Gish, Lillian – Actor


The Lillian Gish mug is part of a biographical series profiling Silent Films and includes an image of Lillian Gish and a short biography.

Small Mug, 11 oz.

Large Mug, 15 oz.


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Lillian Gish was an actress on the screen, stage, as well as, a director and writer.  Both Lillian and her sister Dorothy Gish were prominent in silent films.  Lillian has been called the “First Lady of American Cinema.”  She had a leading role in the highest-grossing film of the silent era, D.W. Griffith’s 1915 film The Birth of a Nation.  In the 1930s Lillian Gish returned to the stage and appeared in film infrequently, but had notable roles in the 1946 western, Duel in the Sun, and the 1955 thriller, The Night of the Hunter.  She closed her career playing opposite Bette Davis in the 1987 film, The Whales of August.  Lillian was an advocate for the conservation and preservation of silent films.

Silent Films

The term “silent film” is somewhat of a misnomer, as silent films were almost always accompanied by a pianist, organist, or even a small orchestra.  Music was considered essential, contributing atmosphere and giving the audience vital emotional cues. The silent era began in 1894 and was most productive from the 1910s to the late 1920s.  Perhaps 75% of silent films have been lost because the nitrate film used was unstable and flammable.  The term “silent films,” is a retronym, a term created retroactively to distinguish it from “talking pictures” and “sound films.”

This Lillian Gish History Mug is part of our Silent Film Series which includes many unique individuals.

The biographical History Mugs were created to teach and inspire individuals to learn about our diverse and interesting history.  The biographies were researched and written by history enthusiast, Robert Compton.  He colorized most of the historic photos and images used on the mugs, which were originally black and white or sepia tone.  The images and biographies are imprinted on mugs at his studio in rural Vermont.

  • Mugs are food and microwave safe.
  • To preserve photographic quality we recommend hand washing.
  • Mugs are usually shipped within 3-5 days.

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