Actress Lillian Gish was born on October 14, 1893 in Springfield. Ohio. Her stage, film and television career spanned 7 decades from 1912 to 1987. In 1912, Mary Pickford introduced Gish to D.W. Griffith, and helped get her a contract with Biograph Studios. She would soon become one of America's best-loved actresses. Her film debut was in 1912’s, An Unseen Enemy and she went on to star in many of Griffith's most acclaimed films, including The Birth of a Nation (1915). 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. With her debut in talkies only moderately successful, she acted on the stage for the most part in the 1930s and early 1940s.
Who died on this date:
On October 14, 1977, actor Bing Crosby died. The singer, comedian, and actor was born Harry Lillis Crosby on May 2, 1903 in Tacoma, Washington. His trade mark nickname “Bing” was a derivative of a character named “Bingo” in the comic strip “Bingville Bugle,” the comic strip was a favorite of the young crooner. He never formally studied music but in his first year of college with a few buddies formed a small band called the “Musicaladers.” The group had some success and it was decided that they would go to Los Angeles and pursue a vaudeville career. During a successful two year tour of the country under the name “The Rhythm Boys,” they were discovered by band leader Paul Whiteman. Bing and his band mates toured with Whiteman for three years and it was with this band that Bing got his first taste of Hollywood, appearing in Whiteman’s motion picture, King of Jazz (1930). Bing and the Rhythm Boys then joined band leader Gus Arnheim at the Cocoanut Ballroom at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. It was here that Bing became known to the Hollywood crowd, and it was Mack Sennett, who signed him to a contract with Paramount Pictures. In a series of short subject films, Crosby was heard singing and this lead to his first musical recording contract with Brunswick Records. Later, a regular singing gig developed with CBS Radio and shows at the Paramount Theater in New York City. Moving back to the West Coast in 1932, Crosby appeared in his first feature film role, The Big Broadcast, a motion picture that would launch him into superstardom. Crosby would go on to appear in over fifty feature films, including twenty “Road” movies in which he appeared with his good friend, Bob Hope.