Lillian and Dorothy Gish began their careers as child actresses, performing in touring theater companies. Although Lillian was born in Springfield, Ohio, and Dorothy in Dayton, the Gish sisters considered Massillon their home, often staying there with relatives between plays and films.
In 1912, Lillian and Dorothy went to New York and made their first film, An Unseen Enemy, with famed director D.W. Griffith.
Relocating to Hollywood, the Gish sisters made many films for Griffith's Biograph Company, including such silent masterpieces as The Birth of a Nation, Intolerance, Hearts of the World, Broken Blossoms, and Orphans of the Storm.
Stars of the silent screen, Lillian and Dorothy Gish enjoyed long and distinguished careers both in film and on stage. Lillian was the quintessential silent screen heroine with an ethereal, emotionally powerful presence. Dorothy developed a more down-to-earth image, excelling in light, comedic roles.
Their stage and screen careers spanned the 20th century. In 1984, Lillian received the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award. They are remembered today as legendary pioneers in the motion picture industry.