Originally cast as the Baron de Varville but illness required him to be replaced.
Barrymore made a screen test for a film version of his greatest stage role in 1933, but his health and memory were no longer up to the task.
Barrymore was wanted by Bette Davis to play Sheridan Whiteside, but his poor health made Warner Bros choose Monty Woolley who had played the role on Broadway.
According to Margot Peters' The House of Barrymore, Barrymore was the first choice of David O. Selznik for the role of Norman Maine. Due to his alcoholism, he was not able to be cast.
Did you know that John Barrymore was not the only choice for these movies? (click to learn more)