Lillian Diana Gish (October 14, 1893- February 27, 1993) was an American stage, screen and television actress whose film acting career spanned 75 years, from 1912 to 1987. She was called 'The First Lady of American Cinema'. She was a prominent film star of the 1910s and 1920s, particularly associated with the films of director D. W. Griffith, including her leading role in Griffith's seminal Birth of a Nation (1915). Her sound-era film appearances were sporadic, but included memorable roles in the controversial western Duel in the Sun (1946) and the offbeat thriller Night of the Hunter (1955). She did considerable television work from the early 1950s into the 1980s, and closed her career playing, for the first time, opposite Bette Davis in the 1987 film The Whales of August.
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