"Great Performances" Presents Tony Winner Christopher Plummer as "Barrymore" Jan. 31

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31 Jan 2014

Christopher Plummer in <i>Barrymore</i>
Christopher Plummer in Barrymore
Cylla Von Tiedemann

"Barrymore," starring Academy and Tony Award winner Christopher Plummer, is presented by PBS' "Great Performances" Jan. 31 at 9 PM ET; check local listings.

Plummer first starred in William Luce's play of the same name in 1997 and won the Tony Award for his performance.

Directed and adapted by writer-director Érik Canuel, the film also features John Plumpis, re-creating his role of Frank, the prompter.

"Set in 1942, Barrymore shines a dramatic spotlight on the acclaimed — and notorious — John Barrymore, capturing the famously combative star in the final months of his life as he struggles to prepare for a backer's audition to stage a revival of his 1920 Broadway triumph in Richard III," press notes state. "Once among the most acclaimed stage actors of his generation, as well as a central member of Broadway and Hollywood's most famous acting dynasty, Barrymore is now in the twilight of his career, no longer a leading box office draw and wrestling with the ravages of his life of excess. In equal parts lacerating wit and piercing despair, the faded icon revisits the highs and lows of his theatrical triumphs and remarkable life."

A two-time Tony Award winner for Cyrano and Barrymore, Plummer's stage credits include Inherit the Wind, King Lear, No Man's Land and The Good Doctor. The Academy Award winner's film work includes "The Sound of Music," "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" and "A Beautiful Mind."



His one-man show A Word or Two plays the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles through Feb. 9; he also portrayed James Tyrone from Long Day's Journey Into Night for a PBS American Masters documentary of Eugene O'Neill.

John Barrymore achieved fame for his performances in Richard III, Hamlet, "Grand Hotel," "Dinner at Eight," "Twentieth Century," "Romeo and Juliet," "Maytime" and "Marie Antoinette," before dying in 1942 at the age of 59.

Visit pbs.org/gperf for more information.