The tragic story of Jessica Blyth Barrymore, Drew Barrymore's sister

The tragic story of Jessica Blyth Barrymore, Drew Barrymore's sister

Jessica Blyth Barrymore was the elder half-sibling of actress Drew Barrymore, although she lived out of the limelight. She had a turbulent upbringing, growing up in a single-parent home with an absent father. Her tragic life ended when she was found dead in mid-2014.

Drew Barrymore's half-sister Jessica Blyth
Drew's half-sister, Jessica Blyth, died in 2014. Photo: @jessicabarrymore on Facebook, Paul Morigi on Getty Images (modified by author)
Source: UGC

The Barrymore family gained prominence in the mid-1870s and has been a Hollywood dynasty for over a century. Despite their acting royalty status, the family has been plagued by drug abuse and legal problems, which prevented some members from achieving optimal success in the industry.

Jessica Blyth Barrymore's profile summary and bio

Full nameBrahma Jessica Blyth Barrymore
Date of birth31 July 1966
Birth signLeo
Place of birthLos Angeles, California, United States
Date of death29 July 2014
Age at death47 years
Place of deathNational City, San Diego County, California
BurialCremated
ParentsJohn Drew Barrymore and Nina Wayne
SiblingsHalf-siblings John Blyth III, Blyth Dolores, and actress Drew Barrymore
RelativesJohn Barrymore and Dolores Costello (paternal grandparents)
EducationSan Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts

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Jessica Blyth Barrymore's age of death

Jessica was born on 31 July 1966 in Los Angeles, California, and passed away on 29 July 2017 in National City, Southern California. She was 47 and was only two days away from celebrating her 48th birthday.

Jessica Blyth Barrymore's cause of death

Jessica was found unconscious in the driver's seat of her Toyota Camry parked in front of a driveway in National City, San Diego County. She was surrounded by scattered pills, vodka, and meth. The authorities ruled her cause of death as accidental drug and alcohol intoxication.

Jessica Blyth Barrymore's parents

Her father, John Drew Barrymore, died in November 2004 at 72 from cancer. He was an actor, but his career did not take off due to alcohol and drug abuse problems with the authorities. He featured in The Big Night (1951) and While the City Sleeps (1956).

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Jessica's mother, Nina Wayne, is an actress known for The Night Strangller (1973), Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round (1966), and Camp Runamuck (1965). She was married to John Drew Barrymore from 1985 to 1994.

Before meeting Nina, John Drew was in three previous marriages that ended in divorce. He was married to actress Cara Williams (1952 to 1959), actress Gabriella Palazzoli (1960 to 1970), and Jaid Barrymore (1971 to 1984).

Jessica Blyth's mother, Nina, resides at a Palm Springs nursing home. She is 80 years old as of 2023 (born in September 1943).

Jessica Blyth's father, John Drew Barrymore, at the Starwood nigh club in California in 1973.
Actor John Drew Barrymore died in 2004. Photo: Frank Edwards
Source: Getty Images

Jessica Blyth Barrymore's siblings

She has two half-brothers from her mother's marriage to David Wheeler, including David Dylan Wheeler (b. October 1969) and Casey Chris Wheeler (b. January 1971). From her father's side, she has three half-siblings:

  • John Blyth (b. May 1954) from Cara Williams
  • Blyth Dolores Barrymore (b. October 1962) from Gabriella Palazzoli
  • Actress Drew Barrymore (b. February 1975) from Jaid Barrymore

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What did Jessica Blyth Barrymore do for a living?

Jessica aspired to be an actress and attended the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts. However, her career never took off, and she had several run-ins with the authorities on drug-related problems. She worked at a PetCo store in San Diego before her unexpected death.

Who is Drew Barrymore's half-sister?

Actress Drew during the 2023 Time100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on 26 April 2023.
Charlie's Angels actress Drew Barrymore. Photo: Taylor Hill
Source: Getty Images

The Grey Gardens actress has two half-sisters from her father's side, including the late Jessica Blyth and Blyth Dolores. Drew is her mother's only child.

What happened to Drew Barrymore's siblings?

Drew Barrymore's sister, Jessica, died in 2014 at age 47, while her other half-sister, Blyth Dolores, is married to Antonio Gioffredi. Her half-brother, John Blyth Barrymore III, is also an actor and filmmaker who previously worked in software development. Drew and her half-siblings are not close and rarely contact each other.

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What happened to Drew Barrymore during her childhood?

Drew, who had her acting breakthrough at age seven after appearing in ET The Extra-Terrestrial, had a turbulent and less glamourous childhood due to drug addiction and excessive partying.

Her mother had to place her in a psychiatric institution in California when she was 13. At age 14, she won legal emancipation against her father, John Drew Barrymore, and her mother, Jaid. She became estranged from her family but forgave them decades later.

Does Drew Barrymore talk to her mom?

The Hollywood Walk of Famer talks to her mother occasionally. The two have had a complicated relationship in the past, consisting of periods of estrangement. In her Vulture profile published in June 2023, Drew said she supports her financially and will always care about her.

Actress Drew Barrymore with her mother, Jaid, during a photoshoot in 1982.
Actress Drew and her mother, Jaid, became estranged when she was a teenager. Photo: Yvonne Hemsey
Source: Getty Images

Jessica Blyth Barrymore's tragic end to her turbulent life is one of the most unfortunate events to ever happen to the Barrymore family. She was close to her surrogate mother, Dorothy Steinback, who revealed that Jessica was trying to work on her weight and sobriety before her unexpected passing.

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Source: Briefly News

Authors:
Alice Wabwile avatar

Alice Wabwile (Lifestyle writer) Alice Wabwile is a multifaceted content creator and Project Assistant at AfDAN, boasting over four years of experience. Holding a BCom degree from the University of Nairobi School of Business, she has cultivated a dynamic skill set through roles such as her tenure at Strathmore University's Data Science Department, where she contributed significantly to research. Recognized for her exceptional talent, she clinched the Writer of the Year Award. Beyond her professional endeavours, Alice is an engaged member of the Rotaract Club of Kabete. For inquiries, reach out to her at alicenjoro01@gmail.com

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