Honors (Kennedy Center) – The New Yorker (1982)

A movable feast of parties, testimonials, and live entertainment which celebrates the careers of five distinguished Americans in the  performing  arts ­ this year they were George Abbott, Lillian Gish, Eugene Ormandy, Benny Goodman, and Gene  Kelly

Lillian Gish (left) Mr. Ronald Reagan and Mrs. Nancy Reagan 1982 - Kennedy Center
Lillian Gish (left) Mr. Ronald Reagan and Mrs. Nancy Reagan 1982 – Kennedy Center

CARY GRANT gets stagefright, Benny Goodman is absent minded. George Abbott’s favorite song, now that he has directed ninety ­ nine plays and musicals, is “Falling in Love with Love,” from “The Boys from Syracuse.” Secretary of State George Shultz sports a red satin Marine dress cummerbund with his dinner jacket, because he used to be a Marine. Eddie Albert was trained in classical music at the Cincinnati Conservatory and is a Wagnerian – opera buff. Lillian Gish is an old friend of Nancy Reagan’s mother, and invited our First Lady to dinner frequently when Mrs. Reagan was a struggling young actress in New York. Gene Kelly sang “The Wearing of the Green” with President Kennedy on the night of his Inauguration, and both men forgot the second verse. Eugene Ormandy began his American musical career as a last-chair violinist in the pit orchestra of the old Capitol Theatre  in New York. William Agee, of Bendix, is a Goodman fan, and Yves Montand is fascinated by Peggy Lee.

Peggy Lee - Kennedy Center 1982
Peggy Lee – Kennedy Center 1982

Van Johnson lives in an  apartment near Sutton Place with four cats he’s picked up during appearances in din­ ner theatres around the country. Hal Linden was Tom Bosley’s understudy in  George  Abbott’s  “The Education of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N,” a hard ­ luck  musical  that  opened   on   the day Martin Luther King was assassinated. Schuyler and  Betty  Chapin know practically everybody in the performing arts. Isaac and Vera Stern know everybody in  the  performing arts. Senator Charles Percy is trying to persuade Congress to cancel the accumulated interest on the Kennedy Center’s forty-five-million-dollar  debt  to the United States government. Budget Director David Stockman is  shorter and grayer than he looks on television, and Interior Secretary James Wall is taller and balder.  These are some of the nuggets of information we picked up during a weekend trip to Washington  for  the  Kennedy  Center  Honors, a movable feast of parties, testimonials, and live entertainment which celebrates the careers of five distinguished Americans in the  performing  arts ­ this year they were George Abbott, Lillian Gish, Eugene Ormandy, Benny  Goodman,  and  Gene  Kelly – and adds about half a million dollars to the Center’s bank account.

Benny Goodman - 1982 Kennedy Center
Benny Goodman – 1982 Kennedy Center

There were four main functions: a private State Department dinner, where the Honors-multicolored ribbon necklaces clasped by three gold-plated bars – were handed out; a  White House reception, during which President Reagan introduced each honoree to the assembled guests; a variety show at the Kennedy Center Opera House, which consisted of filmed biographies of the honorees and tributes from their fellow-artists; and, after the show, a dinner dance for fifteen hundred people in the great hall of the Center.

Lillian Gish is greeted by Mrs. Nancy Reagan and President Ronald Reagan - 1982
Lillian Gish is greeted by Mrs. Nancy Reagan and President Ronald Reagan – 1982

In case you’re wondering why President Reagan didn’t hand out the ribbons himself, we should explain that, despite all kinds of support from the government, the Honors are essentially a private affair. Recipients are suggested by the Center’s eighty-one­member Artists Committee, but the final choice is made by a ten-man executive committee chaired by Roger Stevens, the Kennedy Center chairman. Although there is on occasion some discussion about the candidates, it is generally acknowledged that Mr. Stevens is the dominant influence in the choice of honorees- especially when it comes to the theatre.

Benny Goodman honored - 1982 Kennedy Center
Benny Goodman honored – 1982 Kennedy Center

Things got under way at seven­ thirty on a balmy Saturday evening with cocktails and dinner in the State Department’s official reception rooms, which are furnished with American antiques and Oriental carpets  and are named for Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Quincy Adams. We wandered out onto a broad terrace overlooking the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument and admired some more recent national treasures: Claudette Colbert, in gold-and-navy sequins; Leona Mitchell, in black sequins; Martha Scott, in purple silk; Eva Marie Saint, in black silk; and Peggy Lee, in ruffled and spangled black lace. We fell into conversation with Jean Stapleton, who said that George Abbott had provided her with her first real break in the theatre. (“He hired me, a greenhorn, as Sister in ‘Damn Yankees.’ There were two other relative greenhorns in that show-Hal Prince and Richard Adler.”) Peggy Lee told us that she was writing her musical autobiography for the Broadway stage.

