“Daphne and the Pirate” Santa Cruz Evening News – 1916

Santa Cruz Evening News, Volume 18, Number 34, 8 June 1916

News of Current Plays

“Daphne and the Pirate” at the Jewel Tonight and Tomorrow Night

LILLIAN GISH AND LUCILLE YOUNG IN “DAPHNE AND THE PIRATE A TRIANGLE FINE ARTS PLAY OF THE OLD AND NEW WORLD WHEN PIRATES INFESTED THE SEAS.

Daphne and the Pirate
Daphne and the Pirate

There were pirates and bride ships, back in the days of which the picture tells. Historically correct is the story of “Daphne and the Pirate,” the newest Triangle-Fine Arts play which presents a favorite Griffith player, Lillian Gish, as its star. The happy ending of the picture occurs on the soil of Louisiana, back in the seventeenth century, when that territory was still a French colony, and wives for the pioneers were recruited by the government and shipped across the sea to be sold to the highest bidder. Daphne La Tour is one of these girls, an unwilling bride-to-be. She owes her predicament to her snubbing of Phillip, son of the Duc de Mornay.

Daphne and the Pirate
Daphne and the Pirate

Lillian Gish in “Daphne and the Pirate,” a romance of early Louisiana and a thrilling story of the days when Louisiana was a French colony and girls were sent across the sea to be sold to the colonists for wives, is told in “Daphne and the Pirate.” Lillian Gish is supported by Elliott Dexter, and other prominent players.

Daphne and the Pirate
Daphne and the Pirate
Santa Cruz Evening News 1916 (Daphne and the Pirate)
Santa Cruz Evening News 1916 (Daphne and the Pirate)
Santa Cruz Evening News 1916 (Daphne and the Pirate photo)
Santa Cruz Evening News 1916 (Daphne and the Pirate photo)

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STAR GLITTERS – 1980

Desert Sun, Number 91, 26 November 1980

STAR GLITTERS

Veteran movie actress Lillian Gish peeps out from behind a bouquet of flowers as she arrives at London’s Phoenix Theater recently. Miss Gish, 84, attended the theater to see the musical “Biograph Girl,” which celebrates the vintage years of silent movies, and tells the stories of Miss Gish, Mary Pickford and pioneer director D.W. Griffith.

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ap wire press photo actress lillian gish london 1980

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LizBits – Nine Pine Street – By Neilson Caplain (October, 2002)

The Lizzie Borden Quarterly (2002)

— The Bibliographic Borden —

1930 promo ccc v

LizBits – Nine Pine Street

By Neilson Caplain (October, 2002)

 

She was dynamite at the box office, the greatest star in the early days of film-making. David Belasco called her the most beautiful blond in the world. John Barrymore paid her the ultimate compliment for an actor. He said she was the most exquisite, enchanting actress he had ever seen. And so it was with hushed anticipation that the audience awaited Lillian Gish’s appearance in the play Nine Pine Street.

Playbill Lillian Gish - Nine Pine Street 1933 NYC

The opening was on a balmy spring evening, May 31, 1933, at the Longacre Theater on Broadway in New York City. It was one of Miss Gish’s first performances in a live acting play. The authors were John Colton and Carlton Miles, based on a play by William Miles and Donald Blackwell.

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Lillian took the part of a renamed Lizzie Borden, guilty of murdering her father because of the marriage to his second wife. The action took place in New Bedford, the city where Lizzie’s court appearance took place in real life. The time is set in the years 1886 to 1907. In addition to the star, there were fifteen supporting actors appearing in six scenes.

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Unfortunately Nine Pine Street was not a smashing success. It ran for less than two months, only forty-nine performances. Nevertheless the critics acclaimed the acting by Miss Gish. One critic wrote, “when she comes down the stairs, after the first utterly noiseless murder, the sad-iron wrapped in her guilty apron, she is an appalling sight, wracked, and almost nauseated at her own deed … at the second slaying it is with an overwhelming sense of an inescapable fate. It is an extraordinary performance, taut, almost trance-like in its power, and oppressive, with a sort of sultry brilliance.”

It is interesting to note that the program booklet for Nine Pine Street highlighted four full-page  advertisements for cigarettes. Each featured young ladies with cigarette in hand. In those days it was fashionable for women to smoke and the ads appealed to a growing market. The cover is adorned with a wistful picture of the star. She appears not unlike the real Lizzie. More than ten years later Gish was still thinking of a movie based on the play. Unfortunately, such plans were never brought to fruition.

