Everyone knows Drew Barrymore. If you’ve watched movies in the 90s or early 2000s, you’ve probably seen her in a couple.

She’s had a long and relatively prolific career and has since settled into her most important role as a mother and role model.

These are her most important roles, above any movie she’s ever starred in, because they were what she wished she had through all her youth.

Despite being known as a more wholesome name now, she used to be a completely wild, loose, and free spirit. Perhaps too free.

Drew Barrymore is one of the many secrets, sad stories that Hollywood tries to keep buried or mired, but with the release of her biography Wildflower and numerous interviews, she’s laid her past bare for the world to react to.

It’s such a recent story that much of it can still be viewed from recordings and footage as far back as the early 90s. She’s an example of both the terrible price and brilliant power that Hollywood can give.

She paid a steep, early cost for her destructive starlet ways and has since recovered and been rewarded with clarity and wisdom that exceeded many of her peers.


10 /10 A Legacy Of Entertainment

The Barrymore name is one of a long line of entertainers, particularly in cinema.

Her grandfather was the star of Paramount’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a transformative piece of cinema that set the stage for horror stories and monster movies to come.

Ever since, the Barrymore name has been a name of actors and A-listers, which meant the pressure was on for Drew as soon as she was born.

And she got her first significant role at seven before most children even had the time to watch the movies she would be in.


9 /10 E.T. - The Early Teen Rebel

Drew had a leading role in Steven Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial when she was seven years old. The part landed her massive fame and propelled her into very young stardom.

Her mother was quick to capitalize on it and used her to get into exclusive parties and get-togethers and pampered Drew with things like liquor on her ice cream and cigarettes as treats.

Her addiction started very young, all behind closed doors of her home or at the elite parties where such behavior was passed over or encouraged as fun.


8 /10 Pretty Little Liar

Drew came into the sleazy side of showbusiness on her own as well. Even at six, she would lie to get through auditions and makeup stories about her past, family, and inspirations to be precisely what she thought the adults wanted to hear.

Her initial audition for a role in Poltergeist didn’t work out, but it did land her the role in E.T., which ended up encouraging future behavior.


7 /10 Mommy Manager

Drew’s early behavior was encouraged and inspired by her mother, who took her to various Hollywood clubs, including the infamous Studio 54.

Known for its drug scene and freewheeling sex, it influenced young nine-year-old Drew in a significant way.

She started to get addicted to substances and the partying lifestyle itself and wanted more and more extravagant experiences between her movie shoots.


6 /10 Babe In Toyland

While shooting Babes in Toyland at 11 years old, Drew started to gain just enough epiphany to understand that what she was doing was wrong.

She would get drunk on hard liquor and listen to heavy metal in her motel room.

When shooting a scene where she and her co-stars threw laundry out a window into a river below, she started to feel guilty, despite it all being a planned shot for the movie.

5 /10 Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em

Drew started dipping her toes -or fingers- into the world of harder drugs like cocaine as early as 12.

She’d already developed a taste for marijuana as early as ten and just wanted to go harder and do more until she started to break down.

By the time she was 13, she’d already undergone extensive drug rehabilitation twice, and it still wasn’t enough to stop her.

4 /10 50 First Rehabs

Drew’s most extended stay in healthcare came after a reported suicide attempt resulting from a single, long night of bad decisions.

It started with her friends celebrating Drew’s six-month sobriety with a joint. One thing led to another, and she cracked her skull in a car accident.

She had the realization that her mother was the one that sent her down that nearly fatal road, and her father – who she hadn’t even heard from in eight years – came to her asking for money, likely for his bad habits.

She was interred at a mental institution for 18 months after she cut herself with a knife to show what she was feeling at the time.


3 /10 Her Mother

Drew went through a long and awful series of addictions. What helped her the most was her stay in the mental hospital, where she met people and forged friendships she needed with others who were suffering.

She was the worst by far, and she realized that it was primarily up to her mother’s fault. Knowing that, at just 14 years old, she divorced herself from her mother.

The latter surprisingly supported Drew’s choice, meaning for once there was very little trouble in the Barrymore family over deciding Drew’s future.

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2 /10 Mid-Teen Crisis

By the time she was just 14, Drew had done more drugs and seen more illicit behavior than most adults she worked with professionally.

She claimed it was like a mid-life crisis, where she felt washed up and completely blown out, that she’d done it all and had nowhere left to go.

She was also seen as a liability due to her past actions by production companies who were reticent to hire her lest they trigger her addictions and make her fall all over again.

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1 /10 A Star Falls, A Sun Rises

Drew worked at a cafe for a few years until she was fired for not being good enough at her job. What she was good at, and remains good at to this day, is acting.

Though her adult life has had many other trials and tribulations, she’s convinced that she lived through the worst of it as a teenager. With all that behind her, she had a challenging climb to regain her status as the star we know today.

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