Mrs. Reagan greets Gene Kelly - 1982
Mrs. Reagan greets Gene Kelly – 1982

Yves Montand explained that he was narrating Gene Kelly’s biographical film, because he’d admired Kelly’s films for many years. Lionel Hampton remembered the exact date of his first encounter with Benny Goodman. (“I was playing at the Paradise night club in L.A. on August 20, 1936, when suddenly I heard this clarinet come in on the bandstand next to me.”) Eugene lstomin told us that he had made his concert debut at seventeen with Maestro Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. (“I played the Chopin Second with one rehearsal, and I still remember the wonderful support he gave me.”) Then we talked to Van Johnson, who told us that Mr. Abbott’s casting of him as Victor in “Pal Joey” had sent him to California and a movie career (“I ended up with ten lines and a reprise of ‘Happy Hunting Horn,’ and a lot of people noticed me”); and to Eddie Albert, who was recovering from the shock of singing the aged Emperor in a San Francisco Opera production of Puccini’s “Turandot.” “Luciano Pavarotti swindled me into doing it,” he said. “The score only has about eight notes, but when I opened my mouth to sing the first night I found I’d forgotten all of them. For­ tunately, the prompter saved me.”

Ronald Reagan and Lillian Gish
Ronald Reagan and Lillian Gish – 1982

The White House reception, on the following day, was a larger and more formal affair. Guests were ceremoniously announced at the door, music was subdued and classical, and a decorous receiving line snaked in and out of the Blue  Room.  Toward  the  end of   the  afternoon,   President   Reagan mounted a platform in the East Room and introduced each of the honorees ­ Lillian Gish, fragile and lovely in a high-waisted pale-peach silk ball gown; George Abbott, forceful and sharpeyed at ninety-five; Eugene Ormandy, twinkly-eyed and benign at eighty ­ three; Benny Goodman, with his curiously remote smile; and Gene Kelly, with   his  infectious  Irish  grin-to what might be called the Washington establishment.

Lillian Gish in 1982 NY Apartment
Lillian Gish in 1982 NY Apartment

Of  Miss  Gish,  the President said, “Her performances set a standard of enigmatic allure that has never been equalled.” Of Mr. Abbott, he  said, “Mr. Abbott-I’m  not  sure enough yet to call him George, as I’m temporarily  between  engagements ­ has surely earned the reputation as the dean of American showmen.” Of Mr. Ormandy, he said, “You once said, ‘I had tasted the intoxicating wine of being a wunderkind, and my whole ambition was to be a wunder-man as well.’ Your fellow-Americans want you to know that in their eyes you’ve made it.” Of Mr. Goodman, he said, “He ushered in the era of swing and the music took America by storm.” Of Mr. Kelly, he said, “Bob Hope used to say that every time Kelly dances Fred Astaire starts counting his money. To have seen him dance makes most of us start counting our blessings.” The show that followed at the Kennedy Center demonstrated, as Walter Cronkite, the host, remarked, “not only an abundance of excellence . . . but a diversity of talent.” Leona Mitchell sang “Mi chiamano Mimi” for Miss Gish, who had once played Mimi in a silent film of Puccini’s “La Boheme.” Isaac Stern, accompanied by the Kennedy Center Orchestra under Julius Rudel, played the sublime slow movement of Mozart’s Concerto in G Major for Eugene Ormandy. Peggy Lee said, “Benny, you may remember this,” and sang ‘”Where or When” in her familiar, smoky voice. Lionel Hampton and his quartet bopped through “Air Mail Special” for Benny Goodman,  and  then  Mr. Hampton took over the drums and led the entire orchestra in “Sing, Sing, Sing.”

George Abbott - 1982 Kennedy Center
George Abbott – 1982 Kennedy Center

Betty Buckley sang “Memory” for all five honorees, and Gregory Hines tapped his way through “I Got Rhythm” for Gene Kelly. But the high points of the evening were two old-fashioned vaudeville acts, with casts that had been assembled from all over the country. The first was a quintet of Abbott protégés – Van Johnson, Tom Bosley, Hal Linden, Eddie Albert, and Jean Stapleton – who soft-shoed through “You’ve Gotta Have Heart,” with some special lyrics, ending, “We’ve got George, We’ve got George, We’ve got George.” The second was a quartet of Kelly cronies – a bearded Donald O’Connor, a slinky, long-stemmed Cyd Charisse, a bouncy Betty Com­ den, and an impish Adolph Green ­ singing, “A star with a brain, Who’s dancin’ And acting And directing And choreographing And making love And SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN.” After the show, we sat down to dinner next to William Eells, a Ford Motor Company executive from Columbus, Ohio, who told us that he’d attended every one of the five Honors celebrations. “This year, I had a nice talk with Eugene Ormandy about the late George Szell,” he said and I found that Cary Grant and Claudette Colbert knew my father’s cousin Franchot Tone when he was in the movies. These affairs make those of us who are involved with fund raising for the arts feel really appreciated.”

