Dolores Costello was born September 17, 1903. She made her first film appearance in the years 1909 – 1915 as a child actress, along with her younger sister Helene, for the Vitagraph Film Company, and was the daughter of actor Maurice Costello, who was the first great matinee idol of the Nickelodeon Age . When she was 17 years old, she lived for awhile in New York City, and was the model for many notable illustrators of the era. Within a few years of achieving stardom, the delicately beautiful blonde-haired actress had become a successful and highly regarded film personality in her own right, and as a young adult her career developed to the degree that in 1926, she was named a Wampas Baby Star, and was nicknamed "The Goddess of the Silver Screen." Costello spoke with a lisp (something that her granddaughter, Drew Barrymore, seemingly inherited), and found it difficult to make the transition to talking pictures, but after two years of voice coaching she was comfortable speaking before a microphone.
She married John Barrymore in 1928, who said of her "I just laid eyes upon the most preposterously lovely creature in all the world. She walked into the studio like a charming child, slender and shy and golden-haired. Never saw such radiance. My God! I knew that she was the one I had been waiting for. Waiting all my life, just for her." When the two starred together in "The Sea Beast" in 1926, Dolores fainted in John's arms during their kissing scene.
However her marriage to John Barrymore proved to be a difficult one due to his increasing alcoholism, and they divorced in 1935. Costello resumed her career a year later and achieved some successes, most notably in Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936), and The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
She is the mother of John Drew Barrymore, grandmother of Drew Barrymore and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions to Motion Pictures, at 1645 Vine Street.