Lillian Gish penned two autobiographies. Several others told the story of her life in published books. She was featured in magazine articles and numerous interviews. There is no dearth of information surrounding the career of this actress. She was born in Springfield, Ohio, October 4, 1893. Her sister, Dorothy, also a well-known actress of the day, was born five years later.

Their father was James Leigh DeGuiche, later changed to Gish. Their mother was Mary Robinson McDonnell.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Separated from his wife, James Gish suffered from alcoholism. He died in an institution for the insane when only 36 years of age. In the early days Mrs. Gish supported her two girls by acting and later by opening a candy store, and finally as a manager for a catering business. In return, for the rest of her life she received close, caring and loving attention from her two daughters. Lillian began her acting career as a youngster, barely nine years old.

dorothy gish - as photographed for - dorothy and lillian gish - by lillian gish 6

Throughout her long professional life it is said she rarely missed a day because of illness or egomania. With her sister Dorothy she played the innocent waif buffeted by cruel circumstances. Around 1913 she went to Hollywood where her roles were frail and saintly victims in the one-reel melodramas that were very popular at the time. Having caught the eye of the noted director, D.W. Griffith she was given more important parts to play. In the year 1912 she acted in no less than thirteen movies, the following year in sixteen.

The Movies Mr. Griffith and Me (03 1969) The Musketeers of Pig Alley 1912 — with Lillian Gish.

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Her career had a jump-start with her part in Birth of a Nation. Despite its rampant racism, not unusual before the outbreak of the first World War, that film became an instant success. In 1915 it was brought to Broadway and ran an unprecedented forty-four weeks.

With Griffith she was launched to great stardom through the twenties and world-wide acclaim the rest of her life. Griffith was her mentor and her great love. She remained his friend and defender, even during his decline as a director in the nineteen thirties and his encroaching alcoholism. Under his aegis she played in a great many of his pictures.

intolerance-1916-lillian-gish-the-cradle-endlessly-rocking

In Intolerance, a movie bigger than any that preceded it, she acted as his assistant in designing sets, helping lighting and cutting, research and in writing advertisements.

In 1920 her sister Dorothy became a married woman by eloping with actor James Rennie, but Lillian considered marriage “straight-laced and domineering.”

In the years that followed Lillian’s career became even more triumphant. After playing the lead in Orphans of the Storm she was invited to the White House for lunch with President Warren G. Harding.

Dorothy & Lillian Gish, D.W. Griffith (President Harding - Orphans of The Storm)
Dorothy & Lillian Gish, D.W. Griffith (President Harding – Orphans of The Storm)

As her power at the box office waxed the career of Griffith waned. Lillian then affiliated with a company headed by Charles H. Duell where she became an executive, as well leading lady, with her own business office. She was the first American star to make a movie in Italy where she filmed The White Sister. The premiere in New York attracted such luminaries as the Governor of New York, Al Smith, and the socialite Vandebilts and Belmonts. The film ran for six months at special prices on Broadway, and even longer at popular prices.

In the mid-twenties there were rumors of a romance with Charles Duell. Lillian’s unblemished reputation was compromised by a front-page scandal that involved years of litigation. In the end she emerged victorious, wealthy, and her honor intact.

Charles H. Duell - Inspiration Pictures Director 2
Charles H. Duell – Inspiration Pictures Director
Charles H. Duell - Inspiration Pictures Director
Charles H. Duell – Inspiration Pictures Director
Lillian Gish and The Carrot syndrome 1925
Lillian Gish and The Carrot syndrome 1925

Already celebrated as a great actress, as a result of the trial’s intense publicity, Lilian now commanded even greater box office attraction.

George Jean Nathan Chateau Du Plessis France 22

Lillian fell in love with George Jean Nathan and it was as his companion that she secured her place among the elite of America’s arts and letters in the twenties and thirties.

In 1925 she negotiated an enviable contract with MGM at a salary of $800,000.00 for six pictures and under which she was permitted to exercise her own choice of director and cast. Ever intelligent and strong-willed she exerted considerable control over her films. Her first picture Boheme was a spectacular success and proved to be the most profitable of MGAfs releases in 1925 and 1926.

