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Lillian Gish

Her career spanned 75 years and is best known as a silent film star in D W Griffith’s most acclaimed films, including The Birth of a Nation (1915), Intolerance (1916).

Filmography

1912

    An Unseen Enemy

    Two Daughters of Eve

    So Near, yet So Far

    In the Aisles of the Wild

    The One She Loved

    The Painted Lady

    The Musketeers of Pig Alley

    Gold and Glitter

    My Baby

    The Informer

    Brutality

    The New York Hat

    The Burglar’s Dilemma

    A Cry for Help

 

1913

    Oil and Water

    The Unwelcome Guest

    A Misunderstood Boy

    The Left-Handed Man

    The Lady and the Mouse

    The House of Darkness

    Just Gold

    A Timely Interception

    The Mothering Heart

    An Indian’s Loyalty

    During the Round-Up

    A Woman in the Ultimate

    A Modest Hero

    So Runs the Way

    Madonna of the Storm

    The Battle at Elderbush Gulch

    The Conscience of Hassan Bey

 

1914

    A Duel For Love

    The Green-Eyed Devil

    Judith of Bethulia

    The Battle of the Sexes

    The Hunchback

    The Quicksands

    Home, Sweet Home

    Lord Chumley

    The Rebellion of Kitty Belle

    The Angel of Contention

    Man’s Enemy

    The Tear That Burned

    The Folly of Anne

    The Sisters

 

1915

    The Birth of a Nation

    The Lost House

    Enoch Arden

    Captain Macklin

    The Lily and the Rose

 

1916

    Pathways of Life

    Daphne and the Pirate

    Sold for Marriage

    An Innocent Magdalene

    Intolerance

    Diane of the Follies

    The Children Pay

    The House Built Upon Sand

 

1917

    Souls Triumphant

 

1918

    Hearts of the World

    The Great Love

    Lillian Gish in a Liberty Loan Appeal

    The Greatest Thing in Life

 

1919

    A Romance of Happy Valley

    Broken Blossoms

    True Heart Susie

    The Greatest Question

 

1920

    Remodeling Her Husband

    Way Down East

 

1921          

   Orphans of the Storm

 

1923          

   The White Sister

 

1924          

   Romola

 

1925          

   Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

 

1926          

   La Bohème

   The Scarlet Letter

 

1927          

   Annie Laurie

   The Enemy

 

1928          

   The Wind

 

1930          

   One Romantic Night (a.k.a. The Swan)

 

1933          

   His Double Life

 

1942          

   Commandos Strike at Dawn

 

1943          

   Top Man (a.k.a. Man of The Family)

 

1946          

   Miss Susie Slagle’s

   Duel in the Sun

 

1948          

   Portrait of Jennie

 

1949          

   Outward Bound

   The Late Christopher Bean

 

1955          

   The Cobweb

   The Night of the Hunter

 

1958          

   Orders to Kill

 

1960          

   The Unforgiven

 

1966          

   Follow Me, Boys!

 

1967          

   Warning Shot

   The Comedians

   The Comedians in Africa

 

1978          

   A Wedding

 

1983          

   Hambone and Hillie

 

1986          

   Sweet Liberty

 

1987          

   The Whales of August

 

 

Awards

Lillian Gish was nominated for a Best Actress in a Supporting Role Academy Award  for Duel in the Sun (1946).

She received an honorary Academy Award in 1971 for “For superlative artistry and for distinguished contribution to the progress of motion pictures. “

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t acting, so I can’t imagine what I would do if I stopped now. ~ Lillian Gish

Lillian Gish was born Lillian Diana Gish on October 14, 1893 in Springfield, Ohio, to Mary Robinson McConnell (1875–1948) and James Leigh Gish (1872–1912). She had a younger sister, Dorothy, who also became a popular movie star.

Gish’s father was an alcoholic. When he left the family, her mother took up acting to support them. The family moved to East St. Louis, Illinois, where they lived for several years with Lillian’s aunt and uncle, Henry and Rose McConnell. The girls attended St. Henry’s School, where they acted in school plays. Their mother opened the Majestic Candy Kitchen, and the girls helped sell popcorn and candy to patrons of the old Majestic Theater, located next door.

When the theater next to the candy store burned down, the family moved to New York, where the girls became good friends with a next-door neighbor, Gladys Smith. Gladys was a child actress who did some work for director D. W. Griffith and later took the stage name Mary Pickford. When Lillian and Dorothy were old enough, they joined the theatre, often traveling