Gao Lihen 高梨痕, actor, director and writer, was born September 25, 1890 in Zhuxi County, Hubei province. As a young man, he was an active participant in the revolution which overthrew the Qing (Manchu) dynasty in 1911, then for two years edited a newspaper in Hankou. During this time he became interested in theatricals, and in 1914 joined with Zheng Zhengqiu and others in forming the Great China Dramatic Society, for which Gao acted from 1914-1923. A supporting role in 1923's "Patriotic Umbrella" prompted him to enroll in 1924 in the China Film School established by Hong Shen, after which Gao joined the Tianyi Film Co. in 1925, then moved to the Mingxing studio in 1926, as both director and actor. Not a leading man type, he nevertheless was a familiar on-screen figure in supporting roles during the rest of China's silent era, at the same time moving into writing and directing. He had 23 acting credits and 46 credits as writer and/or director. In 1937, Gao moved to the South Seas Film Company, the Tianyi studio's Hong Kong branch, and during World War II was involved with the resistance there. After the war, he returned to Shanghai, and in 1954 joined the staff of the Museum of Literary History as a researcher, compiling and editing a great many materials on the history of theater and motion pictures in Shanghai. Among his many publications were "Old Talks on the Shanghai Film Community" and "The Tianyi Studio as I Know it." He died in Shanghai, October 16, 1982, age 91.
[left, Gao Lihen as cinematic elder statesman/historian]