Lillian Gish

Lillian Gish

Highest Rated: 100% The Wind (1928)

Lowest Rated: 27% The Comedians (1967)

Birthday: Oct 14, 1893

Birthplace: Springfield, Ohio, USA

Hailed as the first Lady of American cinema, Lillian Gish became a pioneering figure in the silent film era thanks to an enduring partnership with director D.W. Griffith which spawned "The Birth of a Nation" (1915), "Intolerance" (1916) and "Way Down East" (1920). Born in Springfield, OH in 1893, Lillian Gish first began performing on stage alongside her mother Mary and sister Dorothy in her pre-teens, and also appeared alongside the latter in her screen debut, the short film "An Unseen Enemy" (1912). Gish went on to work with its director. D.W. Griffith, in countless silent movies throughout the rest of the decade, including his first full-length feature "Judith of Bethulia" (1914), the seminal but hugely controversial Civil War epic "The Birth of a Nation" (1915) and popular melodrama "Way Down East" (1920). Gish suffered permanent nerve damage in her fingers while filming the latter and also refused to eat or drink for three days to prepare for her death scene in "La Boheme" (1926). It was this dedication to her craft, alongside her wonderfully expressive performances, which established Gish as one of the most revered actresses of the silent film era. Gish also directed her sister in "Remodeling Her Husband" (1920) and took full creative control of several MGM pictures including one of her all-time favorites, "The Wind" (1928), having insisted that the studio's million-dollar offer to procure her talents instead be used to attract the best possible behind the scenes team. Gish eventually made the move into talkies playing Princess Alexandra in "One Romantic Night" (1930), although she remained a keen advocate of silent films throughout her career, regularly giving speeches on the subject and later hosting TV special "The Silent Years" (PBS, 1975). Gish proved she could adapt when she was nominated for an Oscar for her turn as the ill-fated Laura Belle McCanles in Western epic "Duel in the Sun" (1946). She later starred in fantasy classic "Portrait of Jennie" (1948), earned critical acclaim for her performance in "The Trip to Bountiful" (NBC, 1953) and starred opposite Robert Mitchum in thriller "Night of the Hunter" (1955). She also became a regular of the TV anthology, guesting on the likes of "The Campbell Playhouse" (NBC, 1952-54) and "The Alcoa Hour" (NBC, 1955-57). In the following decade she portrayed Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna in short-lived Broadway production "Anya," picked up a Golden Globe nod for her turn as Mrs. Smith in political drama "The Comedians" (1967) and appeared in the last ever film produced by Walt Disney, "Follow Me, Boys!" (1966). Gish won a string of lifetime achievement awards in the 1970s but continued to work well into the 1980s, guesting on "The Love Boat" (ABC, 1977-1986), playing Alan Alda's mother in comedy "Sweet Liberty" (1986) and receiving a ten-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival for her co-starring performance alongside Better Davis in "The Whales of August" (1987). Gish passed away from heart failure in 1993 at the age of 99.

Highest rated movies

The Wind
Intolerance The Night of the Hunter
Way Down East
Broken Blossoms
Hearts of the World
Orphans of the Storm
The Birth of a Nation




64% 66% The Whales of August Sarah Webber (Character) $127.3K 1987
80% 35% Sweet Liberty Cecelia Burgess (Character) $12.7M 1986
No Score Yet No Score Yet Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mrs Loftus (Character) - 1985
No Score Yet 83% Hambone and Hillie Hillie Radcliffe (Character) - 1984
No Score Yet 40% Hobson's Choice Miss Molly Winkle (Character) - 1983
No Score Yet No Score Yet Sparrow Mrs Benet (Character) - 1983
No Score Yet No Score Yet Thin Ice Grandmother (Character) - 1981
73% 80% A Wedding Nettie Sloan (Character) - 1978
No Score Yet No Score Yet Twin Detectives Billy Jo Haskins (Character) - 1976
27% 48% The Comedians Mrs. Smith (Character) - 1967
No Score Yet 25% Warning Shot Alice Willows (Character) - 1967
No Score Yet 77% Follow Me, Boys! Hetty Seibert (Character) - 1966
60% 59% The Unforgiven Mattilda Zachary (Character) - 1960
No Score Yet 80% Orders to Kill Mrs. Summers (Character) - 1958
95% 90% The Night of the Hunter Rachel Cooper (Character) - 1955
71% 54% The Cobweb Victoria Inch (Character) - 1955
86% 85% Portrait of Jennie Mother Mary of Mercy (Character) - 1948
77% 55% Duel in the Sun Laura Belle McCanles (Character) - 1946
No Score Yet No Score Yet Miss Susie Slagle's Miss Susie Slagle (Character) - 1945
No Score Yet No Score Yet Top Man Beth Warren (Character) - 1943
No Score Yet 54% The Commandos Strike at Dawn Mrs. Bergesen (Character) - 1942
No Score Yet No Score Yet His Double Life Alice Chalice (Character) - 1933
No Score Yet No Score Yet One Romantic Night Alexandra (Character) - 1930
100% 88% The Wind Letty (Character) - 1928
No Score Yet No Score Yet Annie Laurie Annie Laurie (Character) - 1927
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Enemy Pauli Arndt (Character) - 1927
No Score Yet 75% La Bohème Mimi (Character) - 1926
No Score Yet 80% The Scarlet Letter Hester Prynne (Character) - 1926
No Score Yet No Score Yet Romola Romola (Character) - 1924
No Score Yet 73% The White Sister Angela Chiaromonte (Character) - 1923
93% 71% Orphans of the Storm Henriette Girard (Character) - 1922
95% 69% Way Down East Anna Moore (Character) - 1920
86% No Score Yet Remodeling Her Husband Director - 1920
95% 71% Broken Blossoms Lucy (Character) - 1919
No Score Yet No Score Yet A Romance of Happy Valley Jennie Timberlake (Character) - 1919
71% 62% True Heart Susie True Heart Susie (Character) - 1919
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Greatest Question Nellie Jarvis (Character) - 1919
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Greatest Thing in Life Unknown (Character) - 1918
95% 33% Hearts of the World The Little Disturber (Character) - 1918
97% 77% Intolerance The Woman Who Rocks the Cradle/ Eternal Mother (Character) - 1916
93% 55% The Birth of a Nation Elsie Stoneman (Character) - 1915
No Score Yet 42% Judith of Bethulia The young mother (Character) - 1914
No Score Yet No Score Yet The House of Darkness Nurse Playing Piano (Character) - 1913
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Lady and the Mouse The Young Woman (Character) - 1913
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Battle at Elderbush Gulch Unknown (Character) - 1913
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Mothering Heart Unknown (Character) - 1913
No Score Yet 20% An Unseen Enemy The Sister - Older (Character) - 1912
No Score Yet 85% The Musketeers of Pig Alley The Little Lady (Character) - 1912


No Score Yet No Score Yet Disney's Wonderful World Hetty Seibert (Character) 1981
No Score Yet No Score Yet What's My Line? Unknown (Character),
1969 1973
No Score Yet No Score Yet Alfred Hitchcock Hour Unknown (Character) 1964
No Score Yet No Score Yet Mr. Novak Unknown (Guest Star) 1963
No Score Yet No Score Yet Theatre '62 Unknown (Character) 1961
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Alcoa Hour Esther Crampton (Character) 1956