In the latter year Mary Gish, Lillian’s mother, suffered a stroke while in Europe. Lillian, always the loving and caring daughter hurried to the continent. Mary made a good recovery, and twenty years after she was still a beautiful lady. She died September 17, 1948.

1937-LILLIAN-GISH-Famed-Film-Actress-Mother

Lillian considered silent movies the purest form of the art and was averse to accepting roles in the new “talkies.” She was the personification of the silent film, usually playing the frail girl caught in the cruel maelstrom of life. However, by 1927 sound film finally took over the industry.

Miss Gish’s first talking role was as the star in One Romantic Night. Although the movie proved to be a flop, The New York Times reported that because Lillian’s voice recorded so well “… it causes her screen work to be far more interesting than it was in silent productions.”

George Jean Nathan, Lillian Gish and Rudolph Kommer at Leopoldskron
George Jean Nathan, Lillian Gish and Rudolph Kommer at Leopoldskron

Lillian had a long and close association with George Jean Nathan. At about this time rumors were rife that they were about to be married. She put an end to the gossip with the statement that “Marriage is a career. I have preferred a stage career rather than amarriage career.” George’s name was the last to be romantically linked to that of Lillian Gish. She began her stage career with three appearances before acting in Nine Pine Street. Although the play could not be counted as a success, her portrayal of the Lizzie character, so different than her usual roles, united the critics in her praise, citing her strong, deep, commanding voice and facial expressions.

Playbill Lillian Gish - Nine Pine Street 1933 NYC

With Nine Pine Street Lillian Gish proved her ability to adjust to the demands of live theater. From that time onwards she went from success to success in play after play. In 1940 she accepted the lead in the Chicago company of Life With Father which ran for an unprecedented sixty-six weeks.

In 1949 she made her first appearance, followed by many others, on television. Her last appearance on the stage was in 1975, the last in motion pictures was in 1987 when she co-starred with Bette Davis in The Whales of August. Her first movie in Technicolor was Duel in the Sun (1946) in which she shared leads with such luminaries as Gregory Peck and Lionel Barrymore.

She had a longer life on the boards and on the silver screen than any other actress. Although considered less popular than Norma Talmadge or Mary Pickford, her claim for popularity depended entirely on her ability as an actress.

Lillian’s beloved sister, Dorothy, her constant companion, died in 1966 at a clinic in Rapallo, Italy. Her final years were sad, weak, and depressed. In life she was always the fun-loving sister as contrasted with Lillian’s dedication, and discipline.

first time on lecture platform 1932

With the passing years Lillian’s professional activities multiplied. She crisscrossed the country giving lectures. At one point she had seventeen engagements in the short space of six weeks, indefatigably doing her part in raising interest in the silent screen.

(Original Caption) Former actress Lillian Gish in her New York apartment.
Lillian Gish in her New York apartment.

Her final bow to Broadway was a singing part in a musical review in 1986. In that year she was in fine health, despite two previous hip operations. At age 92 she had a small part in a movie by Alan Alda.

sweet liberty, from left writer-director-actor alan alda, lillian gish, on set, 1986 universal a

As a long-time Republican supporter Lillian exchanged birthday greetings with President Eisenhower. She visited Mamie at the White House and thereafter the two became fast friends. She supported the campaign of Richard Nixon, and was on a first name basis with Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

1982 DC Ronald Reagan - Lillian Gish (Kennedy Center)
1982 DC Ronald Reagan – Lillian Gish (Kennedy Center)

There is this that has to be said in assessing Lillian’s career and character: She joined the America First Committee, opposing America’s involvement in World War II. She thereby became associated with individuals tainted by expressions of racism and anti-Semitism, and support of fascism and Hitler’s Germany.

WWII Scribners COMMENTATOR Magazine 1941 War Propaganda
WWII Scribners COMMENTATOR Magazine 1941 War Propaganda

Previously many of her friends and associates had expressed derogatory sentiments, without affecting her friendship with them. But with it all the taint of racism was never publicly attributed to the actress.

Miss Gish was the recipient of many honors. She was awarded honorary degrees at three colleges. She received an Academy Award nomination in 1946 and an honorary Oscar in 1971. She was called “the first lady of the screen” when she was given the Life Achievement Award by the American Film Institute in 1984. She was a Kennedy Center honoree in 1982.

