Santa Cruz Sentinel, Volume 119, Number 239, 10 October 1975
‘Intolerance’ Film Slated At UCSC
D.W. Griffith’s 1916 film “Intolerance”, the silent picture that became a benchmark in epic films, will be screened at the UCSC classroom building Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. The showing will celebrate Griffith’s 100th birthday and will be accompanied by veteran theater organist Chauncey Haines.’ The three-hour film intertwines four separate stories of suffering and injustice, and it is famous for a lavish Babylonian set. Featured players include Lillian Gish. The print being shown at UCSC is in perfect condition, according to programmer David Craig. Tickets at $2 will be available at the UCSC ticket office, the Santa Cruz. Box Office or at the door.
Santa Cruz Sentinel, Volume 128, Number 53, 2 March 1984
Silent film star receives top award
BEVERLY HILLS (AP) – “She was there at the birth of an art form,” Douglas Fairbanks Jr. said as the film world saluted Lillian Gish, last great star of the silent film era. Miss Gish, 90, was presented Thursday night with the Life Achievement Award of the American Film Institute, the second woman recipient in the 12 years of the honor. Bette Davis won the award in 1977. It was an evening for women achievers in the movie world, and Miss Gish presided at the table of honor in the Beverly Hilton ballroom with latter-day stars Sally Field, Jessica Lange, Jeanne Moreau, Sissy Spacek, Mary Steenburgen, Lily Tomlin and Cicely Tyson. “She is the symbol of eternal youth of America,” said Miss Moreau, who has filmed a documentary of Miss Gish’s life. “She had an air of serenity that made everybody calm,” said Robert Mitchum, who starred with Miss Gish in the 1955 film “The Night of the Hunter.” The silent film star was also saluted by co-workers and friends Richard Widmark. who appeared with her in “The Cobweb,” actress Colleen Moore, a friend since 1918; Eva Marie Saint, who appeared with Miss Gish in the TV drama and Broadway play, “A Trip To Bountiful;” Jennifer Jones of “Duel in the Sun” and “A Portrait of Jenny; ” and Richard Thomas, who appeared in Miss Gish’s most recent film, the TV movie “Hobson’s Choice.” John Huston recalled how his father, Walter, held Lillian Gish on his shoulder for a 1902 play in Ohio, “In Convict’s Stripes.” John Houseman, who produced two films with Miss Gish, recalled that her MGM boss, Irving Thalberg, once offered to “arrange a scandal” to enliven her reputation as the eternal maiden. She declined, and shortly after talking films began she returned to the theater, mailing occasional film appearances over the years.
The seriousness with which Lillian Gish took her work was undermined at MGM in 1927 when it was suggested that a scandal might improve her performance at the box office. “You are way up there on a pedestal and nobody cares.” said the producers. “If you were knocked off the pedestal, everyone would care.” Lillian Gish realized she would be expected to give a performance off screen as well as on. “I’m sorry,” she said, “I just don’t have that much vitality.” Shortly afterward, she returned to her first love, the theater, and the cinema lost her for the better part of a decade. What the film producers failed to comprehend was how much value for the money she gave them, for she was part of an older tradition. Griffith had imbued his players with the discipline and dedication of the nineteenth-century theater, and Lillian Gish carried these qualities to unprecedented lengths.
Santa Cruz Sentinel, Volume 127, Number 242, 16 October 1983
Lillian Gish Turns 87
PARIS – American actress LillianGish celebrated her 87th birthday in the French capital Friday. Here she waves to photographers as French culture minister Jack Lang waits to award her with the Arts and Letters commander medal during ceremonies Thursday at the French culture ministry.
San Bernardino Sun, Volume 109, Number 353, 19 December 1982
TV Week, December 19, 1982
The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of The Performing Arts
George Abbott, Lillian Gish, Gene Kelly (top, l-r), Eugene Ormandy and Benny Goodman (bottom, l.c), are five distinguished American artists who have been chosen by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. D C , as recipients of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors, the nation’s highest distinction for performing artists. Walter Cronkite (bottom, r), will host The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts, the fifth annual entertainment gala honoring the lifetime achievement of performing artists, airing on CBS, Saturday at 8PM An array of top stars from various realms of the performing arts, many of them colleagues of the recipients, will entertain at the invitational black-tie event, a benefit for the Kennedy Center. The honorees, whose artistic excellence is world renowned, have been chosen by the Kennedy Center trustees as “individuals who throughout their lifetimes have contributed greatly to American culture through the performing arts ” Roger L Stevens, chairman of the Kennedy Center, notes that the awards, now in their fifth year, were intended to demonstrate that “this nation does recognize the intrinsic value of the arts” and they “have now become a national tradition.”
