In Praise and Celebration of SISTERS – A HELEN EXLEY GIFTBOOK (1998)

Lillian Gish and Dorothy Gish visiting Universal Studios in July 1943



She is laughter, even on the cloudy days of life; nothing bothers her or saddens her or

concerns her lastingly. Trouble gives only an evanescent shadow to her eyes

and is banished with a shrug of a shoulder…

She is the side of me that God left out. Her funny stories, her delight in sitting on

mens hats, her ability to interest herself in a hundred and one people… her talent for

quick and warm friendships, her philosophy of silver linings….

When Dorothy goes in swimming, she splashes the ocean into a beautifully gala

muss; I just go in swimming. When she dances, there is no tomorrow; when I dance,

the trombone always stubbornly reminds me of a director in a bad mood…

The world to her is a big picnic with a great merry-go-round and lots

of popcorn and wonderful balloons.



How I envy her the singleness of purpose, the indefatigability the unabating

seriousness which have taken her straight to the heights she has reached

and will carry her on and on!

She is blessed with a constitution that can respond to any demand. Long after I

am ready to be hauled off on a shutter, she, apparently so frail, can go on tirelessly

unruffled, cool and calm…. What a priceless combination for an artist! Unswerving

ambition, deep seriousness of purpose, and not a nerve in her body!

She is to me a never-ending source of astonishment and admiration. And I never

cease to wonder at my luck in having for my sister the woman who possesses all the

qualities of greatness.


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