Chicago – Colored Dog (Chicago Tribune – 1940)

Chicago Tribune – Wednesday, November 6th 1940 – Page 26

Chicago – Colored Dog

The constant companion of Lillian Gish during the long run of “Life With Father” at the Blackstone is Malcolm, her West Highland terrier. A letter came to the Blackstone the other day addressed to a “Chicago-Colored” Highland Terrier, Property of Miss Lillian Gish, Blackstone Hotel,” from a woman at the Homestead, Virginia Hot Springs, who had petted Malcolm in the elevator. She asked for his mistress’ autograph. The description of Malcolm as “Chicago Colored” brings to mind our own comment upon seeing him.

Lillian Gish and Malcolm
Lillian Gish and Malcolm

“What a lovely, delicate gray color he is,” we said upon encountering Miss Gish and Malcolm stroking his silky fur.

“You know he’s really a white dog, don’t you?” asked Miss Gish.

“But he rolls in Grant park every day when I take him for a walk.”

Lillian Gish and Malcolm
Lillian Gish and Malcolm

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Wages Court Fight with Rich Man (Chicago Tribune – 1925)

Chicago Tribune – Monday, February 16, 1925 Page 3

Wages Court Fight with Rich Man

Lillian Gish, movie actress, with her mother attends hearing in New York on injunction suit brought by Charles H. Duell, her former employer, to prevent her from avoiding her contract with his film corporation. Miss Gish says she will quit the screen before working again for Duell’s concern. Decision on the case was reserved by the court.

Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) 16 Feb 1925, Mon Page 3 - Ne

… Max D. Steuer characterized Duell as a “deep-eyed scoundrel” for whom the actress would never work again even if it meant giving up her screen career …

… Steuer declared that Miss Gish’s contract was “grossly one-sided.”

Miss Gish appeared in court with her mother and listened intently to her lawyer’s argument. Holland S. Duell, brother of the plaintiff, testified in support of the producer’s complaint, declaring Miss Gish had already been stated in two successful pictures under the terms of the agreement which she wished to cancel. Steuer asserted that by five modifications of the contract, Miss Gish was defrauded of $120,000 by Duell …

Lillian Gish and her lawyer Max Steuer - the Duell trial in 1925
Lillian Gish and her lawyer Max Steuer – the Duell trial in 1925

Finally, on April 2, 1925, extras were on the streets at noon carrying this headline:

“Duell Held as Perjurer; Lillian Gish Wins Suit”


LILLIAN GISH SUED by Charles H. Duell


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Lillian Gish Of Early Film Days to Appear on W-G-N Today – By Larry Wolters (Chicago Tribune – 1940)

Chicago Tribune – Sunday, February 25, 1940 Page 4

Lillian Gish Of Early Film Days

Noted Actress to Appear on W-G-N Today.

By Larry Wolters

“I never turn on the radio without thinking what a miracle it is – what a miraculous age we live in. Radio is so wonderful that I don’t think I shall ever be able to take it for granted.”

These are the words of Lillian Gish, whom every one remembers as one of the brightest stars of the silent movie era. Nowadays she is adding to her reputation with fine performances on the stage. Currently she is being acclaimed for her work in Clarence Day’s smash comedy hit, “Life With Father,” in which she is co-starred with Percy Waram, noted British actor, at the Blackstone theater.

Less known to the public is the fact that Miss Gish is extremely enthusiastic about the radio. She delights in radio work – but only if she can have plenty of rehearsal sessions. And she is a regular listener. In fact she carries a portable set around with her. She listens on this receiver on trains, in her dressing room. And it was in evidence the other afternoon in her suite at the Blackstone hotel.

Lillian Gish, at radio studios, where she performed LITTLE WOMEN on April 21, 1935

Radio Growing Better

Radio programs are growing better all the time, Miss Gish believes. And she wants the play in which she and Mr. Waram are to present on the Fifth Row Center broadcast on W-G-N and the Mutual network from 5 to 5:30 p.m. today to measure up to radio’s best.

With that end in view Miss Gish on last Tuesday, the day after her play opened, issued a request for the script of the radio adaptation of Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s “The School for Scandal” in which she is to appear this afternoon. She wanted to go to work studying it at once. And she asked at least one additional rehearsal besides those which had already been scheduled by W-G-N’s dramatic staff.

Miss Gish is particularly interested in doing “The School for Scandal” because it was presented at McVicker’s theater with John Drew, Joseph Jefferson and Mrs. Fiske playing in it a half century ago – in the Victorian era – the same period in which the Day family of “Life With Father” flourished.

