The apparent decision of Drew Barrymore to convert to her husband’s Jewish faith puts me in mind of the time, 85 years ago, when Drew’s grandfather John, the family’s most famous actor, got into a fistfight with Myron Selznick, one of Hollywood’s leading Jewish producers.
According to the contemporaneous account of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, actor Owen Moore summoned Selznick from a dinner party at the Ambassador Hotel to discuss “a business matter” with John’s brother Lionel at a nearby bungalow. John, who was also staying at the bungalow, proceeded to make remarks “derogatory of the Jewish race.”
“I felt I had been insulted,” Selznick said, “and I asked him like a gentleman to refrain from making more remarks. He wanted me to fight him and I told him I respected his age. This seemed to anger him very much, so when I left the bungalow be followed Moore and me.
“He struck me before I walked out and on the lawn he struck me again. Then we had a real fight which lasted about ten minutes. Moore tried to separate us but was unable to do so. That probably is the reason we fought so long. Then I returned to the supper party and Barrymore went back to his bungalow.”
As a result of the fracas, “it was stated that Mr. Barrymore will not be seen in public for a number of days.”
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.