Drew Barrymore confirms rumour her grandfather's corpse was stolen for 'one last party'

Tom Beasley
·Contributor
·2-min read

Drew Barrymore has confirmed a long-standing rumour that her grandfather’s corpse was taken from the morgue by friends for one last night of partying.

In an interview with the YouTube channel Hot Ones, the Santa Clarita Diet star said three friends of the actor John Barrymore stole his body after his death in 1942 and propped it against a poker table.

Read more: Viral Drew Barrymore interview reportedly not fake

Drew Barrymore attends the 2020 Breakthrough Prize Ceremony at NASA Ames Research Center on November 03, 2019. (Photo by Liu Guanguan/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images)
Drew Barrymore attends the 2020 Breakthrough Prize Ceremony at NASA Ames Research Center on November 03, 2019. (Photo by Liu Guanguan/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images)

The younger Barrymore confirmed that Hollywood legend Errol Flynn, comedian WC Fields and the poet and anarchist Sadakichi Hartmann were behind the stunt.

“I hope my friends do the same for me,” said the 45-year-old actress.

“That is the kind of spirit I can get behind. Just prop the old bag up and have a last few rounds.

John Barrymore, pictured in 1930. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
John Barrymore, pictured in 1930. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

“I think death comes with so much morose sadness, and I understand that, but if it’s okay, just with me, if everyone can be really happy and celebratory and have a party, that would be my preference.”

Barrymore also revealed that a scene in Julie Andrews comedy S.O.B. was inspired by her grandfather’s final party and said she has heard he may also have inspired the 1989 black comedy film Weekend at Bernie’s.

Read more: Barrymore appears in A-list stunt fight video

In the same interview, Barrymore said she lobbied to play a small role in 1990s slasher Scream and for her character to be killed off in the opening scene.

She said: “In the horror film genre, my biggest pet peeve was that I always knew the main character was always going to be slugging through at the end, but was going to creak by and make it.

Drew Barrymore in 'Scream'. (Credit: Dimension Films)
Drew Barrymore in 'Scream'. (Credit: Dimension Films)

“What I wanted to do is to take that comfort zone away. I asked if I could be Casey Becker so that we would establish that rule does not apply in this film.”

Barrymore got her wish and was killed by Ghostface in the opening scene, with Neve Campbell playing the lead role of Sidney Prescott.

Read more: Scream reboot coming from Ready Or Not directors

The actor is currently promoting her own talk show, which launches across the USA in September and focuses on positivity.

She interviewed her seven-year-old self in an innovative recent promo for The Drew Barrymore Show, using clips from a 1982 interview with Johnny Carson.