Lillian Gish Kennedy Center 1983 RPP

The following year France bestowed on her the Medaille de Commandeur des Arts and Lettres. She won the Best Actress Award by the National Board of Review.

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Miss Lillian Gish’s films …

Tenth Anniversary (Exhibitors Herald – June 27, 1925)

Tenth Anniversary (Exhibitors Herald – June 27, 1925)

THE WHITE SISTER: Lillian Gish—A wonderful picture in every sense of the word. The funny part of it was that 99 9-10 of my audience was composed of Protestants. Had absolutely no cooperation from the local priest or any of his like. Don’t have hardly any opposition for a jumping off place of this size. No, let’s see, a stock company under canvas ; a Chautauqua under canvas (until a big wind hit it and blew it down) ; and a big Ku Klux meeting, with the widow of Glenn Young as the chief attraction. Even at that I claim it is a wonderful picture. The Ku Klux boys want me to run one of their pictures. I have been stalling them off, but I sureinell couldn’t get any worse cooperation on their picture than I got from the Catholics on “The White Sister.” That’s that. If any of you boys think I am Bullshevick, Catholic or Ku Klux. you have another guess coming, because I believe like Voliva, the world’s flat ; that is, flat broke. Eleven reels.—Wm. E. Tragsdorf, Trags theatre. Neillsville, Wis.-—Small town patronage.

Lillian Gish CPA Film Stars 133 - The White Sister
Lillian Gish CPA Film Stars 133 – The White Sister

THE WHITE SISTER: Lillian Gish—A very, very good picture that people were waiting in line to see. Got a nice boost for it from the local Catholic priest. A nice business and pleased all classes. Too bad Mr. Tragsdorf had such a hard time. From the sound of his report, I would suggest he might try cooperating with the church some time. I’ve found them very fair-minded always and willing to meet you half way. Eleven reels.—Leo M. Fay, Gem theatre, Socorro. M.—Small town patronage.

The Movies Mr. Griffith and Me (03 1969) - Lillian and Ronald Colman in Rome during the filming of The White Sister - 1923 — with Lillian Gish and Ronald Colman.

10 More Facts (Exhibitors Herald – June 27, 1925)

Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s “Quality 52”

Exhibitors Herald 1925

Among the big star names in The Quality 52 are: LILLIAN GISH, LON CHANEY, MARION DAVIES, JOHN GILBERT, BUSTER KEATON, RAMON NOVARRO, MAE MURRAY, NORMA SHEARER, JACKIE COOGAN, ELEANOR BOARDMAN, AILEEN PRINGLE, PAULINE STARKE, CONWAY TEARLE. CLAIRE WINDSOR, CONRAD NAGEL, MAE BUSCH, LEW CODY, and many others.

Romola - Dorothy Gish and Lillian Gish
Romola – Dorothy Gish and Lillian Gish

Romola (2nd Place – MGM The Talk of The Industry)

Lillian Gish, the star. With Dorothy Gish. Also Ronald Colman, William H. Powell. Henry King, Director. The successor to “The White Sister.”

Exhibitors Herald 1925 c

Lillian Gish  (MGM The Talk of The Industry)

1st place on – The Fireworks for 1925 – 1926 (MGM)

Lillian Gish as Mimi - Promotional for La Boheme
Lillian Gish as Mimi – Promotional for La Boheme

Two Big Productions This greatest star has just signed a long-term contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Miss Gish will appear in two great pictures.

Vidor to Make “La Boheme” (The Film Mart) Exhibitors Herald – June 27, 1925  King Vidor has been chosen to make “La Boheme,” Lillian Gish’s first for Metro-Goldwyn. Release has been set for November 15.

Lillian Gish and John Gilbert in "La Boheme"
Lillian Gish and John Gilbert in “La Boheme”

A Big Star Name Exhibitors Herald – Aug 22, 1925

ONE after another in August you get from Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer these big stars: LON CHANEY, NORMA SHEARER, LILLIAN GISH. Week after week these popular star names in front of your theatre mean bigger crowds and bigger profits. And this is the kind of service that you can depend on throughout 1925-26. With these money-winning August releases Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer starts out on what is unquestionably the most marvelous line-up ever delivered to exhibitors.

