("IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE")
AS SEEN ON:
'Saturday Night Live'
AS PLAYED BY:
Lionel Barrymore (April 28, 1878 – November 15, 1954) was an American actor of stage, screen and radio. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in A Free Soul (1931). He is well known for the role of the villainous Henry Potter in Frank Capra's 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life.
Perhaps his best known role, due to perennial Christmas time replays on television, was Mr. Potter, the miserly and mean-spirited banker in It's a Wonderful Life (1946). The role suggested that of the "unreformed" stage of Barrymore's "Scrooge" characterization.
Henry F. Potter (commonly referred to as "Mr. Potter" or just "Potter") is a fictional character and the main antagonist in the 1946 Frank Capra film It's a Wonderful Life. He occupies slot #6 on the American Film Institute's list of the 50 Greatest Villains in American film history (in its 2003 list entitled AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains).
Throughout the entire film, Mr. Potter is heartless, cold, apathetic, and downright evil. Everything that Mr. Potter does in the film is motivated by money. Be it "saving" George Bailey's clients during a bank run or offering George the job of his dreams, all are thinly veiled plots to fill his own wallet.
Lionel loathed the income tax system which kept him working to the end of his life. He expressed an interest to appear on television in the 1950s but felt compelled to remain loyal to his old friend and employer Louis B. Mayer and MGM.
Barrymore died on November 15, 1954 from a heart attack in Van Nuys, California, and was entombed in the Calvary Cemetery in East Los Angeles, California.
Lionel Barrymore has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1724 Vine Street.