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Lillian Gish

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Lillian Gish Biography and Filmography
Lillian Gish
Birthday: December 31, 1969
Birth Place: Springfield, Ohio, USA
Height: 5' 5"
Below is a complete filmography (list of movies he's appeared in)
for Lillian Gish.
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Lillian Gish was born on October 14, 1893 in Springfield, Ohio. Her father was an alcoholic who caroused around, was rarely at home and left the family to more or less to fend for themselves. To help make ends meet, Lillian, her sister Dorothy Gish and their mother tried their hand at acting in local productions. Lillian was all of six years old when she first appeared in front of an audience. For the next 13 years, she and Dorothy appeared before stage audiences with great success. Actually, had she not made her way into films, Lillian quite possibly could have been one of the great stage actresses of all time. Ultimately, though, she found her way onto the big screen. In 1912 she met famed director D.W. Griffith. Impressed with what he saw, he immediately cast her in what was to be her first film, An Unseen Enemy (1912), followed by The One She Loved (1912) and My Baby (1912). She would make 12 films for Griffith in 1912. With 25 films in the next two years, Lillian's exposure to the public was so great that she fast became one of the top stars in the industry, right alongside Mary Pickford, "America's Sweetheart". In 1915 Lillian starred as Elsie Stoneman in Griffith's most ambitious project to date, The Birth of a Nation (1915). She wasn't making the large number of films that she was in the beginning, because she was successful and popular enough to be able to pick and choose the right films to appear in. The following year she appeared in another Griffith classic, _Intolerance: Love's Struggle Through the Ages (1916)_ . By the early 1920s her career was on its way down. As in anything else, be it sports or politics, new faces appeared on the scene to replace the "old", and Lillian was no different. In fact, she didn't appear at all on the screen in 1922, 1925 or 1929. However, 1926 was her busiest of the decade with roles in Boheme, La (1926) and The Scarlet Letter (1926). As the decade wound to a close, "talkies" were replacing silent films. However, Lillian wasn't idle during her time away from the screen. She appeared in stage productions to acclaim of the public and critics alike. In 1933 she filmed His Double Life (1933), and then didn't make another film for ten years. When she did return in 1943, she played in two big-budget pictures, Commandos Strike at Dawn (1942) and Top Man (1943). It was as though she had never been away. Allthough these roles did not bring her the attention she had in her early career, Lillian still proved she could hold her own with the best of them. She got an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress for her role of Laura Belle McCanles in Duel in the Sun (1946), but lost to Anne Baxter in The Razor's Edge (1946). One of the most critically acclaimed roles of her career came in the 1955 thriller The Night of the Hunter (1955), also notable as the only film directed by actor Charles Laughton. In 1969 she published her autobiography, "The Movies, Mr. Griffith, and Me". In 1987 she made what was to be her last motion picture, The Whales of August (1987), a box-office success that exposed her to a new generation of fans. Her 75-year career is almost unbeatable in any field, let alone the film industry. On February 27, 1993, Lillian died peacefully in her sleep in New York City. She was 99 years old.
The Whales of August (1987)
[ Betty Davis ][ Mary Steenburgen ][ Tisha Sterling ]
Sweet Liberty (1986)
[ Michelle Pfeiffer ][ Lois Chiles ][ Debbie Gibson ]
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1985)
Hambone and Hillie (1984)
[ Nicole Eggert ][ Candy Clark ][ Anne Lockhart ][ Sidney Greenbush ]
Hobson's Choice (1983)
[ Sharon Gless ]
Follow Me, Boys!: Part 1 (1981)
[ Vera Miles ]
Thin Ice (1981)
[ Kate Jackson ]
A Wedding (1978)
[ Mia Farrow ][ Pam Dawber ][ Carol Burnett ][ Geraldine Chaplin ][ Lauren Hutton ]
Sparrow (1978)
[ Catherine Hicks ]
Twin Detectives (1976)
[ Lynda Day George ][ Randi Oakes ]
Arsenic and Old Lace (1969)
[ Sue Lyon ]
The Comedians (1967)
[ Elizabeth Taylor ][ Cicely Tyson ]
Warning Shot (1967)
[ Joan Collins ][ Stefanie Powers ][ Eleonor Parker ]
Follow Me, Boys! (1966)
[ Vera Miles ]
Grandma TNT (1962)
The Unforgiven (1960)
[ Audrey Hepburn ]
Orders to Kill (1958)
The Night of the Hunter (1955)
[ Shelley Winters ]
The Cobweb (1955)
[ Lauren Bacall ][ Fay Wray ][ Gloria Grahame ][ Susan Strasberg ]
Christmas Festival Hour of Music (1953)
The Trip to Bountiful (1953)
[ Eva Marie Saint ]
Ladies in Retirement (1951)
The Birth of the Movies (1951)
The Late Christopher Bean (1949)
Portrait of Jennie (1948)
[ Jennifer Jones ][ Anne Francis ]
Duel in the Sun (1946)
[ Jennifer Jones ]
Miss Susie Slagle's (1946)
[ Veronica Lake ]
Top Man (1943)
Commandos Strike at Dawn (1942)
His Double Life (1933)
One Romantic Night (1930)
The Wind (1928)
The Enemy (1927)
