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Lillian Gish

Gish is widely regarded as the greatest actress of the silent screen. Beginning with D.W. Griffith in 1912, she had a career lasting until 1987. Gish's deceptively frail looks lead her to specialize in fragile, virginal parts, but her skilled acting and particular talent for hysterical outbursts give these characters a richness they would have lacked in less capable hands. Gish is one of the greatest divas of the silent screen.

There is a wealth of material available on Gish, much more than I can list here. The materials below can get you started and point you to other sources:

On the Web

Lillian Gish, the Official Website

The Silent Ladies photo gallery

Lillian Gish
by Mark Garrett Cooper, in the Women Film Pioneers Project

Further Reading

Gish, Lillian. Lillian Gish; the movies, Mr. Griffith, and me Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1969.

Gish, Lillian. An Actor's Life for Me. Viking Kestrel, 1987.

Affron, Charles. Lillian Gish : her legend, her life. New York : Scribner, 2001.

Oderman, Stuart. Lillian Gish : a life on stage and screen. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, c2000.

Silent Films Available on Video

An Unseen Enemy (1912), The New York Hat (1912) and The Mothering Heart (1913)
in "A Corner in wheat & selected Biograph shorts, 1909-1913," available from Movies Unlimited
The House of Darkness (1913)
in "The Female of the species and other films by D.W. Griffith," available from Movies Unlimited
The Battle at Elderbrush Gulch (1913) and The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1913)
in "The Musketeers of Pig Alley and Selected Biograph Shorts," available from Movies Unlimited
Judith of Bethulia (1914)
Available from Movies Unlimited
Home Sweet Home (1914)
Available from Movies Unlimited
The Birth of a Nation (1915)
Available from Image Entertainment (DVD)
Intolerance (1916)
Available from Image Entertainment (DVD)
Sold For Marriage (1916)
Available from Nostalgia Family Video
Hearts of the World (1918)
Available from Movies Unlimited
The Romance of Happy Valley (1918)
Available from Movies Unlimited
True Heart Susie (1919)
Available from Movies Unlimited
The Greatest Question (1919)
Available from Movies Unlimited
Broken Blossoms (1919)
Available from Kino Video (DVD)
Way Down East (1920)
Available from Movies Unlimited (VHS and DVD)
Orphans of the Storm (1921)
Available from Movies Unlimited
The White Sister (1923)
Available from Nostalgia Family Video
Romola (1925)
Available from Nostalgia Family Video
The Wind (1928)
Available from Movies Unlimited
Unsung Divas

©2001, by Greta de Groat. All Rights Reserved

Last revised November 11, 2013