Dorothy Gish (1898-1968)

Dorothy Gish - Silent Movie Star

Dorothy Gish was born Dorothy Elizabeth de Guiche in Dayton, Ohio on March 11th, 1898. She was already a veteran actress by the time she started working in silent films. Along with her sister Lillian Gish, Dorothy toured the country as a child actress, starting at age four, with stage repertoire companies. Her mother had placed her and Lillian on the stage to help make ends meet after their father had deserted the family. The girls loved the work; they were able to escape their problems through imagination and pretend play. Through a personal connection made by Mary Pickford, a fellow thespian and friend, Dorothy and Lillian met the director D.W. Griffith in 1912 and their lives changed dramatically. Both girls went to work for Griffith in his stock company. A talented light comedienne and pantomimist, Dorothy made many silent movies and was as much a star in her own right at the time as was her sister Lillian. Even though Lillian’s dramatic career eclipsed Dorothy’s comedic one overall, there was no jealousy between them, and they remained very close all their lives.

In 1914 Dorothy made the successful “Judith of Bethulia”. She would appear with her sister Lillian in a number of silent films, including the memorable “Hearts of the World” (1918) and “Orphans of the Storm” (1922). In 1920 Lillian directed Dorothy in a film called “Remodeling Her Husband”; during that experience Dorothy fell in love with co-actor James Rennie and the two were married from 1920 through 1935. Dorothy made  “Romola” in 1924, a film in which she would again work with Lillian on screen. In 1926 Dorothy moved to England, where she would star in the title role in “Nell Gwynne” (1926). Her last silent film was  ‘Madame Pompadour” in 1927. In 1928, Dorothy basically retired from the screen as a major star. She reappeared in an occasional screen role in smaller parts, in a handful of talkies over the next years. Like her sister, she enjoyed a long career in the theater, which provides more flexibility for older actresses. Dorothy died from pneumonia at age 70, in Liguria, Italy on June 4th, 1968. ~ Copyright © 2004

Vintage Bio from “Who’s Who On The Screen” (1920): “Dorothy Elizabeth Gish was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1898, and began her theatrical career at the age of four years. “East Lynne” served as a vehicle to bring the youthful Miss Gish before the public. In 1912 she made her first screen appearance. D.W. Griffith was instrumental in making a star of Dorothy Gish and she remained with him until 1918. Following her great success in “Hearts of the World” Miss Gish made her bow as a Paramount star. The fine artistry she has displayed in her work for Paramount has placed her at the very top among comediennes of the screen. Though scarcely out of her teens Dorothy Gish by viriture of her youth, daintiness, charm and magnetic personality has endeared herself to the hearts of all motion picture “fans.””

Dorothy Gish Silent Films

Madame Pompadour (1927) …. Madame Pompadour
Tiptoes (1927) …. Tiptoes Kaye
… aka Tip Toes (1927)
London (1926) …. Mavis Hogan
Nell Gwynne (1926) …. Nell Gwyn
… aka Nell Gwyn (1926)
Clothes Make the Pirate (1925) …. Betsy Tidd
Beautiful City, The (1925) …. Mollie
Night Life of New York (1925) …. Meg
Romola (1924) …. Tessa
Bright Shawl, The (1923) …. La Clavel
Fury (1923) …. Minnie
Country Flapper, The (1922) …. Jolanda (the flapper)

Dorothy Gish kneels over Dorothy Gish in Orphans of the Storm

Actress Dorothy Gish kneels over her sister Lillian Gish in a scene from “Orphans of the Storm” (1921)

Orphans of the Storm (1921) …. Louise Girard
Ghost in the Garret, The (1921) …. Delsie O’Dell
Flying Pat (1920) …. Patricia Van Nuys
Little Miss Rebellion (1920) …. Grand Duchess Marie Louise

Dorothy and Lillian Gish

The Gish Sisters ~ Don’t you wish young ladies still dressed like this, so beautifully and modestly?

