48 Wonderful Vintage Photos Showing the Lives of Dorothy & Lillian Gish

Lillian and Dorothy Gish were film legends in their own time; actresses who changed the perception of what screen acting could be at a time when films were thought to be “low art” at best. Though the sisters achieved global stardom on the silver screen, they never forgot their Ohio roots.

Dorothy was married to James Rennie, a Canadian-born actor who was her co-star in Remodeling Her Husband (filmed in 1920, it was directed by Dorothy’s older sister, Lillian, in her only directorial outing). They were married in 1920 in a double ceremony with actress Constance Talmadge and businessman John Pialoglou. They divorced in 1935; Dorothy never remarried.

Dorothy died in 1968 from bronchial pneumonia at the age of 70 at a clinic in Rapallo, Italy, where she had been a patient for two years, with sister Lillian at her side.

Lillian died peacefully in her sleep of heart failure in 1993, aged 99. Her body was interred beside that of her sister Dorothy at Saint Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in New York City. Her estate was valued at several million dollars, the bulk of which went toward the creation of the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize Trust.

These glamorous photos show portraits of this beautiful sisters together during their life.

Dorothy and Lillian Gish, circa 1899
Dorothy and Lillian Gish, circa 1903
Dorothy and Lillian Gish, circa 1903
Dorothy and Lillian Gish, circa 1903
Dorothy and Lillian Gish, circa 1910s
1918 photo Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, and Dorothy Gish seated on table
Dorothy and Lillian Gish, circa 1920s
The Gish Sisters, circa 1920s
Dorothy and Lillian Gish in ‘Orphans of the Storm’, 1921
Dorothy and Lillian Gish in ‘Orphans of the Storm’, 1921
Dorothy and Lillian Gish in ‘Orphans of the Storm’, 1921
Dorothy and Lillian Gish in ‘Orphans of the Storm’, 1921
Dorothy and Lillian Gish in ‘Orphans of the Storm’, 1921
Dorothy and Lillian Gish in ‘Orphans of the Storm’, 1921
Dorothy and Lillian Gish in ‘Orphans of the Storm’, 1921
Dorothy and Lillian Gish in ‘Orphans of the Storm’, 1921
Lillian Gish, in costume as Henriette Girard, and Dorothy Gish, as Louise Girard, in a publicity photograph for D.W. Griffith’s 1921 production ‘Orphans of the Storm’
Lillian Gish, in costume as Henriette Girard, and Dorothy Gish, as Louise Girard, in a publicity photograph for D.W. Griffith’s 1921 production ‘Orphans of the Storm’
The Gish Sisters, circa 1921
The Gish Sisters, circa 1923
Lillian and Dorothy Gish, 1924. Publicity photo for ‘Romola’
The Gish Sisters, circa 1924
The Gish Sisters in the 1930s
Lillian Gish with her sister Dorothy, 1934
Lillian Gish and Dorothy Gish, 1935
Lillian Gish and Dorothy Gish, 1935
Lillian Gish and Dorothy Gish, 1935
The Gish Sisters, circa 1940s
Lillian and Dorothy, 1943
Dorothy, right, and Lillian Gish share a patio chair, Palm Beach, Florida, circa 1945
Lillian & Dorothy Gish arrive at Bromma Airport, Stockholm, circa 1946
Lillian & Dorothy Gish arrive at Bromma Airport, Stockholm, circa 1946
Dorothy and Lillian Gish in Paris, circa 1950
Lillian Gish with sister Dorothy Gish ‘Life With Father’, circa 1950
Lillian Gish with sister Dorothy Gish ‘Life With Father’, circa 1950
Lillian And Dorothy Gish, photographed by Nina Leen, 1951
Lillian And Dorothy Gish, photographed by Nina Leen, 1951
Lillian Gish and Dorothy Gish, New York, 1951
Lillian Gish and Dorothy Gish, New York, 1951
Dorothy and Lillian Gish are greeted at a train station with large bouquets of flowers, circa 1950s
The Gish Sisters, circa 1950s
The Gish Sisters, circa 1950s
The Gish Sisters, circa 1950s
The Gish Sisters, circa 1950s
Lillian and Dorothy Gish, 1962
Lillian and Dorothy Gish in Central Park, New York City, 1964. (Photo by Diane Arbus)
Lillian and Dorothy Gish in Central Park, New York City, 1964. (Photo by Diane Arbus)
Dorothy and Lillian in the Sixties

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