kennedy-center-honorees george-abbott-lillian-gish-benny-goodman-gene kelly 01 12 1982
kennedy-center-honorees george-abbott-lillian-gish-benny-goodman-gene kelly 01 12 1982
1982 DC Ronald Reagan - Lillian Gish (Kennedy Center)
1982 DC Ronald Reagan – Lillian Gish (Kennedy Center)

Photo Gallery:

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(Ronald Colman) – A Ladies Man (Photoplay 1924)

A Ladies’ Man Who Is Regular

By Arthur Brenton

Photoplay December 1924, Vol. XXVII Number One

 

Ronald Colman and Lillian Gish in "The White Sister"
Ronald Colman and Lillian Gish in “The White Sister” (At a Portrait Exhibition)

All the girls in Hollywood are mad about him. He is besieged at dances by the most alluring beauties of the screen. At “cat parties” his name ranks with reducing and bobbed hair as the chief topic of conversation. Ingenues and famous scenario writers alike grow ecstatic about his technique at love making and his irresistible way of holding a lady’s hand and his good looks. And yet—The men like him. And when men like a man in spite of the above mentioned handicaps, he is bound to be regular.

It was such a happy combination that gave Wallace Reid his amazing and lasting hold upon the affection of the public, that have combined to make Tommy Meighan the best loved and highest salaried star of today, and that now seems likely to add to the list the name of Ronald Colman, leading man for Lillian Gish in “The White Sister” and “Romola” and in George Fitzmaurice’s latest hit, “Tarnish.”

Ronald Colman and Marie Prevost - Tarnish 1924
Ronald Colman and Marie Prevost – Tarnish 1924

It doesn’t always follow that a man who is a success with the feminine fans is likewise a riot in his own country of Hollywood. Many a famous screen lover has languished as a wallflower among the feminine portion of the film colony. And the oldest living resident cannot remember when any man has had such an instantaneous personal triumph among them as young Colman.

The White Sister
The White Sister

It seems to have been accomplished without any effort on his part. In fact, he’s just a little embarrassed and slightly annoyed about it and doesn’t always know just what to do. And this is one of the reasons the men like him, of course. Ronald Colman,—they called him ” Mustard” Colman in his school days because his last name is spelled the same as the manufacturer of the famous mustard itself—is an Englishman, with a slight trace of Scotch in his ancestry. He is the type of “black Englishman” not so familiar in this country—his hair is jet and he has the big, black eyes that we associate more with the Italian or Spanish type. But as to temperament, disposition, and tastes he is thoroughly British.

In fact, in spite of his romantic and impetuous good looks, he’s a serious, quiet chap, fond of books and a pipe and interested in politics and sports of all kinds. To him, his work is the first and most important thing on earth. He never takes an important step without a lot of thought. He has a fund of good, solid common sense, and a lot of business ability. Yet no less an authority than George Fitzmaurice declares he registers as much romance as any man on the screen. And in his love scenes his hands are almost as expressive as those of Zasu Pitts, which is saying a lot in Hollywood. Colman is a veteran of the war, though he’s just past thirty. As a boy of twenty just out of Hadleigh-Sussex College, he enlisted in the London-Scottish Regiment when war was declared and was among those who went with the first British Expeditionary Force. He was seriously wounded in the first battle of Ypres, and when he was discharged from the hospital after many months he was placed on detached service.

Lillian Gish - Romola
Dorothy Gish, Ronald Colman, Lillian Gish – Romola

He began his career as an actor shortly after the close of the war, playing the Richard Bennett role in “Damaged Goods” in London. He made a big hit, followed by several others, including “The Misleading Lady” and “Little Brother.” When Lillian Gish offered him the leading role opposite her in “The White Sister” he accepted it eagerly. Pictures appealed to him. But when he came to America after completing “The White Sister” he couldn’t get a job on the screen so went back to the stage, supporting Ruth Chatterton in “La Tendresse ” and Fay Bainter in ” East is West.”

With the release of “The White Sister,” critics hailed young Colman with fervent and lengthy praise, and Miss Gish signed him again for the lead in “Romola.” Then George Fitzmaurice brought him to Hollywood to play opposite May McAvoy in “Tarnish.” His ambition in life is to be a director, not an actor, so that he can earn money faster and retire forever as a gentleman farmer. This seems a worthy ambition and has at least the merit of being different.

Ronald Colman, May McAvoy, and Marie Prevost in Tarnish (1924)
Ronald Colman, May McAvoy, and Marie Prevost in Tarnish (1924)
Photoplay (Dec 1924) Ronald Colman
Photoplay (Dec 1924) Ronald Colman

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NORMAN KERRY is the finest guy in Hollywood – By Ruth Waterbury (Photoplay 1927)

Hoot Mon! He’s the Best Guy in Hollywood

Everybody’s for him, including Minnie, the elephant

By Ruth Waterbury

NORMAN KERRY is the finest guy in Hollywood.