San Bernardino Sun, Volume 110, Number 352, 18 December 1983
She Brought Her Own Shoes
Lillian Gish has a problem. “A lot of people I know send me scripts,” she said “It’s difficult to say no to a friend. It’s hard to say I’m not suited for it, or it doesn’t appeal to me.” So it was with some trepidation that the legendary film star opened the script to Hobson’s Choice, which had been sent to her by her good friend, Gilbert Cates. He had produced Never Sang for My Father, in which Miss Gish starred on Broadway in 1968. Now he was directing Hobson’s Choice. But as she read the script, her fears vanished. “It’s the best script I’ve seen in two years,” she enthused. “That includes plays, feature films, anything. I get scripts by dozens. I wouldn’t be caught dead in any of them. They’re awful. But this was a story with a beginning, a middle and end, I like it.” In fact, she liked it enough to say yes to her friend Gil Cates.
Now Lillian Gish can be seen in one of her rare television roles, in Hobson’s Choice, new motion picture-for-television, airing on The CBS Wednesday Night Movies at 9PM. When she traveled to New Orleans for her special guest star role as a wealthy; satisfied patron of a local shoe store, Miss Gish brought along part of her costume: a pair of black suede shoes. “The shoes are very important to my character,” she explained. “They need to be right. I took along a pair of shoes I’d bought in Florence, Italy, in the early 1920s. I’ve never seen a shoe like it in this country. Here we are, sixty years later, and I still wear these shoes regularly.” According to director Gilbert Cates, it’s typical that this venerable actress would pay special attention to the one part of her wardrobe that is central to her character. “The really remarkable thing about Lillian Gish,” the director said, “is her ability to go straight to the intent of any scene. Some actors can deliver a scene letter perfect and not know what it’s about. With Lillian Gish, it’s not even important whether the words are perfect or not. Everything she says has the right color, the right flavor, the right intent.” “But you see,” the actress explained, “that’s because of my years in silent films with D. W. Griffith. He would only give us the plot. Then it was up to us to find the character. As we would rehearse the story, we’d improvise our dialogue. The cutter would take down what we said, and our words often became the subtitles, since they were borne out in the action.”
Organized Labor, Volume 37, Number 2, 11 January 1936
Lillian Gish Broadcasts on Peace
Lillian Gish, the charming and talented heroine of dozens of outstanding plays and movies has an unusual interest in the relation of her profession to peace. In a recent broadcast in which she spoke on the subject, “How Motion Pictures May Promote Peace,” Miss Gish emphasized how great a contribution the motion pictures can make toward understanding and friendship among nations. Miss Gish said: “Having grown up in motion pictures and believing in them to the extent almost of a new religion, I hope you will forgive the lack of humor in my earnest belief in their possibilities. Of all the arts, if it may be classified as one, the motion picture has in it perhaps more than any other the resources of universality. It is to help the people of the earth to know and understand each other that the universal engine that is the cinema can be made to serve this great cause.”
Chicago Tribune – Saturday October 4, 1969 – Page 16
Drama Leaguers and ‘Old Friends’
By Irene Powers
At just about our lunch time today, the Chicago Drama league’s travelers, airborne from Copenhagen, will be circling in over the night lights of Moscow on the third lap of their global Theater Holiday junket. Before them are six and one-half days of opera, ballet and play-going [a circus and a puppet show included], interspersed with sightseeing in Moscow and Leningrad.
The stay-at-homes haven’t lost out in large numbers and keyed up with enthusiasm Friday to welcome a professional resident company at last
Women on the Go
The Goodman Theater Group – and Miss Lillian Gish to the first season’s parties for players.
For Miss Gish and the Drama league it was a reunion of old friends. She has been at the Goodman this week in her one-woman show, “Lillian Gish and the Movies” [last performance tonight].
Miss Eugenia Leontovich, just back from London with news to tell of a triumph for the Tolstoy play she adapted and directed, was another of the long-time friends of the league introduced at the party.
Mrs. Fred J. O’Connor, presiding, pledged the new Goodman company the support of the league members.
“We have waited a long time for this,” she said, “and our hearts are full of joy and anticipation.” Norman Ross, the master of ceremonies, praised the “understatement” with which the new venture had been undertaken.
By the time the Drama league’s theater tour returns home Oct. 18, the party of 68 will have seen Abby Theater festival productions in Dublin, ballet in Copenhagen, attended opera and plays in Stockholm, made a round of the theaters in London.
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