She held director D.W. Griffith in such high regard that, up until her death in 1993, she would always refer to him as "Mr. Griffith."
She never married or had children.
She once autographed an 8mm copy of her film The Battle at Elderbush Gulch (1913) for a young filmmaker named Harry McDevitt.
She was a staunch supporter of the Republican Party and an active anti-communist. She went to her grave denying that The Birth of a Nation (1915) was racist, despite ongoing protests that it was a glorification of the Ku Klux Klan. She was thrilled to be invited to the White House by President Warren G. Harding following the premiere of Orphans of the Storm (1921), and met with Benito Mussolini, whom she greatly admired, while filming Romola (1924) in Italy. She was an ardent supporter of the America First Committee, which was opposed to the United States entering World War II, and refused to vote for either Franklin D. Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie in 1940 because both "were more interested in other countries than in their own.".
She was filmed for a scene in Woody Allen's film, "Zelig" (1983). She scolded legendary director of photography, Gordon Willis on his lighting set-up and, while the crew watched aghast, gave Willis step by step instructions on how to re-light the scene. Willis complied. The scene did not make it into the final version of the film.
Sister of Dorothy Gish.
The Smashing Pumpkins first Album was named "Gish" after her.
Was named #17 Actress, The American Film Institutes 50 Greatest Screen Legends
Was of French, English and German descent.
While shooting Way Down East (1920), she was required to lie down on a slab of ice that was floating in a river for several hours in order to shoot a scene. While she did this, one of her hands was immersed in freezing cold water for hours, which permanently damaged the nerves in her wrist.