Lillian Gish

Born Oct 14, 1893

Lillian Diana Gish was an American stage, screen and television actress whose film acting career spanned 75 years, from 1912 to 1987. The longevity of her career earned her the nickname "The First Lady of American Cinema". She was a prominent film star of the 1910s and 1920s, particularly associated with the films of director D.W. Griffith, including her leading role in Griffith's seminal Birth of a Nation (1915).… Read More

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1893 Birth Born on October 14, 1893.
1902 8 Years Old Gish made her stage debut in 1902, at The Little Red School House in Rising Sun, Ohio.
1903 9 Years Old From 1903 to 1904, Lillian toured in Her First False Step, with her mother and Dorothy. … Read More


1913 19 Years Old Gish continued to perform on the stage, and in 1913, during a run of A Good Little Devil, she collapsed from anemia. … Read More


1925 31 Years Old In 1925 Gish reluctantly ended her work with Griffith to take an offer from the recently formed MGM which gave her more creative control.
1926 32 Years Old MGM offered her a contract in 1926 for six films, for which she was offered 1 million dollars ($13.4 million in 2015 dollars). … Read More
1928 34 Years Old Her contract with MGM ended in 1928. … Read More


1936 42 Years Old She acted on the stage for the most part in the 1930s and early 1940s, appearing in roles 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. … Read More


1946 52 Years Old Returning to movies, Gish was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1946 for Duel in the Sun. … Read More
1953 59 Years Old Her most acclaimed television work was starring in the original production of The Trip to Bountiful in 1953.


1965 71 Years Old She appeared as Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna in the short-lived 1965 Broadway musical Anya. … Read More
1971 77 Years Old Gish received a Special Academy Award in 1971 "For superlative artistry and for distinguished contribution to the progress of motion pictures."
1979 85 Years Old In 1979, she was awarded the Women in film 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. … Read More
1987 93 Years Old Her last film role was appearing in The Whales of August in 1987 at the age of 93, with Vincent Price, Bette Davis, and Ann Sothern, in which Davis and she starred as elderly sisters in Maine. … Read More
1988 94 Years Old 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. … Read More
1991 97 Years Old The debut album of The Smashing Pumpkins, released on May 28, 1991, is entitled Gish in reference to her. … Read More
1993 99 Years Old She died peacefully in her sleep of heart failure on February 27, 1993 at age 99, 8 months before what would have been her 100th birthday. … Read More
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