — and the media ate it up! More than two decades later during a 2018 appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," Drew recalled the now-iconic pop culture moment. "It's a distant memory that doesn't seem like me — but it is me," she said. "And that's kind of cool. I'm still down with that. I'm a mother of two… I'm such a different person now that it doesn't feel like me, but I'm still into it. You only have one life!"
After her first divorce, Drew Barrymore made headlines for a brief romance with Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson in the mid-'90s. The pair are seen here at the premiere of Drew's movie "Batman Forever" in June 1995.
Drew Barrymore also developed a friendship with Hole frontwoman Courtney Love in the early '90s and was even named godmother to Courtney's daughter with late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, Frances Bean Cobain, who was born in 1992. The daisy-embellished actress and the grunge rocker are seen here arriving at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York City in September 1995.
In 1996, Drew Barrymore made an appearance in the Wes Craven-directed slasher flick "Scream." Upon reading the script, she was reportedly so interested in landing a role that she personally approached the production team. The producers reportedly wanted her to star as the film's protagonist, Sidney Prescott, though due to a slew of unanticipated commitments, Drew had to pass. She instead ended up portraying Casey Becker — the first character to appear on screen and the first victim of the infamous Ghostface killer.
In 1998, Drew Barrymore joined forces with Adam Sandler for the first time when they starred in "The Wedding Singer." Little did they know that this would be the first of three films they'd make together! The duo reunited six years later for 2004's "50 First Dates" and 10 years after that for 2014's "Blended." At the 2020 National Board of Review Annual Awards Gala, Adam got emotional when Drew presented him with the best actor honor for his work in "Uncut Gems." "Drew, that was amazing," he said. "I'm glad we met, and I'm glad we did it all and we always made our movies together."
Another milestone moment for Drew Barrymore in the mid-'90s? She founded a production company with former co-star and longtime friend Nancy Juvonen. Flower Films, which was created in 1995, has produced a variety of films and TV series — many of which Drew's acted in — including 2000's "Charlie's Angels," 2005's "Fever Pitch" and the 2010 television series "Tough Love Couples." The business partners are seen here at the premiere of Drew's "Never Been Kissed" — which their company produced — in March 1999.
Drew Barrymore starred in a slew of films from the '90s to the '00s, but 1999's "Never Been Kissed" was a particularly beloved movie. The rom-com tells the story of Josie Geller, a shy young copywriter at the Chicago Sun-Times who poses as a teenager at her old high school in order to write a piece about contemporary teen culture. She disguises her true age and befriends the most popular clique in school, though her plan seems to go awry when she falls for an unlikely suitor — her English teacher! It's a quintessential late-'90s film, and it's certainly among Drew's most endearing roles to date.
Talk about nostalgia! Drew Barrymore isn't the only star who can claim Steven Spielberg as her godfather — Gwyneth Paltrow can too! Here, the iconic filmmaker is seen with Drew and Gwyneth at the Sixth Annual Women in Hollywood Luncheon in November 1999.
In 1999, Drew Barrymore tried her hand at voice acting and brought to life the titular character in "Olive, the Other Reindeer," a Fox Television Christmas special based on Vivian Walsh's children's book of the same name. The special, which Drew also executive produced, was a holiday hit that was nominated for outstanding animated program at the 2000 Primetime Emmy Awards.
Name a more 2000s film — we'll wait. Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz comprised a trio of skilled private investigators in the action-comedy flick "Charlie's Angels." While the actresses were seen by many as paving the way for female action heroes, they were also equally criticized for strengthening the male gaze and reinforcing gender stereotypes. The film, which was a modern-day interpretation of the 1970s television series of the same name, was rebooted once again in 2020, though unlike its 2000 predecessor, it was a box office flop.
In 2001, Drew Barrymore married her "Charlie's Angels" co-star Tom Green. She and the comedian divorced the following year.
Drew Barrymore played a small role in the 2001 sci-fi thriller "Donnie Darko," which is about a teenager (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) who struggles to decipher whether his doomsday visions should be taken seriously or not. According to Richard Kelly, the film's director, Drew played a huge part in getting the film made. "Once Drew Barrymore signed on, we got the financing we needed: $4.5 million," he told The Guardian in 2016. "Having Drew also helped us get other actors who might have been reluctant to work with a first-time director." "Donnie Darko" was theatrically released by Flower Films, the production company Drew co-founded.
The Angels all together! Lucy Liu, Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore are seen here at the New York City premiere of "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" in June 2003. Drew's friendship with co-star Cameron lasted long after this sequel left theaters: The two are still best friends in real life. In a 2016 interview with Good Housekeeping, Drew praised Cameron. "She's the most loyal, fierce, fun, cozy friend," she gushed. "We have incredible honesty with each other and we work hard on our lives and our friendship."
In 2002, Drew began dating The Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti. They were a couple for five years, calling it quits in 2007. (They're seen here in New York City in 2003, a year into their romance.)
