Lillian Gish Poster

Quotes (19)

  • Lionel Barrymore first played my grandfather, later my father, and finally, he played my husband. If he'd lived, I'm sure I would have played his mother. That's the way it is in Hollywood. The men get younger and the women get older.
  • I never approved of talkies. Silent movies were well on their way to developing an entirely new art form. It was not just pantomine, but something wonderfully expressive.
  • Fans always write asking why I didn't smile more in films. I smiled in Annie Laurie (1927), but I can't recall that it helped much.
  • Those little virgins, after five minutes you got sick of playing them--to make them more interesting was hard work.
  • [1919] Marriage is a business. A woman cannot combine a career and marriage . . . I should not wish to unite the two.
  • [1939] I believe that marriage is a career in itself. I have preferred a stage career to a marriage career.
  • [after failing to receive a Best Actress nomination for The Whales of August (1987)] Oh, well. At least I won't have to lose to Cher.
  • I don't care for modern films--all crashing cars and close-ups of people's feet.
  • I've never been in style, so I can't go out of style.
  • I can't remember a time when I wasn't acting, so I can't imagine what I would do if I stopped now.
  • [on D.W. Griffith] He inspired in us his belief that we were working in a medium that was powerful enough to influence the whole world.
  • [on Mary Pickford] It was always Mary herself that shone through. Her personality was the thing that made her movies memorable and the pictures that showed her personality were the best.
  • [on D.W. Griffith] It's true, sometimes I called him "David". Even so, I might have said "David" but I always thought "Mr. Griffith". He was a born general. His voice was a voice of command. It was resonant, deep and full.
  • I think the things that are necessary in my profession are these: Taste, Talent and Tenacity. I think I have had a little of all three.
  • [on Richard Barthelmess] The most beautiful face of any man who went before the camera.
  • [on Greta Garbo] Garbo's temperament reflected the rain and gloom of the long dark Swedish winters.
  • [upon receiving an honorary Academy Award in 1971] Oh, all the charming ghosts I feel around me who should share this! It was our privilege for a little while to serve that beautiful thing, the film, and we never doubted for a moment that it was the most powerful thing, the mind and heartbeat of our technical century.
  • I'm a believing person. I believe in God even though I can't see him. You can't see the air in this room, right? But take it away and you're dead. And I believe there's something for us after we die. The world isn't wasteful.
  • [on why she acted in several comedies] I'm as funny as a barrel of dead babies.