Remodeling Her Husband (1920) …. Janie Wakefield
Mary Ellen Comes to Town (1920) …. Mary Ellen
Turning the Tables (1919) …. Doris Pennington
Nobody Home (1919) …. Frances Wadsworth
Nugget Nell (1919) …. Nugget Nell
I’ll Get Him Yet (1919) …. Susy Faraday Jones
Peppy Polly (1919) …. Polly
Boots (1919) …. Boots
Hope Chest, The (1919) …. Sheila Moore
Battling Jane (1918) …. Jane
Hun Within, The (1918) …. Beth
Hearts of the World (1918) (uncredited) …. The Little Disturber
Her Official Fathers (1917) …. Janice
Stage Struck (1917) …. Ruth Colby
Little Yank, The (1917)
Children of the Feud (1916) …. Sairy Ann
Atta Boy’s Last Race (1916) …. Lois Brandon
Gretchen the Greenhorn (1916) …. Gretchen
Little School Ma’am, The (1916) …. Nan
Susan Rocks the Boat (1916) …. Susan Johnstone
Little Meena’s Romance (1916) …. Meena
Betty of Greystone (1916) …. Betty Lockwood
Her Grandparents (1915)
Her Mother’s Daughter (1915)
Little Catamount, The (1915)
Lost Lord Lowell, The (1915)
Mountain Girl, The (1915)
Old-Fashioned Girl, An (1915)
Out of Bondage (1915)
Victorine (1915)
Jordan Is a Hard Road (1915) …. Cora Findley
Warning, The (1915)
… aka Eternal Penalty, The (1919) (reissue title)
Old Heidelberg (1915) …. Kathie
Bred in the Bone (1915) …. Mercy, at Sixteen
Minerva’s Mission (1915) …. Minerva
How Hazel Got Even (1915)
Arms and the Gringo (1914)
… aka Rifle Smugglers, The (1914)
Availing Prayer, The (1914)
Back to the Kitchen (1914)
Better Way, The (1914)
City Beautiful, The (1914)

Dorothy Gish snap shots

Beautiful Silent Film Comedienne Dorothy Gish

Down the Road to Creditville (1914)
Duel for Love, A (1914)
Fair Rebel, A (1914)
Granny (1914)
Her Father’s Silent Partner (1914)
Her Mother’s Necklace (1914)
Her Old Teacher (1914)
Lesson in Mechanics, A (1914)
Liberty Belles (1914)
Mountain Rat, The (1914) …. Nell, ”The Mountin Rat”
Newer Woman, The (1914)
Old Man, The (1914)
Rebellion of Kitty Belle, The (1914)
Sands of Fate (1914)
Saving Grace, The (1914)
Silent Sandy (1914)
Suffragette’s Battle in Nuttyville, The (1914)
Tavern of Tragedy, The (1914)
Their First Acquaintance (1914)
Sisters, The (1914/I) …. Carol (May’s younger sister)
Warning, The (1914/I)
Wife, The (1914)
Home, Sweet Home (1914) …. Payne’s Sweetheart
Floor Above, The (1914) …. Stella Ford
Mysterious Shot, The (1914)
Judith of Bethulia (1914) …. The crippled beggar
… aka Her Condoned Sin (1914) (USA)
House of Discord, The (1913)
By Man’s Law (1913) …. At League Meeting
Cure for Suffragettes, A (1913) …. Suffragette
Lady in Black, The (1913) …. The Girl
Adopted Brother, The (1913) …. The Daughter
Suffragette Minstrels, The (1913) …. Among Suffragette Minstrels
Papa’s Baby (1913) …. Young Mother
Widow’s Kids, The (1913)
Those Little Flowers (1913) …. A Messenger
Vengeance of Galora, The (1913)
Pa Says (1913)
Reformers; or, The Lost Art of Minding One’s Business, The (1913) …. Dancer
… aka Lost Art of Minding One’s Business, The (1913)
… aka Reformers, The (1913) (USA: short title)
Her Mother’s Oath (1913) …. The Daughter
Almost a Wild Man (1913) …. Miss Smart/Sideshow Patron
Red Hicks Defies the World (1913) …. Hicks’ Sweetheart
His Mother’s Son (1913) …. Woman at Dock
Just Gold (1913) …. The Sweetheart’s Friend
Lady and the Mouse, The (1913) …. The Sick Sister
Perfidy of Mary, The (1913) …. Rose
Broken Ways (1913) …. In Telegraph Office
Oil and Water (1913) …. In First Audience
Cry for Help, A (1912)
Burglar’s Dilemma, The (1912) …. Birthday Wellwisher
My Hero (1912) …. The Young Woman
New York Hat, The (1912) (uncredited)
Brutality (1912)
Informer, The (1912)
My Baby (1912) …. Wedding Guest
Gold and Glitter (1912) …. On Street
Musketeers of Pig Alley, The (1912) …. Frizzy-haired woman in street
Painted Lady, The (1912) …. Belle at Ice Cream Festival
So Near, Yet So Far (1912) …. A Friend
Unseen Enemy, An (1912) …. The Sister (younger)

To learn more about Dorothy Gish visit her profile at The Internet Movie Database


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