Lillian Diana de Guiche
October 14, 1893 in Springfield, Ohio
27, 1993 in New York, New York
Not only was Lillian Gish born in the right era, but she was
also born with the ethereal beauty and grace to make her a
star in the silent film industry. If Mary Pickford was the
silent cinema's greatest personality, Lillian was its greatest
A consummate actress, Lillian seemed to take delight in suffering
for the art form that became her obsession. In order to experiment,
Lillian worked in extreme conditions such as starvation, intense
heat and bitter cold. Soon, she became the quintessential
silent screen heroine, lovely and open to suffering. However,
despite her characters' apparent weakness, Lillian's performances
also let their inner strengths shine through.
Her stage debut took place in 1902 when she performed at The
Little Red School House in Rising Sun, Ohio. From 1903 to
1904, with her mother and her sister Dorothy, Lillian toured
in Her First False Step.
The following year, she danced with the Sarah Bernardt production
in New York City. From 1908 to 1911 she moved around, staying
with various relatives. She lived with her aunt in Massillon,
Ohio, with her mother in East St. Louis and briefly with her
father in Oklahoma.
Lillian's film debut came in 1912, when she and her sister
starred in An Unseen Enemy
under the direction of D.W. Griffith. In 1913, during the
production of A Good Little Devil,
Lillian collapsed from anemia during a run of the play.
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