“Clarence Day probably saw the play when it ran at McVicker’s,” Miss Gish mused.

From left, Sylvia Field, Dorothy Gish, Lillian Gish, Helen Chandler, at radio studios, where they will perform LITTLE WOMEN on April 21, 1935

Cites Enthusiasm of Radio

Radio today reminds Miss Gish of the early days of pictures.

“Broadcasting is just beginning to find itself,” she explained. “Like the movies in their earlier days radio and radio people are filled with tremendous enthusiasm.”

Mish Gish said that she thought the standards of radio drama were not yet up to those of music on the air.

“We have the very best music – the finest symphonies and artists on the air regularly,” she said. “I think perhaps in the dramatic end of radio the same mistake is being made that pictures made in their early days – playing down to the audience. That isn’t done on musical programs.”

Radio is lifting the musical and dramatic taste of the nation, Miss Gish continued, and is improving the talk of millions.


Honey Colored Hair.

“The flawless speech heard so regularly on the radio,” she asserted, “is having an uplifting effect on pronunciation and inflection of speech everywhere.”

Now a bit of the personal side. Lillian Gish is still the fair, fresh, wisp of a girl of long ago. Her hair is honey colored. The fragile, frail air about her vanishes in a very few minutes in her presence. She is animated, ingratiating, and has much personal charm. And she has many enthusiasms.

For instance, she is very keen about the word of Ivan Maestrovic, the Jugo-Slav sculptor. She is especially fond of his Indians which she can look upon from her window – a few hundred feet up Michigan avenue at Congress street. She enjoys riding. Gets more kick than you can imagine out of a hair wash, with a special massage and then having it done.

Life With Father - Lillian Gish
Life With Father – Lillian Gish as Vinnie Day

Flowers in Profusion

She loves flowers. Her suite is always filled with them. There were at least a dozen varieties the other day – American beauty roses; sweetheart roses, freesias – yellow, white and pink, several varieties of stock, narcissus, mimosa, hyacinths, primroses among them.

But most of all she enjoys travel.

“I saw all of America doing 10-20-30 cent houses from the time I was 5 until I was 12,” she explained. “So I haven’t been seeing so much in recent years of our own country.”

Most interesting region she has ever visited, she said, was a stretch of the Balkans – down thru Yugo-Slavia, Bulgaria, northern Greece and Macedonia. With her sister Dorothy, who is spending some time with her in Chicago, they made this trip a few years ago in a car.

Sister Shows Way.

“We were told it couldn’t be done. There were no roads, few bridges,” Miss Gish said. “So we went ahead and did it. Sometimes we walked across bridges on foot. And then let the car come along afterward. We weren’t always sure the car would get across.”

Dorothy Gish showed her sister the way to W-G-N studios. Dorothy knows it well because she played in the serial “The Couple Next Door” on W-G-N-Mutual several years ago.

Harold Stokes and the W-G-N Dance orchestra will provide the musical setting for Miss Gish and Mr. Waram’s appearance today. They will be supported by a cast of W-G-N actors.

*** Admin note: in order to keep article originality and the atmosphere of the 40s, no corrections were made to the text, even if some words are spelled different in “modern” writing.

Lillian Gish and Dorothy Gish cca 1919 clipping

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Old Movie Days Recalled – By Mary Middleton (Chicago Tribune – 1963)

Chicago Tribune – Tuesday, January 8, 1963 Page 25

Old Movie Days Recalled

Lillian Gish Feted at Luncheon

By Mary Middleton

“Lillian Gish, she’s my dish!” chanted the parrot Mrs. Solomon B. Smith took to Mrs. Homer P. Hargrave’s luncheon for the actress yesterday. “I lived with a parrot for 20 years,” Miss Gish exclaimed. “We named it John – and it laid an egg!”

Lillian Gish and her parrot

Mrs. Smith’s parrot wasn’t real; it was a mechanical bird with a tape recorder in its base which also told listeners that Miss Gish is starring in “A Passage to India,” opening Friday in the Goodman theater. The play’s setting was inspiration for the curried chicken luncheon, for the Indian airlines ticket folders that were guests’ place cards, for the poster of the Taj Mahal which was hung in the little foyer of the Hargraves’ apartment, and for the Chinese fortune cookies that opened to reveal predictions of Miss Gish’s performance in Chicago.

