Browse All : Actors -- United States -- Portraits ;Actresses -- Portraits ;Shakespearean actors and actresses ;Theater -- United States -- History -- 20th century
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Having appeared in over 25 short films and features in her first two years as a movie actress, Lillian became a major star, becoming known as 'The First Lady of the Silent Screen' and appearing in lavish productions, frequently of literary works such as The Scarlet Letter. MGM released her from her contract in 1928 after the failure of The Wind (1928), now recognized by many as among her finest performances and one of the most distinguished works of the late silent period. With her debut in talkies only moderately successful, she acted on the stage for the most part in the 1930s and early 1940s, appearing in roles as varied as Ophelia in Guthrie McClintic's landmark 1936 production of Hamlet (with John Gielgud and Judith Anderson) and Marguerite in a limited run of La Dame aux Camelias. Of the former, she said, with pride, 'I played a lewd Ophelia!'
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