Photoplay August 1927

 

Norman Kerry - Evans LA Postcard
Norman Kerry – Evans LA Postcard

Ask anyone at any studio and they all make the same reply. They’re his buddies from studio messengers to Minnie, an elephant, who weighs two tons. Today Norman is one of the highest salaried leading men, which means he earns more than many a star. He has a big estate in Beverly Hills, walled off into elaborate sunken gardens and an awning-shaded swimming pool. He recently stole “Annie Laurie” from the $8,000-a-week Lillian Gish. But he’ll lend his money to anybody. He will if he can get the money away from Gus. Gus is a typical Kerry fixture. The two men have known each other for years. They started working, side by side, for Norman’s father, who was in the leather goods trade in New York City. They went together into the theatrical agency business. They invaded Hollywood together. When Norman got the break, Gus appointed himself bookkeeper, confidential adviser, official alibi and guardian angel. A few years ago Gus got worried about the money Norman was loaning and giving away. Whether he started out with five hundred dollars or only fifty cents, the result was always the same—he came home broke. So Gus asked his idol to enter into an arrangement whereby all checks had to be countersigned by the self-appointed manager before they could be cashed. Norman readily agreed and tied himself up so that now he has to go to Gus for every cent.

Norman Kerry - 1923
Norman Kerry – 1923

Gus arranges contracts and invests the savings. Norman never bothers to look at the books Gus keeps. He says his name alone is enough to make him an ideal manager. Gus’ surname is Messer. In such simple things he finds delight. Six feet two, broad-shouldered, extremely handsome, Kerry’s energy is practically limitless. Days are not long enough for him. He never rests.

Norman Kerry - 1925
Norman Kerry – 1925

When he gets home from the studio and a bell rings, Norman springs to action like a fire horse. He has so many friends, door bells and telephone bells ring constantly. As a result he averages about four hours’ sleep a night. Most people require at least eight. When Norman gets six hours’ sleep, he rides before sunrise to work off his excess pep. There is no sport at which he doesn’t excel. He rides perfectly. He swims perfectly. He is a tennis ace. At the parlor sport of wise cracks he is triumphant. The stories about him are multitude. One concerns his biting the dog. He had evidently read the newspaper rule that if a dog bites a man it is not news, but if a man bites a dog it is. It is told that Norman attended a party where a yapping poodle kept nipping at his ankles. Finally the actor could stand it no longer. He picked up the beast and bit it on the leg.

“Now that you have learned how disagreeable biting is,” Norman told the dog, “go and repent.” Probably he did it in the spirit of a father who spanks a child, for love of animals is his predominant trait. At his home, he has a heterogeneous collection of pets—birds, monkeys, dogs, and a cat that swims.

The Barrier 1926 - Norman Kerry & George Cooper
The Barrier 1926 – Norman Kerry & George Cooper

Norman insists it’s the only swimming cat in the world. Minnie, the elephant, to whom he is devoted, was just brought from vaudeville to play with him in “Lorraine of the Lions” and for weeks lie fed her peanuts, making friends with her before they began working on the picture. That was three years ago, but since then he has visited the pachyderm every week with gifts of peanuts and bananas. She will probably never appear in another film with him, but that makes no difference. He and Minnie are pals. He claims he can tame any animal. While playing in “The Acquittal” he tried to get chummy with a wolf at the Universal zoo. The animal bit him, sending him to the hospital with an infected hand. But as soon as he was released, Norman hurried back to the zoo, to talk to the wolf again. Now it has a dog-like affection for him.

THE LOVE THIEF - NORMAN KERRY (GLASSNER) 1926
THE LOVE THIEF – NORMAN KERRY (GLASSNER) 1926

Norman had proved he could pick screen material. He started main- players, including Rudy Valentino, on the road to success. He advised Richard Dix to take up the new motion pictures. He took a little of his own advice and headed for Hollywood. Landing he went down to the Universal studio to visit his friend, Art Acord. As he crossed the lot, he was spied by James Young, the director. Young declared he was just the type for the lead in a film then in the making. Norman had never seen a movie camera, much less faced one. But when he saw Young was not joking, he argued he was worth SI 25 a week, and got it. I le strolled into the dressing rooms and beheld Kenneth Harlan, a dancer, whom he had known on Broadway. “Make me up, Ken,” he ordered. “I’m this company’s new leading man.” That started him. Though he has occasionally made pictures for other companies, he has always remained loyal to Universal. “I hope to stay with them always,” he says. “When I get bored acting I can go play in the zoo and besides, they spoil me and let me have my own way.”

