The First Lady of The Silent Screen …

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Photo: Actress Lillian Gish attends 12th Annual American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Awards Honoring Lillian Gish on March 1, 1984 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (WireImage)

“What we tend to forget today is that Gish, like Griffith, was considered out-of-fashion more than 60 years ago. First, the flappers were supposed to have made her Victorian virgin obsolete, and then Garbo’s erotically angled features were supposed to have supplanted Gish’s wholesomely rounded countenance as the standard of female beauty. That Gish has outlived the winds of fashion to become an emblem of eternity itself should not blind us to the fact that both the Motion Picture Academy and the American Film Institute have been grotesquely slow to honor her. Everyone seems to have taken her for granted as an inexorable force of nature. Better late than never, of course, as Victor Hugo is said to have remarked after Britain finally erected a statue to Shakespeare a couple of centuries after the Bard’s demise.” (Andrew Sarris, film historian and critic)

  • Miss Lillian Diana Gish – Awards

1947 – Academy Awards, USA – Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Duel in the Sun (1946)

1955 – Lillian was awarded the George Eastman Award, for distinguished contribution to the art of film, at the George Eastman Museum’s (then George Eastman House’s) inaugural Festival of Film Artists

1960 – Walk of Fame – Motion Picture
On 8 February 1960. At 1720 Vine Street. A star on The Walk Of Fame

1968 – Golden Globes, USA – Nominee for Best Supporting Actress
The Comedians (1967)

1971 – Academy Awards, USA – Honorary Award – For superlative artistry and for distinguished contribution to the progress of motion pictures.

1979 – Women in Film Crystal Awards – Winner, Crystal Award

1982 – Gish, an American icon, was also awarded in the Kennedy Center Honors.

1983 – Order of Arts and Letters, France – Winner Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters On 12 July, 1983.

1984 – American Film Institute, USA – Winner, Life Achievement Award

1987 – National Board of Review, USA – Winner NBR Award, Best Actress, The Whales of August (1987)

1987 – National Board of Review, USA, Winner, Career Achievement Award

1987 – London Critics Circle Film Awards, Winner Special Achievement Award

1988 – Film Independent Spirit Awards, Nominee Independent Spirit Award, Best Female Lead – The Whales of August (1987)

2009 – Online Film & Television Association, Winner, OFTA Film Hall of Fame for Acting

“Oh, all the charming ghosts I feel around me who should share this! It was our privilege for a little while to serve that beautiful thing, the film, and we never doubted for a moment that it was the most powerful thing, the mind and heartbeat of our technical century.”

Lillian Gish, at the 43rd Annual Academy Awards, 1971 THA Herald-Examiner w
Lillian Gish, at the 43rd Annual Academy Awards, 1971 THA Herald-Examiner

Back to Lillian Gish Home page

guest of honor at reception hosted by Frank H. Ricketson Jr. center. She is greeted by Charles M. Schayer, member of Central City Opera House Association - Denver Post
guest of honor at reception hosted by Frank H. Ricketson Jr. center. She is greeted by Charles M. Schayer, member of Central City Opera House Association – Denver Post
Lillian Gish holding her Honorary Oscar at the 43rd Academy Awards, April 15th 1971. (Photo by Pictorial Parade Archive Photos)
Lillian Gish holding her Honorary Oscar at the 43rd Academy Awards, April 15th 1971. (Photo by Pictorial Parade Archive Photos)

“There’s no question that films influence the entire world as nothing has since the invention of the printing press. But the impact of the printed word is nowhere near as strong as a visual experience.” (Miss Lillian Gish)

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A selection made from few of Miss Lillian Gish’s silent films

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Miss Lillian Gish’s Quotes presented along with scenes from her movies

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