AN ACTOR'S LIFE FOR ME by Lillian with Selma Lanes Gish


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Gentle, affectionate reminiscences of life as a little girl on the road with small theater companies. Gish tells her story simply and straightforwardly, but it is amazing to modern ears. The financial difficulty of a mother supporting two daughters alone is familiar, but in the early part of this century times were even harder. Imagine sending a six-year-old off by herself for months at a time, to earn money acting in melodramas played on makeshift stages throughout America. The book ends as Lillian follows her friend Gladys Smith (soon to be known as Mary Pickford) to Greenwich Village, where she is introduced to D.W. Griffith; we know that she is on the way to becoming one of America's greatest silent film stars. Lanes has done a good job of putting the story into very simple language for younger readers. An interesting glimpse at an unusual part of our history, this should be useful for children's collections, particularly because of the demand for autobiographies. Family photos are included.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1987
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Viking