Height of Lillian Gish
The height of Lillian Gish is …m.
1. Where did Lillian Gish come from ?
Lillian Diana Gish (October 14, 1893 – February 27, 1993) was an American pioneering actress of the screen and stage, and a director and writer. Her movie acting career spanned 75 years, from 1912, in silent movie shorts, to 1987. Gish was which name is “The First Lady of American Cinema”, and is credited with pioneering fundamental movie performance techniques.
2. What could we know about Lillian Gish besides his height ?
Gish was a prominent movie star from 1912 into the 1920s, being particularly associated with the movies of director D. W. Griffith. This included her leading act in the highest-grossing movie of the silent era, Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation (1915). At the dawn of the sound era, she returned to the stage and appeared in movie infrequently, including well-known acts in the controversial western Duel in the Sun (1946) and the thriller The Night of the Hunter (1955).
3. What are the projects of Lillian Gish ?
She also did considerable television work from the early 1950s into the 1980s, and closed her career playing opposite Bette Davis in the 1987 movie The Whales of August. During her later years Gish became a dedicated advocate for the appreciation and preservation of silent movie. Despite being better known for her movie work, she was also accomplished on stage, and was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1972.
4. Somme collaborations with Lillian Gish ?
Gish was born in Springfield, Ohio, the first child of actress Mary Robinson McConnell, and James Leigh Gish. Lillian had a younger sister, Dorothy, who also became a popular movie star.
Her mother was a Scottish Episcopalian and her father was of German Lutheran descent. The first several generations of Gishes were Dunkard ministers. Gish’s father was an alcoholic and left the family; her mother took up acting to support them. The family moved to East St. Louis, Illinois, where they lived for several years with Lillian’s aunt and uncle, Henry and Rose McConnell. Their mother opened the Majestic Candy Kitchen, and the girls helped sell popcorn and candy to patrons of the old Majestic Theater, located next door. The girls attended St. Henry’s School, where they acted in school plays.
In 1910, the girls were living with their aunt Emily in Massillon, Ohio, when they were notified that their father, James, was gravely ill in Oklahoma. The seventeen-year-old Lillian traveled to Shawnee, Oklahoma, where James’s brother Alfred Grant Gish and his wife, Maude, lived. Her father, who by then was institutionalized in the Oklahoma Hospital for the Insane in Norman, was able to travel the 35 miles to Shawnee and the two got reacquainted. She stayed with her aunt and uncle, and attended Shawnee High School there. Her father died in Norman, Oklahoma, in 1912, but she had returned to Ohio a few months before this.
When the theater next to the candy store burned down, the family moved to New York, where the girls became good friends with a next-door neighbor, Gladys Smith. Gladys was a child actress who did some work for director D. W. Griffith, and later took the stage name Mary Pickford. When Lillian and Dorothy were old enough they joined the theatre, often traveling separately in different productions. They also took modeling jobs, with Lillian posing for artist Victor Maurel in exchange for voice lessons.
In 1912, their friend Mary Pickford introduced the sisters to Griffith and helped get them contracts with Biograph Studios. Lillian Gish soon became one of America’s best-loved actresses; she was 19 years old at the time, but told casting directors she was 16.
Gish made her stage start in 1902, at The Little Red School House in Risingsun, Ohio. From 1903 to 1904, she toured in Her First False Step, with her mother and Dorothy. In the following year she danced with a Sarah Bernhardt production in New York City.
After 10 years of acting on the stage, she made her movie start opposite Dorothy in Griffith’s short movie An Unseen Enemy (1912). At the time established thespians considered “the flickers” a rather base form of entertainment, but she was assured of its merits. Gish continued to perform on the stage, and in 1913, during a run of A Good Little Devil, she collapsed from anemia. Lillian took suffering for her art to the extreme in a movie career which became her obsession. One of the enduring images of Gish’s silent movie years is the climax of the melodramatic Way Down East, in which Gish’s character floats unconscious on an ice floe towards a raging waterfall, her long hair and hand trailing in the water. Her performance in these frigid conditions gave her lasting nerve damage in several fingers. Similarly, when preparing for her death scene in La Bohème over a decade later, Gish reportedly did not eat and drink for three days beforehand, causing the director to fear he would be movieing the death of his star as well as of the character.
Lillian acted in many of Griffith’s most acclaimed movies, including The Birth of a Nation (1915), Intolerance (1916), Broken Blossoms (1919), Way Down East (1920), and Orphans of the Storm (1921). He utilized her expressive talents to the fullest, developing her into a suffering yet strong heroine. Having appeared in over 25 short movies and features in her first two years as a movie actress, Lillian became a major star, becoming known as “The First Lady of American Cinema” and appearing in lavish productions, frequently of literary works such as Way Down East. She became the most esteemed actress of budding Hollywood cinema.
