Dorothy GISH

Family tree of Dorothy GISH

Actor

AmericanBorn Dorothy Elizabeth GISH

American actress

Born on March 11, 1898 in Dayton, Ohio, USA , United States

Died on June 04, 1968 in Rapallo, Italy

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Gish was born in Dayton, Ohio. She had an older sister, Lillian. The Gish sisters' mother, Mary Robinson McConnell "Gish", supported the family after her husband, James Leigh Gish, abandoned the family. When they were old enough, Dorothy and Lillian were brought into their mother's act, and they also modeled. In 1912, their childhood friend, actress Mary Pickford, introduced them to director D.W. Griffith, and the sisters began acting at the Biograph Studios. Dorothy and Lillian Gish both debuted in Griffith's An Unseen Enemy. Dorothy would go on to star in over 100 short films and features, many of them with Lillian.



In Hearts of the World (1918), a film about World War I and the devastation of France, Dorothy found her first foothold, striking a personal hit in a comedy role that captured the essence of her sense of humor. As the “little disturber”, a street singer, her performance was the comic highlight of the film, and her characterization in this role catapulted her into a career as a star of comedy films.

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Griffith did not use Dorothy in any of his earliest epics, but while he spent months working on The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance, Dorothy was featured in many feature-length films made under the banner of Triangle and Mutual releases. They were directed by young Griffith protégés such as Donald Crisp, James Kirkwood, and Christy Cabanne. Elmer Clifton directed a series of seven Paramount-Artcraft comedies with Dorothy that were so successful and popular that the tremendous revenue they raked in helped to pay the cost of Griffith’s expensive epics. These films were wildly popular with the public and the critics. She specialised in pantomime and light comedy, while her sister appeared in tragic roles. Dorothy became famous in this long series of Griffith-supervised films for the Triangle-Fine Arts and Paramount companies from 1918 through 1920, comedies that put her in the front ranks of film comediennes. Almost all of these films are now considered to be lost films.



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Geographical origins

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