Dolores Costello was an American film actress who achieved her greatest success during the era of silent movies. She was nicknamed “The Goddess of the Silent Screen”. She was stepmother of John Barrymore’s child Diana by his second wife Blanche Oelrichs, the mother of John Drew Barrymore and the grandmother of Drew Barrymore.
Costello was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the daughter of actors Maurice Costello and Mae Costello. She was of Irish descent through her father. Dolores and her younger sister Helene made their first film appearances in the years 1909 ? 1915 as child actresses for the Vitagraph Film Company. They played supporting roles in several films starring their father, who was a popular matinee idol at the time. Dolores Costello’s earliest listed credit on the IMDb is in the role of a fairy in a 1909 adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The two sisters appeared on Broadway together and their success resulted in contracts with Warner Brothers Studios. In 1926, after several small parts in feature films, Dolores Costello starred opposite John Barrymore in The Sea Beast, a loose adaptation of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. Warner Bros. soon began starring her in her own vehicles. Meanwhile, she and Barrymore became romantically involved and, after a two year affair, married in 1928.
Within a few years of achieving stardom, the delicately beautiful blonde-haired actress had become a successful and highly regarded film personality in her own right, and as a young adult her career developed to the degree that in 1926, she was named a WAMPAS Baby Star, and had acquired the nickname “The Goddess of the Silver Screen.”