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Sarah Bernhardt (French: [saʁa bɛʁnɑʁt]; born Henriette-Rosine Bernard; 22 or 23 October 1844 – 26 March 1923) was a French stage actress who starred in some of the most popular French plays of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including La Dame Aux Camelias by Alexandre Dumas, fils; Ruy Blas by Victor Hugo, Fédora and La Tosca by Victorien Sardou, and L'Aiglon by Edmond Rostand.
Sarah Bernhardt, the greatest French actress of the later 19th century and one of the best-known figures in the history of the stage. Bernhardt was the illegitimate daughter of Julie Bernard, a Dutch courtesan who had established herself in Paris (the identity of her father is uncertain).
Sarah Bernhardt, Actress: La dame aux camélias. This celebrated star of the French stage had a sporadic love-hate affair with early cinema. After her film debut in Le duel d'Hamlet (1900) she declared she detested the medium; yet she consented to appear in another film, La Tosca (1909). Upon seeing the results, she reportedly recoiled in horror, demanding that the negative be destroyed. Her ...
- Actress, Writer, Additional Crew
- October 23, 1844
- Sarah Bernhardt
- March 26, 1923
Her younger--by 12 years--husband, Aristide Damala, was a Greek diplomat who died in 1898, allegedly because of drugs and a generally vicious life. After his death she used to sign her own letters "Sarah Bernhardt, veuve Damala" ("widow Damala").
- Early Life
- First Stage Performances
- Career Highlights and The Rise of Motion Pictures
- Later Life and Death
- Sarah Bernhardt Fast Facts
- Sources and Further Reading
Sarah Bernhardt was born Henriette-Rosine Bernard on October 22, 1844 in Paris. She was the daughter of Julie Bernard, a Dutch courtesan who catered to a wealthy clientele. Her father has never been identified. At age seven, she was sent to a boarding school where she performed on stage for the first time, playing the role of the Queen of the Fairies in Clothilde. Around the same time, Bernhardt's mother started dating the Duke de Morny, the half-brother of Napoleon III. Affluent and highly influential in Paris society, he would play a key role in the development of Bernhardt's acting career. Although Bernhardt was more interested in becoming a nun than an actress, her family decided she should give acting a try. Together with their friend, playwright Alexandre Dumas, they brought Bernhardt to the Comédie-Française, France’s national theater company, for her first theater performance. Moved to tears by the play, Bernhardt was comforted by Dumas, who called her “my little star." The...
In 1860, with the help of Morny’s influence, Bernhardt was given the chance to audition at the prestigious Paris Conservatory. Coached by Dumas, she recited the fable of The Two Pigeonsby La Fontaine and managed to persuade the school’s jury. On August 31, 1862, after two years of acting studies at the conservatory, Bernhardt made her debut in Racine’s Iphigénie at the Comédie-Francaise. Playing the title role, she suffered from stage fright and rushed through her lines. Despite the nervous debut, she continued to perform and played Henrietta in Moliére’s Les Femmes Savantes and the title role in Scribe’s Valérie. She didn’t manage to impress the critics and after a slapping incident with another actress, Bernhardt was asked to leave the theater. In 1864, after a brief affair with a Belgian prince, Bernhardt gave birth to her only child, Maurice. In order to support herself and her son, she accepted minor roles at the melodrama theater Port-Saint-Martin and was eventually hired by t...
In 1868, Bernhardt had her breakthrough performance as Anna Damby in Dumas’ Kean. She received a standing ovation and was instantly given a salary raise. Her next successful performance was in François Coppée’s Le Passant, in which she played the part of the troubadour boy—the first of her many male roles. During the subsequent decades, Bernhardt’s career flourished. Upon returning to the Comédie-Française in 1872, she starred in some of the most demanding roles of the time, including lead parts in Voltaire´s Zaire and Racine’s Phédre, as well as Junie in Britannicus, also by Racine. In 1880, Bernhardt accepted an offer to tour the United States, which would be the first of many international stage tours of her career. After two years of touring, Bernhardt returned to Paris and purchased the Théâtre de la Renaissance, where she operated as artistic director and lead actress until 1899. At the turn of the century, Bernhardt became one of the first actresses to star in motion pictures...
In 1899, Bernhardt signed a lease with the city of Paris to renovate and manage the Théâtre des Nations. She renamed it Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt and opened the theater with a revival of La Tosca, followed by her other major successes: Phédre, Theodora, La Dame aux Camélias, and Gismonda. Throughout the early 1900s, Bernhardt made a number of farewell tours around the globe, including Canada, Brazil, Russia, and Ireland. In 1915, years after a knee accident, Bernhardt suffered from an infection related to the injury and her leg was ultimately amputated. Refusing an artificial leg, Bernhardt continued to act on stage, with scenes being specifically arranged to suit her needs. In 1921, Bernhardt made her final tour around France. The following year, on the night of the dress rehearsal for the play Un Sujet de Roman, Bernhardt collapsed and went into a coma. She spent months recovering and her health slowly improved, but on March 21, 1923, while suffering from kidney failure, Bernhardt c...
Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt was managed by her son Maurice until his death in 1928. It was later renamed Théâtre de la Ville. In 1960, Bernhardt was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Bernhardt's vibrant and dramatic performances in so many iconic roles captivated audiences and critics all over the world. Her successful transition from stage to screen further established Bernhardt as one of the most celebrated actresses in theater and film history.Full Name: Henriette-Rosine BernardKnown As: Sarah BernhardtOccupation: ActressBorn: October 22, 1844 in Paris, FranceVerneuil, Louis. The Fabulous Life of Sarah Bernhardt. London, Harper & brothers; Fourth Edition, 1942.Gold, Arthur and Fizdale, Robert. Divine Sarah: A Life of Sarah Bernhardt. Knopf; First edition, 1991.Skinner, Cornelia Otis. Madame Sarah. Houghton-Mifflin, 1967.Tierchant, Hélène. Madame Quand même. Editions Télémaque, 2009.
Oct 21, 2020 · Sarah Bernhardt, the world's first A-list actress. Slide 1 of 36: Eccentric, inimitable, and oh so boho, Sarah Bernhardt was the world's first international stage star. Born in France, she's ...
- Catherine Mcmahan
- She Had Exotic and Dangerous Pets. Like any self-respecting millionaire, Sarah Bernhardt owned a whole menagerie of exotic, beautiful, and dangerous pets.
- She Had A Series of Scandalous Love Affairs. Of course as a beautiful, talented actress with maybe a bit too much time on her hands, she managed a whole life full of whimsical, romantic, and scandalous love affairs.
- Slept in a Coffin. They say that actors can be a bit…well, dramatic. And “they” are not wrong. Sarah Bernhardt, going through some angst of her own, chose her coffin and planned her funeral accordingly.
- Played Judas in a Play About Sex. Picture this: Mary Magdalene is a lover of Pontius Pilate. And then the lover of Judas (yes, that Judas). And then of Jesus himself!
'Sarah Bernhardt' is a beloved Peony with large double flowers in fresh, pastel pink. Introduced in 1906, this longtime favorite blooms dependably year after year and presents a healthy amount of emerald green foliage to add interest to the garden throughout the season.
Dec 13, 2017 · Sarah Bernhardt – The Sculptor. Sarah Bernhardt is best known for her work as actress, she starred some of the most popular French plays of late 19 th century and early 20 th century, as La dame aux Camelias by Alexandre Dumas fils, Ruy Blas by Victor Hugo or La Tosca by Victorien Sardou. She is probably one of the most famous French actresses.
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