I sent out some letters last week to follow up on leads for people still alive who worked with Dorothy. I just got a response back and it was a positive one. It’s not a lot of information, but, darn it, so nice to hear from someone who knew Dorothy.
I’ve also had another response, not much in the way of information, but there was plenty of encouragement, that’s something!
Thanks to a Sherlock Holmes that is a friend of mine. An amazing Sherlock Holmes! I’ve written to someone else that I hope will provide some wonderful stories and memories of Dorothy. Fingers crossed!!!
Color me hanging out by the mailbox holding my breath and waiting. Like those who come to Casablanca, they wait, and wait, and WAIT.
In other news, I’ve begun drafting the book proposal. Probably one of the hardest things to write, ever.
Here’s an unusual video clip I found while searching the web. It features Dorothy during the Fourth Liberty Bond Drive in 1918. Gotta love it, she was a cutie!
Dorothy Gish signing autographs and posing with a rifle
Here’s another clip that shows Dorothy getting into a car.
Part of the challenge to researching Dorothy Gish is the lack of available films. Virtually all the key films she made from 1917 through 1920 are lost. Turning the Tables from 1919 is an example.
A trade ad for one of Dorothy’s (many) lost films.
Here is the synopsis and some ad copy from an issue of Motion Picture News.
Portrait of Dorothy by White Studios, NY
I’ve got a long road ahead of me. I’m going to start sending emails to plenty of peeps to rally the troops.
In the best news of the week, I’ve received the first response back from a publisher. In short, they want to see the manuscript on Dorothy! They’ll be waiting a while for it. This is, most certainly, a shot in the arm.
I do not surf eBay very often as a bidder anymore. I used to be a rabid eBay surfer. That said, I could not pass up bidding on this wonderful piece of sheet music. Sadly, I forgot about this and was overbid in the end. Curses!
When I began the Dorothy Gish Project, I was picking up some items on eBay for not so much money. Lately, the few things I’ve placed bids on, I’ve lost.
It is, a very nice piece of sheet music. Hopefully I will locate another copy sometime in the future. Here’s hoping!
Who else out there is now a Dorothy collector? Identify yourself, please! Seriously, if there is a Dorothy collector out there, I’d love to talk to you. I’m already looking for terrific photos to use in this book (one day I hope). I had an abundance of riches for the Valentino book, I’d love to have the same for this one, too.
Let’s hope so! Query letters have been mailed to some publishers today.
We’ve certainly not been resting, either.
Dorothy in New York 1920's
Distracted by other projects and continuing to promote the Rudolph Valentino book published last year, Dorothy has been pushed to the furthest of back burners. This is about to change!
A new source of research material has come to light and, goodness me, what a gold mine of information hidden therein. It is waiting for me to search and download. This delicous source has fired me back up to start the real digging in earnest.
Additionally, work will soon begin on sending some query letters to possible publishers. Work on the book proposal will also being in earnest.
With a little luck and a little more free time, posts will be a little more regular here. It’s such a worthy project, I really do believe this. Dorothy is totally worth the effort.
No, nothing exciting to celebrate at this moment. In shuffling paper and digging about, who knew there was a cocktail created in Dorothy’s honor? I do not know who cooked this one up, but it originates from an old Bacardi cocktail recipe booklet. I plan on trying it out and will report fully with photos!
Dorothy Gish as Nell Gwynn by James Abbe
1/2 oz. White rum
1/2 oz. Apricot brandy
1 jigger Tangarine or Orange juice
1 jigger Pineapple juice
Shake vigorously, pour, raise glass and salute Dorothy!
Dorothy retired from acting in 1964, in 2010 you’d think there would be nobody left to talk about working with her. You’d think wrong! The list of people still with us is a pleasant surprise. Certainly not nearly as depressing as the list of those who are not. Most depressing is not being able to talk to Miss Dorothy herself.
I’ve been busy writing letters to people that have worked with Dorothy. Here’s hoping that this letter writing bears some fruit. Keeping the good thoughts along with the fingers and toes crossed.
It’s also been a good week for photos of Dorothy. Scored a nice one for future use.
In reviewing a few interviews with Dorothy Gish, I came upon some anecdotes that were naturally of great interest. I thought I’d share the gist of them here.
Dorothy starred in a film in 1919 called Nobody Home (aka Out of Luck) and one of her leading men in the film was a young Italian by the name of Rudolph Valentino. The film was supervised by D.W. Griffith and directed by Griffith alumnus Elmer Clifton. Dorothy plays a young woman who is unable to make a decision between two suitors. Valentino was cast as the slightly shady and villianous suitor. It was he to whom the stars pointed as the man she should choose. Sadly this is one of many lost films starring Dorothy. All that remains are stills and lobby art. As a Valentino fan and a Dorothy Gish fan, the stills are tantalizing and tormenting.
Dorothy never had anything but nice things to say about Rudolph Valentino throughout her life. She liked him tried her level best to get D.W. Griffith interested in the young actor. As in Nobody Home, the stars did not bode well for Valentino. Try as she might, Dorothy could not interest Griffith in Valentino. Griffith, it would seem, could not see or was immune to the talents and charm of Rudolph Valentino and he refused to sign him. Griffith’s rejection did not stall Valentino’s career, he went on to bigger and better things shortly thereafter with June Mathis and Rex Ingram.
Dorothy always said what a nice man Valentino was. Dorothy often accepted his invitation to enjoy horseback riding and stated that he went so far as to take her to a tailor so she could have a proper suit of riding clothes made (Lillian, too).
Dorothy also related how Valentino would call and ask to come over for a visit. Valentino was friendly not only with Dorothy but with her sister Lillian. Valentino also loved the Gish sister’s mother, Mary Gish. Valentino having so recently lost his own mother clearly found a tender heart in Mary Gish. Dorothy also related that her mother was a fine cook. Valentino joined Mary Gish in the kitchen and made many a meal together. Dorothy, left no record of recipes but stated as late as 1966 that she remembered Valentino’s spaghetti “was SO good!”