She directed her sister Dorothy in one movie, Remodeling Her Husband (1920), when D. W. Griffith took his unit on location. He told Gish that he thought the crew would work harder for a girl. Gish never directed again, telling reporters at the time that directing was a man’s job. The movie is now thought to be lost.
Gish reluctantly ended her work with Griffith in 1925 in order to take an offer from the recently formed MGM, which gave her more creative control. MGM offered her a contract in 1926 for six movies, for which she was offered 1 million dollars ($13.4 million in 2015 dollars). She turned down the money, requesting a more modest wage and a percentage so that the studio could use the funds to increase the quality of her movies — hiring the best actors, screenwriters, etc. By the late silent era Greta Garbo had usurped her as MGM’s leading lady, and Gish’s contract with MGM ended in 1928. Three movies with MGM gave her near-total creative control: La Bohème, The Scarlet Letter (both 1926), and The Wind (1928). The Wind, Gish’s favorite movie of her MGM career, was a commercial failure with the rise of talkies, but is now recognized as one of the most distinguished works of the silent period. Though not a box-office hit as before, her work was respected artistically more than ever, and MGM pressed her with offers to appear in the new medium of sound pictures.
Her start in talkies was only moderately successful, largely due to the public’s changing attitudes. Many of the silent era’s leading ladies, such as Gish and Pickford, had been wholesome and innocent, but by the early 1930s (after the full adoption of sound and before the Motion Picture Production Code was enforced) these acts were perceived as outdated. The ingenue’s diametric opposite, the vamp, was at the height of its popularity. Gish was increasingly seen as a “silly, sexless antique” (to quote fellow actress Louise Brooks’s sarcastic summary of those who criticized Gish). Louis Mayer wanted to stage a scandal (“knock her off her pedestal”) to garner public sympathy for Gish, but Lillian didn’t want to act both on screen and off, and returned to her first love, the theater. She acted on the stage for the most part in the 1930s and early 1940s, appearing in acts as varied as Ophelia in Guthrie McClintic’s landmark 1936 production of Hamlet (with John Gielgud and Judith Anderson) and Marguerite in a limited run of La Dame aux Camélias. Of the former, she said, with pride, “I played a lewd Ophelia!”
Returning to movies, Gish was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1946 for Duel in the Sun. The scenes of her character’s illness and death late in that movie seemed intended to evoke the memory of some of her silent movie performances. She appeared in movies from time to time for the rest of her life, notably in The Night of the Hunter (1955) as a rural guardian angel protecting her charges from a murderous preacher played by Robert Mitchum. She was considered for various acts in Gone with the Wind ranging from Ellen O’Hara, Scarlett’s mother (which went to Barbara O’Neil), to prostitute Belle Watling (which went to Ona Munson).
Gish made numerous television appearances from the early 1950s into the late 1980s. Her most acclaimed television work was starring in the original production of The Trip to Bountiful in 1953. She appeared as Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna in the short-lived 1965 Broadway musical Anya. In addition to her later acting appearances, Gish became one of the leading advocates of the lost art of the silent movie, often giving speeches and touring to screenings of classic works. In 1975, she hosted The Silent Years, a PBS movie program of silent movies. She was interviewed in the television documentary series Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film (1980).
Gish received a Special Academy Award in 1971, “For superlative artistry and for distinguished contribution to the progress of motion pictures”. In 1979, she was awarded the Women in movie Crystal Award in Los Angeles In 1984, she received an American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award, becoming only the second female recipient (preceded by Bette Davis in 1977) and the only recipient who was a major figure in the silent era. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1720 Vine Street.
Her last movie act was appearing in The Whales of August in 1987 at the age of 93, with Vincent Price, Bette Davis, and Ann Sothern, in which Gish and Davis acted as elderly sisters in Maine. Gish’s performance was received glowingly, winning her the National Board of Review Award for Best Actress. At the Cannes festival, Gish won a 10-minute standing ovation from the audience. Some in the entertainment industry were angry that Gish did not receive an Oscar nomination for her act in The Whales of August. Gish herself was more complacent, only remarking “Well, now I won’t have to go and lose to Cher”.
Her final professional appearance was a cameo on the 1988 studio recording of Jerome Kern’s Show Boat, starring Frederica von Stade and Jerry Hadley, in which she affectingly spoke the few lines of The Old Lady on the Levee in the final scene. The last words of her long career were: “Good night”.
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