Tod Browning's THE UNKNOWN (1927) Circus Strong Man Norman Kerry & His Admirers
Tod Browning’s THE UNKNOWN (1927) Circus Strong Man Norman Kerry & His Admirers

Kerry probably has less conceit than any living actor. While he enjoys the praise “Annie Laurie” is winning, he hasn’t seen it. He rarely sees any of his productions and never views rushes. He has no publicity agent. Neither does he read his press notices. Still, when Jack Pickford tried to tease him by saying he didn’t think his Scotchman in the Gish picture was half what it was said to be, Norman murmured, “No? And what have you been so good in lately?” Kerry is not a person who likes change.

Norman Kerry in Annie Laurie - 1927
Norman Kerry in Annie Laurie – 1927

He has stayed in California ever since he returned from the war. His wife goes to New York every few months, Norman never. He once loved Broadway. His people, whose name is Kaiser, are still there. But he never goes back. So many of the boys I knew there have died,” he explains. “That keeps me away. It’s the only thing I can’t face in life—the thought of death. It’s uncomfortable and I love life too well.” He has one ambition. He wants to do a story of the Vikings discovering America. “They were great people,” he declares, “people full of enthusiasm, daring, and they were beautiful two-handed drinkers. I’d enjoy doing such a characterization, particularly the latter part.”

Photoplay (Aug 1927) Norman Kerry
Photoplay (Aug 1927) Norman Kerry

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“The Children Pay” Reviewed by Thomas C. Kennedy (MOTOGRAPHY – Chicago, November 25, 1916)

MOTOGRAPHY – Chicago, November 25, 1916.

“The Children Pay”

Lillian Gish Featured in Triangle-Fine Arts Drama.

Reviewed by Thomas C. Kennedy

While touching, very lightly touching, upon a big theme, “The Children Pay,” is a combination of romance and straight drama in which neither becomes “important.” Produced by Eloyd Ingraham and featuring Lillian Gish, “The Children Pay” has some strongly appealing moments, though these are really more to be attributed to the average person’s appreciation of the unhappy position of the children of divorced parents than anything possessed of the story of the characters Frank E. Wood worked his scenario about.

The Children Pay - Lillian Gish
The Children Pay – Lillian Gish

The country town where the story opens has life-like qualities, and pleasing ones. Also there is a lively note sustained throughout the course of the action. And the outcome is that “The Children Pay” is quite interesting. In the beginning we find Millicent and her sister Jean living with a kindly old nurse in a country town. Both these girls have been given to understand that they are to hold themselves apart from the other children of the community, probably because their parents are divorced. Millicent experiences her first joy of companionship with the outside world when a young law student pays a visit to the little home after much scheming to strike up an acquaintance. Just when the girls are beginning to like their home an order demanding their presence in a court to decide whether the father or mother is to be given custody of the children is received. The judge decides to give the younger into the care of the mother and Millicent to the father, who has married again. Thus things go along, with both children suffering the stigma of their parents’ actions, until another court proceeding results. Millicent’s friend is now a lawyer and he defends the children. As he has had no opportunity to prepare a case, of course he plunges into a moving and eloquent citation of the children’s unhappiness. Then he proposes that Millicent should marry some worthy young man who could give Millicent a nice home and permit Jean to live with her. The young lawyer, as nearly as he can figure it, is just the man and as Millicent takes the same view there is a marriage performed almost immediately.

The lawyer’s proposal that Millicent marry, we think, will be received with some smiling, perhaps laughing. But up to this point the picture is fairly entertaining so it would be a grave error to condemn a photoplay with so weak a termination to a story that starts promisingly and maintains a good thread of interest.

Lillian Gish, 1916, I.V.
Lillian Gish, 1916, I.V.

Lillian Gish gives a performance that measures up to her regular average. Millicent’s distress, amounting to mental panic, when Jean is taken away by the detective is done remarkably well by Miss Gish. Violet Wilkie as Jean makes one wonder whether she is really a girl or a young woman playing the part. Certain it is that she weeps too much, since she does it so unattractively. When Jean weeps you think it is because a pin is sticking into her flesh, whereas she is crying because of her unhappy mental state. A rather good cast includes Ralph Lewis, Jennie Lee, Carl Stockdale, Loyola O’Connor, Alma Reubens and Keith Armour.

The Children Pay - Lillian Gish
The Children Pay – Lillian Gish

 

Lillian Gish …………………………………………………….… Millicent

Violet Wilkey ………………………….… Jean – Millicent’s sister

Keith Armour …………………………………………. Horace Craig

Ralph Lewis …….. Theodore Ainsley – the Girls’ Father

Loyola O’Connor … Elinor Ainsley – The Girls’ Mother

Alma Rubens …………… Editha – The Girls’ Stepmother

Jennie Lee ……………………… Susan – the Girls’ Governess

Robert Lohmeyer ……………………………………. Signor Zucca

Carl Stockdale …………………………………………… Judge Mason

Tom Wilson ………………………………………………………… Officer

 

Motography (Nov. 1916) The Children Pay
Motography (Nov. 1916) The Children Pay

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“Diane of the Follies” by Thomas C. Kennedy (Motography – September 30, 1916)

Diane of The Follies - Lillian Gish
Diane of The Follies – Lillian Gish

Motography – September 30, 1916

“Diane of the Follies”

 

Diane of The Follies - Lillian Gish
Diane of The Follies – Lillian Gish

Lillian Gish has appeared in five Triangle plays to date, and is beginning her sixth. Her first play for this company was “The Lily and the Rose,” followed by “Daphne and the Pirate.” “Sold for Marriage,” “The Innocent Magdalene,” and a symbolic drama now being titled and assembled. Lillian Gish will next be seen on the Triangle program on September 23 in “Diana of the Follies.”

