It’s Monday and to celebrate the start of the week we have another ‘90’s icon: Drew Barrymore. The actress turned executive producer turned host has had a successful career people can only dream about, but after achieving fame as a child actress, she struggled publicly with drug and alcohol abuse. Thankfully, she found help and went on to appear in several successful films, making a permanent mark on Hollywood. Take a look back at the actress’s life in the 90s.
Drew was the daughter of actors, John Drew Barrymore Jr., and Ildiko Jaid Barrymore. The world fell in love with her in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and she was just 7 years old when she played “Gertie” in the legendary film directed by Steven Spielberg. She got the role because he felt she had the right imagination for the part after she lied and said she was the drummer of a punk rock band. The film went on to become the highest-grossing film in the 1980s and made her one of the most famous child actors of all time.
After her parent‘s divorce, Drew’s mother began taking her to nightclubs when she was just 9. The young girl became a regular at Studio 54 where she was introduced to smoking, drinking, and doing drugs. The lifestyle led to a pre-teen love of drugs and alcohol and by 11 she had a drinking problem and by 12 she was a drug addict. Drew went to rehab at the age of 13, attempted suicide, and after a successful juvenile court petition for emancipation, she moved into her own apartment when she was 15.
Drew released her memoir Little Girl Lost in 1990 detailing her childhood gone array, and her rebellious image led to her booking work with a similar character arc, and she became unstoppable.
Drew was engaged for the first time when she was just 16 in 1991 to Leland Hayward. After their split, she was engaged to musician Jamie Walters. In 1992 Drew starred in Poison Ivy and her character “Ivy” was ranked at #6 on the list of the top 26 “bad girls” of all time by Entertainment Weekly. She posed nude with Walters on the cover of Interview magazine that same year in July. Drew’s films continued to be released one after another. She starred in Guncrazy (1992) and was nominated for her role as a teenager who kills her abusive stepfather. Followed by No Place to Hide (1993), and Bad Girls (1994).
In 1994 she married bar owner Jeremy Thomas. It only lasted 3 months and Drew kept up her rebellious image and in 1995 she posed nude again when she was 19 for Playboy. That same year she flashed David Letterman for his birthday and danced on his desk. Spielberg, who was now her godfather was less than amused. He famously gave her a quilt for her 20th birthday with a note that read, “Cover-up.”
Drew began to move on from troubled teenager and she co-founded the production company, Flower Films. After a strong performance in the film Boys on the Side co-starring Whoopi Goldberg and Mary-Louise Parker, she starred in the teen terror, Scream (1996).
By 1998 Drew was a leading lady and The Wedding Singer starring Adam Sandler would mark the beginning of her romantic comedy career. The actress turned executive producer in 1999, with the comedy Never Been Kissed. In 2000, she produced and starred in the icon film Charlie‘s Angels, performing alongside Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, and Bill Murray. Since then Drew has proved to be an icon in every decade since.