Chicago Tribune – Tuesday August 10, 1965 – Page 34
Looking at Hollywood
Remarkable Lillian Gish to Do Broadway Musical
By Hedda Hopper
Lillian Gish and George Abbott – candid during “Anya” reahearsal
Hollywood, Aug. 9 – Lillian Gish can match careers with anybody and be way ahead. She began at age 5; did her first picture around 1910. In town doing her first picture for Walt Disney, “Follow Me Boys,” Lillian says she starts rehearsals for her first Broadway musical next month. It’s George Abbott’s musical version of “Anastasia” and she plays the empress, with George London, of the Metropolitan Opera and Connie Towers … “You’re going to match voices with London?” I asked … “It’s a comedy, dear,” she said … She gave her last performance as the nurse in “Romeo and Juliet” at Stratford, Conn., on July 31, arrived here four days later. They played to 170,000 students during the months of March, April and May. They came by plane, bus, car from as west as Nebraska. The play opened to the public in June … Lillian Subscribes to Christopher Morley’s formula that a happy life is spent in learning, earning and yearning. She said: “I’m still going to school learning about acting and how to live properly. The world and the people in it are my school. As a child, I wanted to be in musical comedy and the circus. I haven’t made the big tent, but you see I am finally in a musical.”
Miss Lillian Gish as a nurse in Romeo and Juliet – Maria Tucci as Juliet
Many Actresses who devote themselves to a career end up lonely and bitter. Lillian is neither. She has no regrets about never marrying – and don’t think she didn’t have the chance. “I don’t believe in actresses trying to be wives,” she says. “You have to be one or the other – you can’t be both. I’d have been a bad wife.”
Lillian Gish in Disney’s “Follow Me Boys”
Lillian’s family admits being a fan of Beatles: “Their first picture was a new flavor in comedy. I found them charming and amusing. They are my only contact with rock and roll.” She avoids sick movies; is so busy working and rarely has time to see pictures. She caught “Mary Poppins” and “Sound of Music” and recommends both.
Lillian Gish and Percy Waram in “Life With Father”
You could say the same of Miss Gish, who was in “Birth of a Nation,” and at the age of 23 played a 12-year-old girl in “Broken Blossoms.” She did “Orphans of the Storm,” “The White Sister,” “La Boheme,” “Scarlet Letter.” After her first talkie, “One Romantic Night,” she returned to the stage for “Uncle Vanya” and “Camille”; played Ophelia opposite John Gielgud; broke Chicago theater records in “Life With Father” for 66 weeks.
Photo Gallery – Anya