Lillian Rich

Lillian Rich (1 January 1900 5 January 1954) was an English-born actress of the silent era. She appeared in 66 films between 1919 and 1940.

Lillian Rich
Stars of the Photoplay, 1924
Born(1900-01-01)1 January 1900
Herne Hill, London, England
Died5 January 1954(1954-01-05) (aged 54)
Years active1919–1940


Rich was born in Herne Hill, London, on 1 January 1900.[1] In 1919, she married a young Canadian fighter pilot named Lionel Edward "Leo" Nicholson, and accompanied him back to his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba.[2] Rich's new father-in-law decided that she had a future in Hollywood, and he gave her $1000 of his own savings to fund her acting career.[2]

After making her film debut in The Day She Paid (1919), Rich quickly became highly sought, appearing in 18 films between 1920 and 1922.[2]

In 1923, Rich lost her financial support when her father-in-law became ill and died, and she did not produce any films until the following year.[2] She soon divorced her husband, and Rich regained her stride in 1924, appearing in six new films, with roles in eight more in 1925.[2] She gained critical attention for her role as a "man-eating, social-climbing" woman in Cecil B. DeMille's The Golden Bed, and a subsequent The New York Times review called her an "extraordinarily beautiful" woman.[2] Her next – and final – notable role was in the 1926 railroad film Whispering Smith.[2]

Her career declined in the early 1930s, possibly because Rich's voice was not well suited to the new "talkie" films that took hold as sound technology became normalized.[2]

She died on 5 January 1954, in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles.[1][2]

Selected filmography


  1. "Lillian Rich". Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  2. Goldsborough, Gordon. "Manitoba History: A Thousand Words: Winnipeg's Silent Film Star". Retrieved 18 October 2017.
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