Lillian Gish Biography

Name at birth: Lillian Diana de Guiche

Lillian Gish was one of the early legends of the silver screen, known especially as the big-eyed, fragile heroine in movies made by D.W. Griffith. She and her sister Dorothy (1898-1968) started in the movies in 1914, thanks to their friend Mary Pickford's connection to Griffith. After great success with Griffith, including Birth of a Nation and Intolerance, the two parted ways over money and Gish signed with MGM in 1925. She starred in major movies like La Bohéme and The Scarlet Letter ( both 1926), and had the clout to approve scripts, produce and even direct. In the 1930s she left the movies for the New York stage, where she had hits with Uncle Vanya (1930), Camille (1931) and All the Way Home (1960-61). She continued to appear in movies once in a while, in small character roles, into her 90s. Her other films include The Wind (1928), Duel in the Sun (1946, starring Gregory Peck), The Night of the Hunter (1955, starring Robert Mitchum), and The Whales of August (1987, starring Bette Davis).

Extra credit:

Gish received an Oscar nomination for her supporting role in Duel in the Sun... She was given an Oscar in 1970 for her work in the movies... Gish never married.

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