Brother Of A Shreveport Mayor Shot Drew Barrymore’s Great-Grandfather
It's probably been a while since this story was told. It looks like the last time someone brought it up was The Daily Advertiser in 2014. But this story is so amazing, we should be talking about it all the time.
Of course we're talking about the time that Texas outlaw "Big" Jim Currie tried to kill Maurice Barrymore. That Maurice Barrymore is from the famous Hollywood family that Golden Globe winning actress Drew Barrymore belongs to. In fact, Drew Barrymore is a direct descendant of Maurice...he is was Great-Grandfather.
Maurice's son was John Barrymore (Drew Barrymore's grandpa), who was a stage actor that transitioned into early motion pictures. Including the classic American silent horror film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde...
John had a son named John Drew Barrymore, who would also become a Hollywood actor. His first leading role in a film was the western High Lonesome. He would go on to appear in numerous films, and appeared in TV shows like Rawhide, Gunsmoke, and Kung Fu.
John Barrymore married Jaid Mako in 1971, and they had their first child in 1975...her name was Drew Barrymore. Which is where we arrive at today...
OK, now that we have tied Maurice Barrymore to the modern-day actress you know, lets go all the way back to the 1870s to find out how Drew Barrymore was almost eliminated from history almost 100 years before she was born.
In March of 1879, a well known Texas gambler and outlaw named "Big" Jim Currie was the suspect in 3 murders. He reportedly became intoxicated and got into an argument with two men. Those two men were actors Ben Porter and Maurice Barrymore. Porter was one of the biggest actors in the country at the time, and he was killed in the altercation. Barrymore was shot three times.
Though it was a long recovery, eventually Barrymore survived the attack. While Currie was going to face trial for the shooting.
But that trial is where Currie's last name comes into play. Because "Big" Jim Currie was the brother of Shreveport Mayor Andrew Currie. So when the trial was getting set in 1880, Shreveport's Mayor was able to use his political influence to help select jurors for the trial. So it was no surprise that when the trial ended, it took less than 10 minutes for the jury to return a "Not Guilty" verdict.
Andrew Currie would remain as Shreveport's Mayor until 1890, and would spend time in the Louisiana Legislature as well.
Since Maurice survived, he was able to go on to start one of the most prolific families in Hollywood history. Including popular modern-day actress, Drew Barrymore. The brother of a Shreveport Mayor almost ruined the movie ET over 100 years before it filmed.