Way Down East - filming the "Ice Floe Scene" (Lillian Gish)
Way Down East – filming the “Ice Floe Scene” (Lillian Gish)

Stars of the Silent Era

There were some reflections on the old days of movie making – after all, the hostess is the former Colleen Moore of silent movie fame and Miss Gish’s career spans most of this century and includes a role in the 1915 film “Birth of a Nation.”

Charming petite, and twinkling, Miss Gish related some of the dangers of movie making in the old days – “We wouldn’t have thought it fair to have doubles. Five people lost their lives when we made ‘Way Down East,’ it was so cold. But movies were more fun then,” Miss Gish went on. “Now it’s a business. Movies made more money then, too – ‘Birth of a Nation’ made more than 100 million dollars – and those films built all the big movie palaces in Hollywood.”

Colleen Moore and Lillian Gish '60s
Colleen Moore and Lillian Gish ’60s

Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) 08 Jan 1963, Tue Page 25 - N

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Lillian Gish as Vinnie in Life With Father -- 1940

The Real Lillian Gish – By Eleanor Nangle (Chicago Tribune – 1940)

Chicago Tribune – Sunday, April 7, 1940 – Page 124

The Real Lillian Gish

Cloak of Frail Femininity Covers Strong Character

By Eleanor Nangle

We had thought until we met Lillian Gish, that Mrs. Clarence Day, as portrayed in “Life With Father,” represented the ultimate in feminine wisdom and winsomeness. But there is curious, happy similarity between the woman and the character she plays. Which is probably one of the reasons Miss Gish is such a superlative success in her role of Vinnie Day.

Lillian Gish as Vinnie in Life With Father - Chicago Tribune - 1940

Miss Gish, like Vinnie Day, has o totally deceptive cloak of helpless femininity. She looks physically frail, and one always thinks of her as tiny. As a matter of fact she enjoys superb health, weighs a solid 112 pounds, and is 5 feet 6 inches tall. The day we talked to her she was wearing, in the restful privacy of her hours of leisure at home, tailored slacks piped in white – the kind of costume that would make the average woman look taller. But she still seemed tiny to us, which shows you what illusion can be created by manner, fine bones, and a sweet, small face.

Lillian Gish - as Vinnie in Life With Father - Chicago Tribune 1940

She looks one of the least athletic persons in the world. But she’s an unusually good fencer. If she had the time to devote to this, her favorite exercise, she has her instructor’s word that she’d be good enough to go into the Olympics. She thinks fencing the ideal sport, with a favorable effect on the mind as well as the body. It seems a little incongruous, this, coming from a gentle, quiet little person seated demurely behind a low bowl filled with at least a dozen bunches of wood violets!

And, like Vinnie again, Miss Gish is a marvelous listener. Her interested eyes pay flattering tribute to the speaker. For one who has a unique intelligence and a vast breadth of interests she suffers fools graciously. Fundamentally she’s a surprisingly serious person who thinks things thru and has a perfect sense of values.



Lillian Gish as Vinnie in Life With Father - Chicago Tribune 1940

She finds it rather wonderful to hear the laughter that rocks the “Life With Father” audiences, because she is more sensitive than most to the fact that these are tragic times. Tho she seems the sort of person who should think of nothing heavier than the flavor of the next piece of candy her small fingers will draw from the box on her lap, she is actually intelligently absorbed in European affairs. There is no fiction in sight; all clippings stacked around her room are concerned with things international. She’ll tell you very gently that this is due to the fact that since she walked out  on the movies she’s lived a lot in Europe and gotten rather fond of it. That isn’t the real reason at all; she’s just a serious student.

She dresses well but unostentatiously. She’s dressed by a woman in New York who has her measurements and sends things as they are needed. No clothes splurges. But she’s completely feminine about perfumes and bath trimmings. She adores them.

And she loves to wear costumes, taking almost as much delight as the audience in the be-bustled gowns Vinnie wears. She assumes a posture for them, you might be interested to know, slanting her body forward, keeping her elbows at her sides, and assuming a walk entirely unlike her own natural, easy gait. She makes it look easy, but it isn’t. Almost her favorite episode in “Life With Father” is the scene she isn’t in. Those five minutes when she is ill upstairs are the only rest period she gets in the whole show. But she’s such a marvelous actress that only she is conscious of the physical strain of running up and down stairs 21 times in an evening’s performance!

There’s much more than meets the eye to Lillian Gish. Like the adorable Vinnie, she’s full of surprises.

Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) 07 Apr 1940, Sun Page 124 -

Photo Gallery – “Life With Father”

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“Against War” – Executives Club To Hear A Talk By Lillian Gish (Chicago Tribune – 1941)

Chicago Tribune – Wednesday May 7, 1941 – Page 8

“Against War”

Executives Club To Hear A Talk By Lillian Gish

Lillian Gish, stage and screen actress who had repudiated her part in propaganda films that helped involve the United States in the world war, will be the guest speaker Friday at a luncheon meeting of the Executives Club of Chicago in the Hotel Sherman. She will speak on the subject “Against War.”

Phillip F, La Follette, former governor of Wisconsin and a leading non-interventionist, will be the principal speaker tomorrow night at an America First committee rally in the Hinsdale High school gymnasium.

The Rev. John A. O’Brien professor of apologetics in the graduate school of the University of Notre Dame, will speak before another America First rally at 8 p.m. tomorrow in the auditorium of the Arlington Heights school, Euclid avenue near Northwest highway in the suburb.

WWII Scribners COMMENTATOR Magazine 1941 War Propaganda
WWII Scribners COMMENTATOR Magazine 1941 War Propaganda

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Book World to Take Look at ‘Lillian Gish’ (Chicago Tribune – 1969)

Chicago Tribune – Saturday 17, May, 1969 – Page 111

Book World to Take Look at ‘Lillian Gish’

“Lillian Gish is an artist for art’s sake, and she has preserved for us a precious chunk of one of her own medium’s most magnificent moments in time,” says Liz Smith in her Sunday Book review of “Lillian Gish – The Movies, Mr. Griffith and Me.”

Miss Gish’s book is less a story about herself than about a motion picture innovator, David Wark Griffith, whom she presents to the reader “warts and all.”

The Movies Mr.Griffith and Me
The Movies Mr.Griffith and Me

A lady With Class - Chicago Tribune 1

A lady With Class - Chicago Tribune 2

Lillian Gish- The Movies, Mr. Griffith, and Me


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Lillian Gish Still Favors Long Tresses – By Antoinette Donnelly (Chicago Tribune – 1938)

Chicago Tribune – Saturday, April 9, 1938 Page 9

Lillian Gish Still Favors Long Tresses

By Antoinette Donnelly

We talked backstage recently with Lillian Gish, player of the leading role in one of Broadway’s hits of the season, “Star Wagon”. We found her with her waist-length hair hanging, a sight that gladdens the eye unaccustomed to hair rarely even more than shoulder length. Miss Gish’s hair is a beautiful color, too. A silvery ash blonde that she claims has darkened as this type of hair usually does, but it still is, to us, a beautiful silvery ash tone.

Lillian Gish Portrait Promo the tventies detail

We asked Miss Gish how she managed to survive the temptation to cut the long locks, after she admitted never having succumbed once to the urge for short hair. She explained that her hair had been earning her living for her since she was a youngster and that now she has a superstition about cutting it.

Lillian Gish in The Wind - cropped detail close up

Incidentally, we had been at a smart hair showing previously and observed the coiffures built up high. Maybe they are coming in, after all the protest. Anyway, we saw a half dozen of them that afternoon and noted a something that won’t ever bother Miss Gish. The something was the stray wisps, reminiscent of another day when those stray wisps were the bane of our sex. Today’s wisps naturally are the result of hair cut too recently for the high up dressing, so that women who have weathered the scissors storm will be the best models for the high up coiffures.

Lillian Gish in The Enemy - still frame cropped detail

Miss Gish’s silhouette is slim as can be. She is one of those luckies who can eat all and sundry without watching a scale. She thinks, as a consequence, that fat is a matter of glands, not food, although some of the rest of us have good reason to suspect otherwise. No doubt the fact that Miss Gish has been a dancing school fan and attendant since she was a youngster has much to do with her slim figure. She does think dancing good for that, a good exercise for anything. But after taking up fencing her enthusiasms have swung over to it as the perfect exercise for women’s figures and also for the eye and mind alertness it encourages, or rather demands. More women are going in for the fencing, she reports, realizing it to be one grand all around exercise.

Lillian Gish portrait detail cca 1930

Speaking of dress and best dressed women, Miss Gish recalled a remark once made to her about certain women appearing to wear two or even three dresses in one because of the one frock being weighted down with trimming and other gewgaws. Her favorite dress designer is patronized by Miss Gish because of her great skill in turning out a frock completely shorn in those fatal extras.

One superb quality Miss Gish possesses is a great calm, a “quiet,” as we choose to call it, and nominate it top place in exposition of charm. Not an excess motion, a useless play of expression, or a distracting gesture.


Lillian Gish by Fred Hartsook detail portrait

Pictorial Star Wagon

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