Creator: Lillian Gish
"Those little virgins, after five minutes you got sick of playing them - to make them more interesting was hard work."Lillian Diana Gish (1893-1993) was a silent film actress known for her waif-like, innocent characters and a favorite of D.W. Griffith.Gish was one of the most popular silent screen icons of the 1910's and enjoyed a long career that spanned over 75 years, the longest of any screen legend male or female , making her one of the few actors whose careers were able to survive the transition from silent film to sound.She starred in the infamous The Birth of a Nation and outright refused to acknowledge that the film was racist, preferring to defend her dear friend and mentor D.W. Griffith until the very end. She worked with Griffith many other times, including a small role in the classic Intolerance, and a main role in Broken Blossoms and Orphans of the Storm. Also famous for the climax of Way Down East, which required her to lie still on a very real ice floe for hours on end while her hair and right hand were submerged in below-freezing water. Thanks to the stunt, Gish's hand would be partially impaired for the rest of her life, but she contributed to what is considered one of the most exciting climaxes in cinema history.Her last silent film was one of her best, The Wind. After the end of the silent film era, she played several supporting roles in major sound films, most importantly Rachel in The Night of the Hunter. She played her last role when she was over 92, in The Whales of August, alongside Bette Davis.Despite her somewhat controversial views on politics, sexual and otherwise (she was raised in the early 1900's, after all but her prudish utterances did not stop the Hollywood-insider rumours over her exceptionally close relationship with sister Dorothy), she was still adored by fans for her humble attitude and unfailing generosity towards them. She received an Honorary Academy Award in 1971, and an AFI Life Achievement Award in 1984. She is #17 on AFI's list of the 25 Greatest Female Stars of All Time.The Smashing Pumpkins' debut album was named after her. Billy Corgan says it's specifically a reference to his grandmother telling him about Gish once passing through her hometown, a "middle of nowhere" insignificant location, on a train.
— Lillian Gish
Lillian Gish films on the wiki:
- The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912)
- The Birth of a Nation (1915)
- Intolerance (1916)
- Broken Blossoms (1919)
- Way Down East (1920)
- Orphans of the Storm (1921)
- La Bohème (1926)
- The Scarlet Letter (1926)
- The Wind (1928)
- Portrait of Jennie (1948)
- The Night of the Hunter (1955)
- Follow Me Boys (1966)
- The Whales of August (1987)
Provides examples of:
- The Beautiful Elite: Not hard to see, considering Gish is one of the most beautiful women to ever live.
- Beauty Equals Goodness
- Cool Old Lady: Watch her acceptance speech when she received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1984. The audience was in a riot. That should convince you enough.
- Dawson Casting: Several times, including playing a 15-year-old girl when she was 26 in the classic Broken Blossoms.
- Deadpan Snarker: Some people felt she deserved to be nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in The Whales Of August. Gish herself was more complacent, remarking that it saved her the trouble of "losing to Cher."
- The Ingenue: Some of her most notable roles were this.
- Undying Loyalty: She was unfailingly loyal to director D.W. Griffith, calling him "Mr. Griffith" until her death.