In her latest play, “Diane of the Follies,” Lillian Gish gives an imitation of Sarah Bernhardt, with whom she once appeared as a fairy dancer. Lillian Gish’s latest Triangle play, called temporarily, “Diana of the Follies,” is considered one of the best stories of the year by the Fine Arts scenario department.

Lillian Gish in Fine Arts-Triangle Comedy.

Reviewed by Thomas C. Kennedy

 

Diane of The Follies - Lillian Gish
Diane of The Follies – Lillian Gish

LILLIAN GISH essays a role quite different from anything she has previously attempted in “Diane of The Follies,” and as a very temperamental show-girl she does remarkably well.

There is nothing in the way of adverse criticism prompted by Miss Gish’s performance, but after sitting through the full five reels of “Diane of The Follies” one, even if one be most charitable, cannot down the feeling that the producers should have found another story about a show-girl if they were anxious to have Miss Gish play such a part.

Diane has plenty of spirit and breeziness but none of the other characters has, nor does this story by Granville Warwick ever threaten to get anywhere in particular. Diane is a showgirl and she marries an amateur writer and is not happy with him and goes back to the “Follies.” That rather brief sentence would do as an outline of the play. The only semblance of plot comes after Diane leaves her husband and child. The latter becomes the victim of some dramatic illness or other and dies before Diane receives word of the trouble. And that was to be expected from the moment Diane gazed longingly upon the child before taking her departure from Christy. The ending of the play finds Diane again back on the stage and her husband, whom she wishes every happiness and success, continues to live as he did before meeting her.

Diane of The Follies - Lillian Gish
Diane of The Follies – Lillian Gish

“Diane of The Follies” presents some quietly amusing situations and Miss Gish by sheer force of her own acting is a bit interesting upon occasions, but these events are too far between. The production is good in all particulars save one, and that one is the show given to the theater-going public of Stamford. If Stamford could applaud a show like that, why there is hope for “Diane of The Follies,” in Stamford at least. This comedy from the Fine Arts studio was produced by W. Christy Cabanne. Sam De Grasse as Phillips Christy does nothing at all. Others in the cast are Lillian Langdon, Howard Gave, Wilbur Higby and Wilhelmina Siegmann.

Diane of The Follies - Lillian Gish
Diane of The Follies – Lillian Gish

Were Surprised, Lillian!

Lillian Gish has adopted a course of training as strenuous as a professional pugilist in order to get into the best possible condition for her “rough house” work in the Triangle-Fine Arts production. “Diana of the Follies.” Miss Gish has several free-for-all fights in the picture, including one at her husband’s house and another on the stage of the opera house in which several chorus girls mix in.

In the theater scene one of the chorus girls emerged with a black eye as the result of coming in too close contact with demure Miss Gish. Miss Gish’s portrayal of the temperamental actress in “Diana of the Follies” is expected to make other celebrated temperamental ladies of the screen look to their laurels to preserve their reputations as “Champion Temperamentalists of the World.” W. C. Cabanne directed the production.

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Diane_of_the_Follies_-_1916_newspaper
Diane of the Follies – 1916 newspaper advertisement

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Back to Lillian Gish Home page

Lillian Gish (Triangle) Pictorial 1917

Lillian Gish (Triangle) Pictorial

Photographed by Carpenter

Motion Picture Magazine – July, 1917

Starry – eyed and sunny – haired Lillian Gish, whose charm lights every angle of Triangle.

Motion Picture Magazine (Jul 1917) Lillian Gish Triangle
Motion Picture Magazine (Jul 1917) Lillian Gish Triangle
Motion Picture Magazine (Jul 1917) Lillian Gish Triangle (Carpenter)
Motion Picture Magazine (Jul 1917) Lillian Gish Triangle – Photographed by Carpenter
Motion Picture Magazine (Jul 1917) Lillian Gish Triangle 3
Motion Picture Magazine (Jul 1917) Lillian Gish Triangle (Photo – Carpenter)
Motion Picture Magazine (Jul 1917) Lillian Gish Triangle 5
(July 1917) Lillian Gish Triangle (Photographed by Carpenter)
Motion Picture Magazine (Jul 1917) Lillian Gish Triangle 6
(Jul 1917) Lillian Gish Triangle (Photographed by Carpenter) postcard

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Lillian Gish – Study by Emil Orlik, 1924 (Pictorial)

Lillian Gish – Study by Emil Orlik, 1924 (Pictorial)

Emil Orlik (21 July 1870 – 28 September 1932) was a painter, etcher and lithographer. He was born in Prague, which was at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and lived and worked in Prague, Austria and Germany.

