1982 20c Performing Arts: The Barrymores

# 2012 - 1982 20c Performing Arts: The Barrymores

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U.S. #2012
1982 20¢ The Barrymores
Performing Arts Series

  • Honors “The Royal Family of Broadway” – the Barrymores
  • Issued on the 100th anniversary Actors’ Fund, the world’s oldest theatrical charity
  • 5th stamp in Performing Arts Series

Stamp Category:  Commemorative
Series: 
Performing Arts
Value: 
20¢, first-class rate
First Day of Issue: 
June 8, 1982
First Day City: 
New York, New York
Quantity Issued: 
107,285,000
Printed by: 
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: 
Photogravure
Format: 
Panes of 50 in sheets of 200
Perforations:  11

 

Why the stamp was issued:  The Barrymores stamp was issued on the 100th anniversary of creation of the Actors’ Fund.  Granted its charter by New York State on June 8, 1882, it’s the oldest continuously operating theatrical charity in the world.

 

About the stamp design:  The stamp was designed by Jim Sharpe, who also designed previous stamps in the Performing Arts Series.  Sharpe based his three portraits of the actors on multiple images of each performer, creating composite images.  The resulting stamp depicts John in the back, in left profile, which was his favorite side.  In front of him are Ethel and Lionel.

 

First Day City:  The First Day ceremony for this stamp was held at the Shubert Theatre in New York City, New York. 

 

Unusual fact about this stamp:  Rare error stamps have been found missing the black ink.

 

About the Performing Arts Series:  The Performing Arts series ran from 1978 to 1987 and honored 12 performers of stage and screen including musicians and actors.  Each stamp features a portrait of the performer.  Several stamps include a second smaller image of the performer or other elements representative of their careers.  Click here for the complete set.

 

History the stamp represents:  The Barrymore siblings, honored on your 1982 Performing Arts cover, came from a long line of actors and actresses. Their father, Herbert Blythe, was an accomplished actor who took on the stage name Maurice Barrymore before marrying fellow actor Georgiana Drew. And Miss Drew’s parents, Louisa Lane and John Drew, had been popular comedic actors of the early- to mid-1800s. Louisa was also a successful theater manager in Philadelphia. Lionel, Ethel, and John Barrymore spent much of their youth with their grandmother and were exposed to the theater from the start.

 

Before becoming actors, Lionel and John were both aspiring artists and Ethel dreamed of becoming a concert pianist. But theater was the family trade and acting put food on the table. The young siblings became actors not because they wanted to, but because they needed to. And they each found success as they participated in the 20th century shift from stage to screen. By some accounts, they were the most famous acting siblings of the 20th century. They were known as the “Royal Family” of the stage and often referred to as “Hollywood’s First Family.”

 

Lionel Barrymore (1878-1954) was acting in plays with his family members by the time he was a teenager. He went from stage to screen when the motion picture industry was still in its infancy and acted in numerous films between 1911 and 1953. He won an Academy Award for Best Lead Actor in A Free Soul (1931), but might be best remembered for his role as the wicked Mr. Potter in the 1946 holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life.

 

Ethel Barrymore (1879-1959) was 14 years old when she went to work as an actress. Like her older brother, she appeared on stage with older family members who were established actors. By age 18, she was touring London. On her return, she became the most prominent actress in the United States. Though the stage was her true calling, Ethel also acted in many films. She won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in None but the Lonely Heart (1944).

 

Of the siblings, John “Jack” Barrymore (1882-1942) tried hardest to avoid the stage, working as an artist in his early adulthood. But the family business called and John embarked on an acting career in 1903. He performed on stage and in films to widespread acclaim. Though he never won any major awards, he has been called the “foremost English-speaking actor of his time.”

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U.S. #2012
1982 20¢ The Barrymores
Performing Arts Series

  • Honors “The Royal Family of Broadway” – the Barrymores
  • Issued on the 100th anniversary Actors’ Fund, the world’s oldest theatrical charity
  • 5th stamp in Performing Arts Series

Stamp Category:  Commemorative
Series: 
Performing Arts
Value: 
20¢, first-class rate
First Day of Issue: 
June 8, 1982
First Day City: 
New York, New York
Quantity Issued: 
107,285,000
Printed by: 
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: 
Photogravure
Format: 
Panes of 50 in sheets of 200
Perforations:  11

 

Why the stamp was issued:  The Barrymores stamp was issued on the 100th anniversary of creation of the Actors’ Fund.  Granted its charter by New York State on June 8, 1882, it’s the oldest continuously operating theatrical charity in the world.

 

About the stamp design:  The stamp was designed by Jim Sharpe, who also designed previous stamps in the Performing Arts Series.  Sharpe based his three portraits of the actors on multiple images of each performer, creating composite images.  The resulting stamp depicts John in the back, in left profile, which was his favorite side.  In front of him are Ethel and Lionel.

 

First Day City:  The First Day ceremony for this stamp was held at the Shubert Theatre in New York City, New York. 

 

Unusual fact about this stamp:  Rare error stamps have been found missing the black ink.

 

About the Performing Arts Series:  The Performing Arts series ran from 1978 to 1987 and honored 12 performers of stage and screen including musicians and actors.  Each stamp features a portrait of the performer.  Several stamps include a second smaller image of the performer or other elements representative of their careers.  Click here for the complete set.

 

History the stamp represents:  The Barrymore siblings, honored on your 1982 Performing Arts cover, came from a long line of actors and actresses. Their father, Herbert Blythe, was an accomplished actor who took on the stage name Maurice Barrymore before marrying fellow actor Georgiana Drew. And Miss Drew’s parents, Louisa Lane and John Drew, had been popular comedic actors of the early- to mid-1800s. Louisa was also a successful theater manager in Philadelphia. Lionel, Ethel, and John Barrymore spent much of their youth with their grandmother and were exposed to the theater from the start.

 

Before becoming actors, Lionel and John were both aspiring artists and Ethel dreamed of becoming a concert pianist. But theater was the family trade and acting put food on the table. The young siblings became actors not because they wanted to, but because they needed to. And they each found success as they participated in the 20th century shift from stage to screen. By some accounts, they were the most famous acting siblings of the 20th century. They were known as the “Royal Family” of the stage and often referred to as “Hollywood’s First Family.”

 

Lionel Barrymore (1878-1954) was acting in plays with his family members by the time he was a teenager. He went from stage to screen when the motion picture industry was still in its infancy and acted in numerous films between 1911 and 1953. He won an Academy Award for Best Lead Actor in A Free Soul (1931), but might be best remembered for his role as the wicked Mr. Potter in the 1946 holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life.

 

Ethel Barrymore (1879-1959) was 14 years old when she went to work as an actress. Like her older brother, she appeared on stage with older family members who were established actors. By age 18, she was touring London. On her return, she became the most prominent actress in the United States. Though the stage was her true calling, Ethel also acted in many films. She won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in None but the Lonely Heart (1944).

 

Of the siblings, John “Jack” Barrymore (1882-1942) tried hardest to avoid the stage, working as an artist in his early adulthood. But the family business called and John embarked on an acting career in 1903. He performed on stage and in films to widespread acclaim. Though he never won any major awards, he has been called the “foremost English-speaking actor of his time.”