Annie Laurie (1927)
The Scarlet Letter (1926)
Boheme, La (1926)
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
[ Myrna Loy ]
Romola (1924)
The White Sister (1923)
Orphans of the Storm (1921)
Way Down East (1920)
The Greatest Question (1919)
True Heart Susie (1919)
Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl (1919)
A Romance of Happy Valley (1919)
Hearts of the World (1918)
The Greatest Thing in Life (1918)
The Great Love (1918)
Souls Triumphant (1917)
The House Built Upon Sand (1916)
The Children Pay (1916)
Diane of the Follies (1916)
Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916)
An Innocent Magdalene (1916)
Sold for Marriage (1916)
Daphne and the Pirate (1916)
Pathways of Life (1916)
The Lily and the Rose (1915)
Captain Macklin (1915)
Enoch Arden (1915)
The Lost House (1915)
The Birth of a Nation (1915)
The Folly of Anne (1914)
The Tear That Burned (1914)
Man's Enemy (1914)
The Angel of Contention (1914)
Lord Chumley (1914)
The Rebellion of Kitty Belle (1914)
Home, Sweet Home (1914)
The Quicksands (1914)
The Hunchback (1914)
The Battle of the Sexes (1914)
Judith of Bethulia (1914)
The Green-Eyed Devil (1914)
A Duel for Love (1914)
The Sisters (1914)
So Runs the Way (1913)
A Modest Hero (1913)
A Woman in the Ultimate (1913)
An Indian's Loyalty (1913)
During the Round-Up (1913)
The Mothering Heart (1913)
A Timely Interception (1913)
Just Gold (1913)
The House of Darkness (1913)
The Lady and the Mouse (1913)
The Left-Handed Man (1913)
A Misunderstood Boy (1913)
The Unwelcome Guest (1913)
The Conscience of Hassan Bey (1913)
Oil and Water (1913)
The Battle at Elderbush Gulch (1913)
Madonna of the Storm (1913)
The New York Hat (1912)
Brutality (1912)
The Informer (1912)
My Baby (1912)
Gold and Glitter (1912)
The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912)
The Painted Lady (1912)
The One She Loved (1912)
In the Aisles of the Wild (1912)
So Near, Yet So Far (1912)
Two Daughters of Eve (1912)
An Unseen Enemy (1912)
A Cry for Help (1912)
The Burglar's Dilemma (1912)
  • The Smashing Pumpkins first Album was named "Gish" after her.
  • Sister of Dorothy Gish.
  • American Film Institute Life Achievement Award [1984]
  • Blue eyes
  • On 11 June 1976, the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Film Theater was dedicated on the Bowling Green State University campus in Bowling Green, Ohio, USA.
  • Interred at Saint Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, New York City, New York, USA.
  • Career spanned 75 years.
  • Every year on Gish's birthdate, October 14, New York's Museum of Modern Art shows at least one of her films or TV performances.
  • She once autographed an 8mm copy of her film The Battle at Elderbush Gulch (1913) for a young filmmaker named Harry McDevitt.
  • Related, on her mother's side, to U.S. President Zachary Taylor.
  • Daughter of actress Mary Gish.
  • After her amicable parting with D.W. Griffith she joined MGM in 1925, but was unceremoniously dumped when Greta Garbo emerged as a star. Considered a "sexless antique," she turned to radio and her first love, the theater. Ironically, MGM had Garbo on the set of The Scarlet Letter (1926) every day to watch Gish work as part of her apprenticeship.
  • John Gilbert was infatuated with her, and would mess up his "love scenes" with her in the filming of Boheme, La (1926) on purpose, so he could keep kissing her.
  • While shooting Way Down East (1920), she was required to lie down on a slab of ice that was floating in a river for several hours in order to shoot a scene. While she did this, one of her hands was immersed in freezing cold water for hours, which permanently damaged the nerves in her wrist.
  • She held director D.W. Griffith in such high regard that, up until her death in 1993, she would always refer to him as "Mr. Griffith."
  • Lillian and Mary Pickford were childhood friends, but Mary tried to never be left alone with Lillian--remembering her mother's superstitious belief that "the good die young," Mary was in constant fear that Lillian would drop dead at any moment.
  • Was named #17 Actress, The American Film Institutes 50 Greatest Screen Legends
  • Is portrayed by Mackenzie Phillips in The Silent Lovers (1980) (TV)
  • Was of French descent.
  • She and Dorothy Gish both started working for D.W. Griffith in the early days of Biograph Studio. While it's been claimed that Griffith was immediately infatuated with Lillian, in their first film for him, An Unseen Enemy (1912), he thought they were twins. According to Lillian's autobiography, he had to tie different colored hair ribbons on the girls to tell them apart and give them direction: "Red, you hear a strange noise. Run to your sister. Blue, you're scared too. Look toward me, where the camera is."
  • Gish was taught how to shoot by notorious outlaw Al J. Jennings, who was in one of her films. When John Huston and Burt Lancaster took her to the desert to teach her how to shoot for "The Unforgiven" they were astounded to discover she could shoot more accurately and faster than they. She found that she liked shooting and over the years had developed into an expert shot.

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