Lillian Diana Gish (October 14, 1893 – February 27, 1993), the "First Lady of American Cinema", was an American actress of the screen and stage, as well as a director and writer. Regarded as the greatest silent film actress and one of the greatest actresses in cinema history, Gish is credited with pioneering fundamental film performing techniques.
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- You know, when I first went into the movies Lionel Barrymore played my grandfather. Later he played my father, and finally he played my husband. If he had 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.
- As quoted in An Uncommon Scold (1989) by Abby Adams
- I don't feel I'm old. I just feel I'm me. And I've always been a happy person. I love the human race. I love my work. I love the world—I've been around it four times, you know. And 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. It keeps going on and I think we do too.
- As quoted in Lillian Gish : Her Legend, Her Life (2002) by Charles Affron, p. 353
- If you're caught acting, nobody believes you.
- When I was in films, we pretended to kiss but we didn't. It was considered unsanitary. Now they swallow each others' tonsils. It's disgusting.
- I never chose money, I always chose people. I wanted to be around people who knew more than I did. I think that’s why I never fell in love with an actor. They never seemed to know any more than I did. I wanted to be with writers… My idea of a dream man was Thornton Wilder.
- I'm so glad I didn't ruin a man's life by marrying him.
- Thalberg wanted commercial hits. I wanted art.
-  (On her work with MGM)
- According to director Lindsay Anderson, one day while filming The Whales of August he said to Lillian Gish, "Miss Gish, you have just given me a perfect close-up." Bette Davis remarked: "She should. She invented 'em."
- Lillian Gish is not only the best actress in her profession, but has the best mind of any woman I have ever met.
- For Lillian Gish, My Favorite Actress. On the occasion of her 1st visit to New York of which this book is a practical guide. From Her Chattel, F. Scott Fitzgerald
- F. Scott Fitzgerald's letter to Gish, written within a copy of Tender is the Night 
- I never cease to wonder at my luck in having for my sister the woman who, more than any other woman in America, possesses all the qualities of true greatness.