May 06, 2002 01:00 AM

Former actor John Barrymore III, 47, half-brother of Drew Barrymore, has been attacked in his home by burglars who allegedly tried to steal his stash, reports the Associated Press. Six teenagers entered his home in Mountain View, Calif., on Wednesday and attacked him and his wife with a metal trailer hitch wrapped in a sock — hoping to steal the actor’s marijuana plants, according to a police spokesman. “We are lucky to be alive,” Rebecca Barrymore, who is recovering at home, told the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News. John Barrymore underwent surgery on Friday and is expected to recover, according to the newspaper. One witness told police the young intruders had heard Barrymore’s son boasting about his father’s cache of 100 marijuana plants, the newspaper said. Rebecca Barrymore told the paper that her husband used the drug to relieve his chronic migraine headaches. (Marijuana use is illegal under federal law for all purposes, but it’s legal under California state law for patients with a doctor’s recommendation to grow it for personal use, the AP reports.) Police reportedly arrested the suspects, who fled without taking the plants, shortly after the incident occurred. Eighteen-year-old Jeremy Solito was arraigned on charges of attempted murder, robbery and burglary. Bond was set at $1 million. Another suspect, 17, who was not named, had his bail set at $5 million. Four juveniles also were arrested, said police. Barrymore, who is the grandson of the great matinee idol John Barrymore (1882-1942) and has the same father as Drew Barrymore — John Barrymore Jr. — had several minor movie roles under the name John Blythe Barrymore. One such role was that of a restaurant manager in 1990’s “The Bonfire of the Vanities.” He now works in the high-tech sector.

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