Sarah Bernhardt

Born Oct 23, 1844

Sarah Bernhardt was a French stage and early film actress, and has been referred to as "the most famous actress the world has ever known". Bernhardt made her fame on the stages of France in the 1870s, and was soon in demand in Europe and the Americas. She developed a reputation as a serious dramatic actress, earning the nickname "The Divine Sarah."… Read More

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1844 Birth Born in 1844.


1860 16 Years Old When Bernhardt was young her mother sent her to Grandchamp, an Augustine convent school near Versailles. In 1860 she began attending the Conservatoire de musique et de déclamation in Paris and eventually became a student at the Comédie Française where she would have her acting debut (11 August 1862) in the title role of Racine's Iphigénie to lackluster reviews. … Read More
1862 18 Years Old Bernhardt's stage career started in 1862 while she was a student at the Comédie-Française, France's most prestigious theater.


1864 20 Years Old She decided to leave France, and soon ended up in Belgium, where she became the mistress of Henri, Prince de Ligne, and gave birth to their son, Maurice, in 1864. … Read More
1866 22 Years Old Bernhardt then reverted to the theater, securing a contract at the Théâtre de L’Odéon where she began performing in 1866. … Read More
1871 27 Years Old Sarah Bernhardt changed her first name and added an "h" to her surname. Her birth records were lost in a fire in 1871. … Read More
1872 28 Years Old In 1872, she left the Odéon and returned to Comédie-Française. … Read More


1880 36 Years Old Her first tour of the United States and Canada took place in 1880-81 (157 performances in 31 cities).
1882 38 Years Old She later married Greek-born actor Aristides Damala (known in France by the stage name Jacques Damala) in London in 1882, but the marriage, which legally endured until Damala's death in 1889 at age 34, quickly collapsed, largely due to Damala's dependence on morphine. … Read More


1887 43 Years Old In 1887 she toured South America including Cuba where she performed in the Sauto Theater, in Matanzas.
1888 44 Years Old In 1888 she toured Italy, Egypt, Turkey, Sweden, Norway and Russia.
1891 47 Years Old In 1891-92 she took part in a worldwide tour which included much of Europe, Russia, North & South America, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Samoa. … Read More
1893 49 Years Old In between tours Bernhardt took over the lease of the Théâtre de la Renaissance, which she ran as producer-director-star from 1893 to 1899. … Read More


1899 55 Years Old In 1899 Bernhardt took over the former Théâtre des Nations on the Place du Châtelet, renaming it the Théâtre Sarah-Bernhardt and opening on 21 January in one of her most admired parts, the title role in Victorien Sardou's La Tosca. … Read More
1900 56 Years Old Bernhardt was one of the pioneer silent movie actresses, debuting as Hamlet in the two-minute long film Le Duel d'Hamlet in 1900. (Technically, this was not a silent film, and in fact, it is cited as one of the first examples of a sound and moving image syncing system created with the new phono-cinema-theatre system.) This can be seen on YouTube. … Read More


1905 61 Years Old In 1905, while performing in Victorien Sardou's La Tosca in Teatro Lírico do Rio de Janeiro, Bernhardt injured her right knee when jumping off the parapet in the final scene. … Read More
1910 66 Years Old In New York’s art scene of 1910 the story line of the play was nothing short of scandalous. … Read More
1915 71 Years Old 1 More Event
By 1915, gangrene set in and her entire right leg was amputated; she was required to use a wheelchair for several months. … Read More
1923 79 Years Old Sarah Bernhardt died from uremia following kidney failure in 1923. … Read More
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