After “Way Down East,” Lillian signed with Sherrill (Photoplay – September 1920)

"Way Down East" - Lillian Gish
“Way Down East” – Lillian Gish (rescued) and all cast except Lowell Sherman (Lennox Sanderson)

Plays and Players – By Cal York

Photoplay – September 1920 Vol. XVIII No. 4

LILLIAN GISH has begun work on her first stellar picture after completing her role of Anna Moore in her last Griffith production, “Way Down East.” She signed with Sherrill, who is trying to sell stock for his concern, pointing out the big profits in the industry and heralding his acquisition of Miss Gish to prospective stock purchasers. The little blonde says she went out on her own because she “wanted to keep mother and myself out of the Old Ladies” Home.

Lillian Gish and Mary Robinson McConnell (Mother)
Lillian Gish and Mary Robinson McConnell (Mother)

There was a time when mother and I thought if we had $300 and a black silk dress, we’d be alright. But my ambitions have broadened since then.”

Lillian told Mr. Griffith of her more ambitious plans for the future, and he said he would help her all he could, but would not try to dissuade her, as he has won his reputation as a director who places the picture first, never the player. Consequently, Albert Grey, manager for and brother of D. W., let it be known to a few persons that Miss Gish’s services were available, and before anyone else had time to think, William Sherrill came forward with a contract, according to which Lillian will receive over $400,000 in the next two years, and $.100.000 more during the third year if Sherrill exercises his option on her services.

“I’ve been working in pictures a long time, and have very little to show for it,” says Lillian. ” As for leaving Mr. Griffith, I don’t like even to think about it : I don’t know how I shall get along without his direction. But I’m hoping I’ll have success.” And everyone who knows the real Lillian Gish—the conscientious, sincere actress, and the gentle girl—hopes so too.

Way Down East - filming the "Ice Floe Scene" (Lillian Gish)
Way Down East – filming the “Ice Floe Scene” (Lillian Gish)

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