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Exhibitors Herald 1925 Tenth Anniversary
Exhibitors Herald 1925 Tenth Anniversary

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Amon Carter Museum of American Art; Fort Worth TX

Amon Carter Museum of American Art; Fort Worth TX Lillian Gish Portraits by Nell Dorr Cca 1930

Lillian Gish in Feathered cap profile by Nell Dorr cca 1930 Amon Carter TX
Lillian Gish in Feathered cap profile by Nell Dorr cca 1930 Amon Carter TX
Lillian Gish in Feathered cap by Nell Dorr cca 1930 Amon Carter TX
Lillian Gish in Feathered cap profile by Nell Dorr cca 1930 Amon Carter TX
Lillian Gish Portrait by Nell Dorr 1930 detail (Nell Dorr Estate) Amon Carter TX
Lillian Gish Portrait by Nell Dorr 1930 detail (Nell Dorr Estate) Amon Carter TX
Lillian Gish Portrait by Nell Dorr 1930 (Nell Dorr Estate) Amon Carter TX
Lillian Gish Portrait by Nell Dorr 1930 (Nell Dorr Estate) Amon Carter TX
Lillian Gish in Feathered cap by Nell Dorr cca 1930 Double Exposure
Lillian Gish in Feathered cap by Nell Dorr cca 1930 Double Exposure

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European Postcards, Miss Lillian Gish

British Cinema Art, London. George Neville, Edgar Nelson, Burr McIntosh, Kate Bruce, Richard Barthelmess, Lillian Gish, Lowell Sherman, Vivia Ogden, Creighton Hale, Mary Hay

British Cinema Art, London. George Neville, Edgar Nelson, Burr McIntosh, Kate Bruce, Richard Barthelmess, Lillian Gish, Lowell Sherman, Vivia Ogden, Creighton Hale, Mary Hay

German Ross Verlag No. 10341. Phoebus Film. Romola (Henry King, MGM 1924), shot on location in Italy

German Ross Verlag No. 10341. Phoebus Film. Romola (Henry King, MGM 1924), shot on location in Italy

German postcard. Ross Verlag No. 8442. British-American Film A.-G. (Bafag), Berlin. Lillian Gish in the film The White Sister (Henry King 1923), shot in Italy.

German postcard. Ross Verlag No. 8442. British-American Film A.-G. (Bafag), Berlin. Lillian Gish in the film The White Sister (Henry King 1923), shot in Italy.

German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 18851. Photo Parufamet. Lillian Gish in The Scarlet Letter (Victor Sjöström, 1926).

German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 18851. Photo Parufamet. Lillian Gish in The Scarlet Letter (Victor Sjöström, 1926).

Spanish postcard by EFB, no. A-62. 1920

Spanish postcard by EFB, no. A-62. 1920

German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 35452, 1928-1929. Photo United Artists.

German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 35452, 1928-1929. Photo United Artists.

German postcard by Ross-Verlag, no. 8441, 1925-1926. Photo Apeda (Alexander W. Dreyfoos), New York British-American-Films A.G. Bafag.

German postcard by Ross-Verlag, no. 8441, 1925-1926. Photo Apeda (Alexander W. Dreyfoos), New York British-American-Films A.G. Bafag.

German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 632. Photo Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Parufamet. Publicity still for La Bohème (King Vidor, 1926).

German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 632. Photo Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Parufamet. Publicity still for La Bohème (King Vidor, 1926).

German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 634. Photo Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Parufamet. Publicity still for La Bohème (King Vidor, 1926).

German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 634. Photo Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Parufamet. Publicity still for La Bohème (King Vidor, 1926).

French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, Paris, no. 236.

French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, Paris, no. 236.

Lillian Gish German MGM 982 Iris Verlag (Amag)
Lillian Gish German MGM 982 Iris Verlag (Amag)

Italian postcard, no. 22. Publicity still for The Scarlet Letter (Victor Sjöström, 1926)

Italian postcard, no. 22. Publicity still for The Scarlet Letter (Victor Sjöström, 1926)

German postcard by Ross-Verlag, no. 19801, 1927-1928. Photo Metro-Goldwyn Mayer FaNaMet. Publicity still for Annie Laurie (John S. Robertson, 1927).

German postcard by Ross-Verlag, no. 19801, 1927-1928. Photo Metro-Goldwyn Mayer FaNaMet. Publicity still for Annie Laurie (John S. Robertson, 1927).

German postcard by Ross-Verlag, no. 14871, , 1927-1928. Photo Metro-Goldwyn Mayer FaNaMet.

