Yes, you’re getting a bonus, extra blog this weekend, due to the fact that today would have been Lillian Gish’s 123rd Birthday, if anyone actually lived that long! She actually managed to live within 8 months of her 100th Birthday, but thats beside the point. Its pretty fair to say that she is one of the absolute legends of the silent movie era, though it actually needs to be pointed out that her final movie role was actually 75 years after her first, in 1987, at the age of 93!
In a sense, you could say she lives on today, though not strictly true, as someone delightfully provides postings for her, on Twitter, under the handle of @MsLillianGish which I’m sure isnt really her, but who knows, it might be her ghost lol? Regardless, the person posting for her does it in the most wonderful way, and I’m sure she’d approve! Not sure that Marion Davies would approve of her teasing of her, or maybe she would?
Its fair to assume that nowadays no one is going to have a movie career that lasts 75 years! Even when not making movies, she worked in the theater, never seemed to stop. She never married, it has to be said, probably because she could never find the time to stop, to fit it in. I suppose it is possible that her preferences couldnt be solved by marriage back then, but in truth, if that was the case, surely by now, someone would have said something about the dear old lady, and no one ever did!
Until this time last year, I dont think I’d seen her in a major role, but then in an amazing twist of fate, while I was in Hollywood, TCM decided to show one of her famous movies, The Wind, on an afternoon/evening (might have been her birthday, not sure?), and I wasnt going to miss that for the world. Yes, she truly was an amazing actress, and if you get the chance to see this, or any of her other major roles, take it!
So I’ll close by saying, Happy Birthday, Miss Gish, wherever you may be. And if that really is you on Twitter, then you already knew!
The video, I did think of a film clip, but in truth, if you want to do that, just go on You Tube, and find one. However, in 1991, shortly before her death, The Smashing Pumpkins released their debut album, and called it Gish, as a tribute to her. This is a live version of an apt song from that album