Drew Barrymore: A Star’s Rise to Fame in the 90s


Drew Barrymore has been a household name since she was a child, but the 90s were her time to shine.

From her breakout role in E.T. to her iconic roles in films like Never Been Kissed, Scream, and Charlie’s Angels, Drew Barrymore made an indelible mark on Hollywood and pop culture throughout the 90s.

With an impressive body of work, Barrymore inspired generations of young women to take control of their lives and pursue their dreams.

Who is Drew Barrymore?

Drew Barrymore is a household name in Hollywood, and her star shined bright during the 90s.

Born into a family of actors, Barrymore started appearing in films from an early age, most notably as Gertie in the classic film E.T. Throughout the decade, she starred in multiple box-office hits such as Never Been Kissed and Scream and was part of the iconic Charlie’s Angels franchise.

Her performances earned her critical acclaim and a loyal fanbase, making her one of Hollywood’s most recognizable stars of the era.

Importance of the 90s era in her career

The 90s were a pivotal era in Drew Barrymore’s career.

Not only did it mark the beginning of her rise to fame, but it also saw her transition from child star to adult actor.

She embraced her newfound freedom and explored a wide range of roles and genres, showcasing both her versatility as an actress and her determination to make a name for herself in Hollywood. She was seen as a role model for young women, inspiring them to pursue their dreams and take control of their lives.

Thesis statement

Drew Barrymore was one of the most iconic actresses of the 90s.

With her impressive body of work, she became an international star and a role model for young women around the world.

Her performances in classic films such as E.T., Never Been Kissed, Scream, and Charlie’s Angels earned her critical acclaim and a loyal fanbase.

In addition to her acting skills, Drew Barrymore also made her mark on Hollywood and pop culture through her sheer determination to succeed in the industry.

Early career of Drew Barrymore in the 90s

Her struggles with addiction in the 80s

Drew Barrymore had a difficult start to her career in the 90s.

Despite her success as a child star, she had struggled with addiction in the 80s and was eventually sent to rehab at the age of 13.

After her recovery, Barrymore embraced her second chance and worked hard to establish herself as an adult actor during the 90s.

Despite the setbacks she faced earlier in life, Barrymore was determined to make her mark in Hollywood.

Breakthrough role in the movie “Poison Ivy”

Drew Barrymore’s breakthrough role in the 1990s came with her performance as the titular character in the cult classic, Poison Ivy.

The film follows a teenage Ivy (Barrymore) as she manipulates her way into an affluent family to get revenge for her mother’s death.

Barrymore’s portrayal of a complex and seductive villain earned her critical acclaim and established her as one of Hollywood’s most promising young actresses.

Success with the movie “Boys on the Side”

Barrymore’s success continued with the 1995 film Boys on the Side.

In the movie, Barrymore played the role of Robin, a young woman who embarks on a road trip with her two best friends (played by Whoopi Goldberg and Mary-Louise Parker).

The film was lauded for its compelling story and strong performances from all three leads. Barrymore received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance and the film went on to become a critical and commercial success.

Major films and performances in the 90s

Mad Love (1995) – her portrayal of a troubled teenager

Mad Love (1995) marked a major milestone in Drew Barrymore’s career.

In the film, she portrays a troubled teenager in an obsessive relationship with an older man. Her performance was widely praised for its authenticity and range, and it earned her a Golden Globe nomination.

Through her portrayal of a complex and heartbreaking character, Barrymore demonstrated both her versatility as an actress and her commitment to pushing her craft.

The Wedding Singer (1998) – successful romantic-comedy genre

The Wedding Singer (1998) was a major success for Drew Barrymore in the 90s.

In the movie, she plays Julia Sullivan, an aspiring singer who is engaged to be married until her fiancé dumps her before their wedding day. The film follows Julia’s journey as she slowly finds love again with a struggling musician (Adam Sandler).

The romantic comedy genre was relatively new at the time, and Drew Barrymore’s performance helped to popularize it.

Never Been Kissed (1999) – a popular coming-of-age movie

Never Been Kissed (1999) is one of Drew Barrymore’s most popular films.

In the movie, she plays Josie Geller, a 25-year-old copy editor who goes undercover at her high school to research an article. While there, Josie finds herself connecting with her teenage classmates and reliving the highs and lows of adolescence.

Drew Barrymore’s Television career in the 90s

Host of Saturday Night Live in 1999

In 1999, Drew Barrymore furthered her success in the 90s when she hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live. She was only the third female host to ever do so and her performance was widely praised for its charm and energy.

During her monologue, Barrymore famously showed a picture of herself as a child actor and spoke about how she had grown since then. Her appearance on SNL was a milestone in her career and further cemented her status as one of Hollywood’s leading female actors.

Her Iconic Role as Dylan Sanders in Charlie’s Angels

In 2000, Drew Barrymore cemented her status as one of Hollywood’s leading female actors with her performance as Dylan Sanders in the action-comedy film Charlie’s Angels.

The movie follows three private detectives (Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu) as they take on a dangerous mission to save a kidnapped software genius. The movie was a major success and earned Barrymore critical acclaim for her performance as the tough and independent Dylan Sanders.

Drew Barrymore’s personal life in the 90s

Engagement to Jamie Walters

In 1992, Drew Barrymore began a brief relationship with actor Jamie Walters. After dating for just a few months, they became engaged and even started to plan their wedding.

However, their engagement was short-lived as they soon broke it off. Despite the split, the couple remained close friends and Barrymore has publicly praised Walters for helping her through difficult times in her life.

Marriage to Jeremy Thomas and its aftermath

In 1994, Drew Barrymore married Welsh-born bar owner Jeremy Thomas. The couple had only been dating for a few months before they tied the knot, and their marriage quickly became tabloid fodder.

Unfortunately, the union was short-lived as the couple divorced in 1995 due to irreconcilable differences. Despite the split, Barrymore has since credited Thomas for teaching her about independence and self-confidence.

Relationship with Tom Green

In 1999, Drew Barrymore began a high-profile relationship with Canadian comedian Tom Green. The two were together for nearly two years and their on-again off-again relationship was followed closely by the media.

During their relationship, they often appeared together in public and collaborated on several projects including the 2000 film Charlie’s Angels and an MTV reality show. The couple eventually split in 2001, but remain good friends to this day.


Drew Barrymore’s rise to fame in the 90s was a remarkable journey of success and personal growth. From her iconic roles in The Wedding Singer, Never Been Kissed, and Charlie’s Angels, to her memorable hosting turn on Saturday Night Live, Drew Barrymore established herself as one of Hollywood’s leading female actors.

Her personal life also played an important role in her success, as her relationships and marriages helped shape her into the woman she is today. Drew Barrymore has since become a beloved actress, producer, and author, and will no doubt be remembered for her accomplishments in the 90s.


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