German postcard by Ross-Verlag, no. 14871, , 1927-1928. Photo Metro-Goldwyn Mayer FaNaMet.

German postcard by Ross-Verlag, no. 35451, 1928-1929. Photo United Artists.

German postcard by Ross-Verlag, no. 35451, 1928-1929. Photo United Artists.

German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 631. Photo Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Parufamet. Publicity still for La Bohème (King Vidor, 1926).

German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 631. Photo Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Parufamet. Publicity still for La Bohème (King Vidor, 1926).

British postcard by Cinema Art, London. Photo publicity still for Way Down East (David Wark Griffith, 1920).

British postcard by Cinema Art, London. Photo publicity still for Way Down East (David Wark Griffith, 1920).

German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 35331. Lillian Gish and Ralph Forbes in the American silent film The Enemy (Fred Niblo, MGM 1927).

German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 35331. Lillian Gish and Ralph Forbes in the American silent film The Enemy (Fred Niblo, MGM 1927).

Italian postcard by Casa Editrice Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze (B.F.F.), no. 199. Photo Metro-Goldwyn, Roma (MGM). Publicity still for La Bohème (King Vidor, 1926)

Italian postcard by Casa Editrice Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze (B.F.F.), no. 199. Photo Metro-Goldwyn, Roma (MGM). Publicity still for La Bohème (King Vidor, 1926)

German POST CARD LILLIAN GISH IRIS VERLAG 427 1

German POST CARD LILLIAN GISH IRIS VERLAG 427 1

Ross Verlag 3424-1 - Lillian Gish in La Boheme - Mimi - German Postcard MGM
Ross Verlag 3424/1 – Lillian Gish in La Boheme – Mimi – German Postcard MGM
Lillian Gish CPA Film Stars 133 - The White Sister
Lillian Gish CPA Film Stars 133 – The White Sister
Lillian Gish - France - CE 802 Cinemagazine Edition Paris - Chidnoff
Lillian Gish – France – CE 802 Cinemagazine Edition Paris – Chidnoff

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Photo Gallery – European Postcards, Miss Lillian Gish

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Interviewing Miss Gish …

  • Where are you from? What’s your family like?
    I’m originally from Springfield, Ohio. I moved around a lot (Oderman 5). When I was five, just around the time my younger sister was born, my family moved to Dayton. Later we moved to Baltimore so my father could pursue business as a candy store owner. He wasn’t very happy there. He moved to New York, leaving my mother, sister, and I to fend for ourselves in Baltimore (Affron 20).
    My mother and I were very close. Whenever I was with her I felt safe and secure. This was not how I felt about my father. He was an alcoholic. He was in and out of the house from the time I was very six (Affron 21). My sister Dorothy, affectionately know as Doatsie, was my best friend. We loved to play together. (Gish/Lanes 2)

What events in your early life made you interested in the arts?
My family and I moved to New York in 1901 and my mother became an actress. My sister and I would stay in Mother’s dressing room on matinee days. She didn’t act because she loved the art, but for the purpose of supporting our little family because my father was not around. Because this was my mothers main source of income, my sister and I spent a lot of time in the theater. Her show ran three times daily at the Proctor Theater (Oderman 11).
Mother was approached by an actress named Dolores Lorne about Doatsie playing a role in the production East Lynne. Dolores boarded with my family. She got my mother into the acting business. I was surrounded by theater! At first my mother did not want Doatsie to be in the show because Mother’s extended family viewed acting as a bad way to make a living. “Respectable” people thought actors were scum, and believed acting was for the poor and unsophisticated. Mother eventually gave in because we needed the extra money. Soon after I was asked to perform too, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity (Oderman 12)

  • What role did mentors play in helping you develop the interests and talents you have as an artist?
    I always say my first and last acting lesson was while I was in the play Convict Stripes. I was very young at the time. However, I did have the wonderful mentoring of D.W. Griffith. Griffith was a well-respected very smart director at Biograph Studios. He taught me that going out and observing life was the best acting lesson. He was most definitely right (Affron 27)
    I became an observer. Griffith told me to view life in all situations (Oderman 26). I would watch the behavior of people at weddings, funerals, or the arrival of a baby. I went to hospitals, insane asylums, death prisons, and the houses of prisoners. I caught humanity off guard. Watching life taught me everything I know about acting (Oderman 27)