Lillian Gish Lillian Gish was born in Springfield, Ohio, the elder sister of actress Dorothy Gish. The sisters' mother, Mary Robinson McConnell (an Episcopalian) began acting in order to support the family after her husband, James Leigh Gish (who was of German Lutheran descent) abandoned them. When Lillian and Dorothy were old enough, they joined the theatre, often traveling separately in different productions. They also took modeling jobs.
In 1912, their friend Mary Pickford introduced the sisters to D.W. Griffith, and she got them contracts with Biograph Studios. Lillian would soon become one of America's best-loved actresses.