Lillian Gish by Emil Orlik study 1924 a
Lillian Gish by Emil Orlik study 1924 a
Lillian Gish by Emil Orlik study 1924 a1
Lillian Gish by Emil Orlik study 1924 a1 detail
Lillian Gish by Emil Orlik study 1924 d
Lillian Gish by Emil Orlik study 1924 d
Lillian Gish by Emil Orlik study 1924 d1
Lillian Gish by Emil Orlik study 1924 d1 detail
Lillian Gish by Emil Orlik study 1924 c
Lillian Gish by Emil Orlik study 1924 c
Lillian Gish by Emil Orlik study 1924 c1
Lillian Gish by Emil Orlik study 1924 c1 detail
Lillian Gish by Emil Orlik study 1924 b1
Lillian Gish by Emil Orlik study 1924 b1 detail

Emil Orlik was the son of a tailor. He first studied art at the private art school of Heinrich Knirr, where one of his fellow pupils was Paul Klee. From 1891, he studied at the Munich Academy under Wilhelm Lindenschmit. Later he learned engraving from Johann Leonhard Raab and proceeded to experiment with various printmaking processes.

After performing his military service in Prague, he returned to Munich, where he worked for the magazine Jugend. He spent most of 1898, travelling through Europe, visiting the Netherlands, Great Britain, Belgium, and Paris. During this time he became aware of Japanese art, and the impact it was having in Europe, and decided to visit Japan to learn woodcut techniques. He left for Asia in March 1900, stopping off in Hong Kong, before reaching Japan, where he stayed until February 1901.

In 1905 Emil Orlik moved to Berlin and took a post at the “School for Graphic and Book Art” of the Museum of Decorative Arts (Kunstgewerbemuseum), now part of the Berlin State Museums. He taught at the Berlin College of Arts and Crafts, where one of his students was George Grosz.

From 1891, he studied at the Munich Academy under Wilhelm Lindenschmit. Later he learned engraving from Johann Leonhard Raab and proceeded to experiment with various printmaking processes. After performing his military service in Prague, he returned to Munich, where he worked for the magazine Jugend. He spent most of 1898, travelling through Europe, visiting the Netherlands, Great Britain, Belgium, and Paris. During this time he became aware of Japanese art, and the impact it was having in Europe, and decided to visit Japan to learn woodcut techniques. He left for Asia in March 1900, stopping off in Hong Kong, before reaching Japan, where he stayed until February 1901.

Emil Orlik’s work

Emil Orlik was born Prague on 21-07-1870. At that time Prague was the capital of a province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and thus he was an Austrian citizen, not Czechoslovakian as is frequently stated. His family, being Jewish, lived near the Prague ghetto. His father was a master tailor as was his brother Hugo. There was a large German speaking community in Prague (called Bohemian Germans) including an artistic circle which included friends of Orlik’s such as Franz Kafka, Franz Werfel (1890-1945), Max Brod and Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926).

Throughout his school years Orlik had been passionate about drawing and on leaving school in 1889 he was allowed by his father to go to Germany, hoping to be enrolled at the Academy of Fine Art there. He was not accepted however, so he enrolled at the private art school of Heinrich Knirr in Munich, where a fellow pupil was Paul Klee. Orlik’s target remained the Munich Academy and he gained a place in 1891 under Professor von Lindenschmit who soon recognised his talents and allocated him a small studio. Orlik worked hard, copying old masters at the Munich Pinakothek, constantly improving his techniques. In 1893 he won the silver medal for two of his pastel drawings which were shown at the academy’s annual exhibition, with the honour of hanging near works by Adolph von Menzel, one of the most prominent artists in Germany. The Academy had a department led by Professor Raab teaching copper engraving. Orlik enrolled for these classes but was at loggerheads with the professor for branching away from the curriculum, experimenting with all aspects of etching and lithography. He was soon doing work beyond Raab’s understanding.

In 1893 Orlik impetuously left the academy as he felt constrained by conservative academic training. He wanted to start working in more modern styles and was drawn to the Munich Naturalistic movement and the circle around Wilhelm Leibl. After a year of military training he returned to Prague in 1894 and painted and made prints of his friends and surroundings there.

In 1896 Orlik returned to Munich to work with his fellow pupil and life-long friend Bernhard Pankok on their first essays in the making of colour woodcut prints. They had seen examples of Japanese woodcut prints and were fascinated by them. He began contributing illustrations to the journal Jugend. By 1897 Orlik was such an accomplished print-maker that four of his small etchings were chosen for publication in the prestigious art magazine PAN. Also illustrated in PAN was a reproduction of his first poster ‘Die Weber’, designed for the play of the same name produced by Gerhart Hauptmann (1868-1946).