In 2003, George Clooney made his directorial debut with the Charlie Kaufman-written spy comedy "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind." Drew Barrymore starred alongside Sam Rockwell, Julia Roberts and George himself. She played Penny Pacino, the supportive, longtime partner of "Gong Show" host Chuck Barris.
In 2005, Drew Barrymore appeared alongside Jimmy Fallon in the romantic comedy "Fever Pitch." Romance and the Red Sox intersect in this film about a teacher and businessman who date despite having differing opinions on the importance of baseball. If you're ever in the mood for a feel-good flick starring Drew, look no further! Fun fact: The film is where Drew's Flower Films producing partner, Nancy Juvonen, met Jimmy. They married in 2007 and now have two kids.
What can't she do?! In 2009, Drew Barrymore made her directorial debut with the roller derby film "Whip It." In addition to directing, Drew also acted in and co-produced the movie, which is based on the Shauna Cross novel "Derby Girl." In a 2009 interview with MTV, Drew explained her reason for making it. "I just wanted to find a film that I could really make personal for me," she said. "I didn't want to be like a director telling a story. I wanted to be a person who could have taken all the emotional experiences, the cultures I've learned, the music I've loved, the films I've studied, the nature of learning how a film works through being a producer for 15 years, and really just apply that to something that could be something that was not just a movie to me, but really my heart."
Drew Barrymore starred in the 2009 HBO film "Grey Gardens," which told the true story of Edith "Little Edie" Bouvier Beale (played by Drew) and her mother, Edith "Big Edie" Ewing Bouvier (played by Jessica Lange). The film spans decades, from Little Edie's younger years through the filming of a 1975 documentary also entitled "Grey Gardens." The film was an absolute hit — it was nominated for 17 Primetime Emmy Awards and three Golden Globe Awards…
Golden Globe winner? Check! Drew Barrymore is seen here accepting the award for best actress in a miniseries or motion picture made for television for her performance in "Grey Gardens" at the 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards in January 2010.
In 2010, Drew Barrymore reunited with former flame Justin Long in the romantic comedy "Going the Distance." The film tells the story of two young professionals living in San Francisco and New York City, respectively, who try desperately to keep their relationship alive despite being a continent apart. Justin and Drew, who'd previously dated, got back together while filming but broke up again the following year. In 2018, the pair sparked dating rumors once again when they were seen together at a New York City hotel, though they've maintained that they're just friends.
Actress, author, filmmaker and… CoverGirl? That's right! Drew Barrymore was unveiled as the newest face of CoverGirl in 2007 and continued to shill for the popular makeup brand through 2015. The beauty is seen here at the CoverGirl Cosmetics 50th Anniversary Party in Los Angeles in January 2011.
In 2011, Drew Barrymore began dating art consultant Will Kopelman, the son of former Chanel CEO Arie Kopelman. The couple married in June 2012 in Montecito, California, when Drew was pregnant with their first child, daughter Olive. The couple are seen here at an NBA game in Los Angeles in March 2011.
In 2015, Drew Barrymore released "Wildflower," a memoir in which she opened up about her long-estranged relationship with her divorced parents. In the book, she discussed reconciling with her father, actor John Drew Barrymore, in 2001 — just three years before his death. During an interview with talk show host Ellen DeGeneres in November 2015, Drew further explained: "He got cancer and I had a very rare turn of events where I got to take care of him for three years in a hospice." In 2014 — a decade following her father's passing — Drew reconciled with her mother, Jaid Barrymore. "She loves [my book]," Drew told Ellen. "We've talked about it very intimately and I have to say it was such an extraordinary year of my life writing this book. I came to terms with so many things. It's a love letter to my daughters [Olive and Frankie]."
What happens when you suddenly develop a craving for human flesh? Drew Barrymore answered that question when she starred in "Santa Clarita Diet," which premiered on Netflix in 2017 and ran for three seasons. She starred as Sheila Hammond, a suburban realtor who sends her family of three into a frenzy after she becomes undead and develops a perplexing affinity for human meat. This is another series that was produced by Drew's company, Flower Films.
Drew Barrymore isn't just a talented actress, producer, director and author — she's a makeup mogul too! In 2013, she founded Flower Beauty. She's pictured here with her products at a Walmart — which was for a time the exclusive retailer for the line, which is now also sold at Ulta — in Bentonville, Arkansas, in June 2017. Her Flower by Drew brand has since expanded to include eyewear and a home line.
Drew Barrymore and third husband Will Kopelman welcomed two daughters together during their nearly four-year marriage: Olive in 2012 and Frankie in 2014. The exes, who split in 2016, now successfully co-parent their girls, who are seen here with Mom outside the "Jimmy Kimmel Live" studios in Hollywood in June 2018.
In October 2019, Drew Barrymore and CBS confirmed that she'd landed her own talk show! "The Drew Barrymore Show" — which she's not only hosting but producing — premiered on Sept. 14, 2020, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. "There's really an opportunity for innovation right now," she told the New York Post of moving forward with the virtual show. "The rule book is on fire."