“Lillian Gish’s Little Sister” – Pictures And The Picturegoer – June 19, 1915

Pictures And The Picturegoer – June 19, 1915

In and Out of the Studio

“Lillian Gish’s Little Sister.”

dorothy gish - as photographed for - dorothy and lillian gish - by lillian gish 16
Dorothy Gish

SHE gives people the impression she’s an awful tom-boy,” her sister says with a sigh. “I can’t help it if I do.” the accused replies. ” because I do like to climb trees, and I do like to take off my shoes and stockings and go wading, and I do like to swim, and go fishing and bait my own hooks, and —” ” Hush, dear, people will think you’re terrible, and it won’t do any good for me to tell them what a darling you are.”

Dorothy Gish Postcard SD

This last from Lillian Gish, the star emotional actress of the Majestic Company, to her sister Dorothy, who has outgrown being known as ‘”Lillian Gish’s little sister,” and has come to be known on her own account, and with a reason.

She is blonde, curly – haired, bewitching and it must be admitted, at times somewhat prankishly inclined. Born in Dayton, Ohio. March 11th, 1898, of American parentage, this youthful screen star has attained the height of five feet two and one-half inches, and has the bluest eyes and a wealth of the yellowest hair.

Dorothy Gish cca 1930 - by Nell Dorr 6
Nell Dorr (1893-1988); [Portrait of Dorothy Gish]; nitrate negative; Amon Carter Museum of American Art; Fort Worth TX; P1990.47.3482

It was Mary Pickford who was responsible for Dorothy Gish’s entrance into the moving-picture world, and her introduction to D. W. Griffith, the famous director, and it is Mr. Griffith who has done the rest. Under his training Dorothy Gish has shown a versatility in character portrayal which latterly “has begun to rival that of her more famous sister, Lillian.”

Her personal characteristics: are in direct contrast to Lillian’s quiet reserve and studious calm.

“Lillian would rather buy a book than a hat.” said Dorothy recently. “Give me the hat every time. I’m fond of reading, but you can borrow a book.” As a matter of fact, the younger of the two Gish sisters is still very much of a child, and a child who is up to any number of innocent pranks.

dorothy gish - as photographed for - dorothy and lillian gish - by lillian gish 67

One of the first things that seriously attracted D. W. Griffith’s attention to little Dorothy came about through one of these very pranks. A young actress having seen Sarah Bernhardt play in vaudeville, made it her habit to ” wonder how Madame would play ” this, that, or the other part, and one day at rehearsal she remarked:

” Mr. Griffith. I’ve often wondered how the divine Sarah would have played this part.” Before he could answer Dorothy Gish spoke up : “You mean the great French actress ?” she  inquired.

” Ah, yes ! She’d do it this way.”

And presto! Miss Gish tumbled her blonde hair over, her head, struck an attitude, cried “Voila ! Sarah Bernhardt!” while everybody clapped. It was Sarah Bernhardt to the life.

Dorothy Gish and Lillian Gish ... having a (big) snack cca 1918
Dorothy Gish and Lillian Gish … having a (big) snack cca 1918


An Eloquent Testimonial.

An envelope addressed to Dorothy Gish by a little girl in Cincinnati containing one of the sweetest letters the young picture – actress has ever received read simply “Miss Dorothy Gish. Motion Picture Actress.”


Evidently Uncle Sam’s postal authorities knew Miss Gish, for the letter was forwarded without delay to her home in Los Angeles. One day’s mail after her motor-accident some time back brought 372 letters, and in addition the telegraph messenger boy rang her bell forty-eight times on the same day.

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Pictures and the Picturegoer (June 1915) Dorothy Gish
Pictures and the Picturegoer (June 1915) Dorothy Gish

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