Lillian Gish – Study by Emil Orlik, 1924 (Pictorial)

Emil Orlik

  • Profession: Painter, graphic. Secession (member).
  • Residences: Prague, Vienna, Berlin.
  • Relation to Mahler: See Paintings, drawings and silhouettes.
  • Correspondence with Mahler:
  • Born: 21-07-1870 Prague, Czech Republic.
  • Died: 28-09-1932 Berlin, Germany.

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Lillian Gish Collection – Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth TX (Laura Gilpin and Nell Dorr)

Lillian Gish Collection – Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth TX

Laura Gilpin

Catalog of the exhibition draws upon photographs, letters and other written material, thus, Laura Gilpin collection held at the Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth TX represents a chronicle of Laura Gilpin’s life and career. Below, Laura Gilpin (1891-1979); [Gish, Lillian] [Chappell Garden, Denver, Colorado]; 1932; Platinum print; Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Ft Worth, Texas, Bequest of the Artist.

Camille Cast with R.E. Jones and Lillian Gish in Chappel Garden by Laura Gilpin Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas 1932
Camille Cast with R.E. Jones and Lillian Gish in Chappel Garden by Laura Gilpin Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas 1932

Nell Dorr

 Amon Carter Museum Of American Art Archives Collection Guide

Collection Summary Title: Nell Dorr Papers
Date: 1934–1988, bulk 1940s–1960s
Creator(s): Dorr, Nell (1893–1988)
Extent: 4 linear feet
Code: NDP
Repository: Amon Carter Museum of American Art Archives
Abstract: The Nell Dorr Papers contain correspondence, photographs, clippings, poems written by Nell Dorr, handwritten and typed drafts of her books, and ephemera.

 

More than 5,000 prints and 6,000 negatives by Dorr in the Photography Collection.

Contact the museum archivist at archivist@cartermuseum.org or 817.989.5077 for additional information.

Administrative Information

Acquisition and Custody Information

Gift of the Nell Dorr Estate, 1990

Processed By Georgia A. Carey

Biographical Note

Nell Dorr (18931–1988) was born Virginia Nell Becker in Cleveland, Ohio, the daughter of Minnie and John Jacob Becker, a photographer. In 1900, the family moved to Massillon, Ohio, where Becker had a studio. Dorr learned the techniques of developing processes working as his assistant. In 1910 she married Thomas Koons, her childhood sweetheart; they had three daughters, Virginia (Win), Elizabeth (Betty or Bets), and Barbara (Barby).

Before World War I, the family moved to Miami, Florida. Dorr’s father helped her to open a studio. Photography became a way for her to escape the frenzy of real estate speculation in which her husband was involved. The Koonses lost everything except their home and the photography studio in the crash of 1926, and she began supporting the family by taking photographs of important visitors to Miami for Gondolier magazine. In 1931, she divorced Tom Koons.

In 1932, Dorr moved to New York City where she began exhibiting and continued publishing her work. That year, she had a one–person exhibition of photomurals at the Merle Sterner Gallery in New York. Mangroves, a softbound portfolio of her photographs, was published in limited edition in 1933. The Grand Central Art Gallery was the site of another one–person show, “Photographic Etudes,” in 1934. She also exhibited photographs from her Famous Men Series at the Delphic Gallery that year. One of the men she photographed was scientist John Van Nostrand Dorr, whom she married in 1935.

Dorr’s first book In a Blue Moon, a collection of photographs taken in the Florida Keys during the 1920s, was published in 1939. In 1940 she began working on a 16–mm sound film about the Kurt Graff Ballet, The Singing Earth; she completed in 1947. In 1949 she made another 16–mm sound film, Through the Dorr Way, which documented the work of the Dorr–Oliver Company.

Scope and Content Note

The Nell Dorr Papers contain correspondence, photographs, clippings, poems written by Nell Dorr, handwritten and typed drafts of her books, and ephemera. Series include Correspondence, Writings by Nell Dorr, Ephemera, Photographs, and Published Material. Correspondence is the largest series.

A more detailed series description appears at the start of each series in this finding aid.

Of particular interest to researchers looking for biographical information are two brief autobiographies. One was published under the title “A Letter from Nell Dorr” in the Town Crier, New Brunswick, New Jersey, December 4, 1954. The facts given contradict dates in a chronology of Dorr’s life prepared by Margaretta Mitchell. Dorr’s typed stories of her life are filed under the heading “Autobiography” in box 7, along with two copies of her article published in Town Crier. Mitchell’s chronology is filed in under her name in “Business Correspondence.”

Several volumes, including Dorr’s notebook containing handwritten notes about the papers and chemicals she used to print her photographs, are listed at the end of this finding aid.