Sarah Bernhardt
Actress
Sarah Bernhardt
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."
Biography
Sarah Bernhardt's personal information overview.
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Popular photos of Sarah Bernhardt
News
News abour Sarah Bernhardt from around the web
Barry Lubin, Grandma the Clown, in Final Big Apple Tour
NYTimes - over 5 years
WALDEN, N.Y. — Some might think it an inappropriate beginning for a grand farewell tour, but certainly not Grandma , a k a Barry Lubin. Here was Mr. Lubin, the 59-year old star clown who began fooling around at the Big Apple Circus 29 years ago, being lassoed by two magicians at the show’s cavernous practice arena in this woodsy patch
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John Lichfield: Changing times on the most famous avenue in the world - The Independent
Google News - over 5 years
The avenue's residential days (former residents include Thomas Jefferson and Sarah Bernhardt) are long gone. By the 1970s and 1980s, the avenue was a dispiriting sort of place, dominated by car show-rooms and airline offices
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East Coast music odyssey: 5 iconic venues of Australian rock - CNNGo.com
Google News - over 5 years
It's stature and scenic location has attracted visits from the likes of Mark Twain and Sarah Bernhardt, and The Espy has been an important part of Melbourne's (and indeed Australia's) music culture since its beginnings in the late 1800s
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Jane Fonda: People with a healthy sex life cope better with ageing - Daily Mail
Google News - over 5 years
'The great French actress, Sarah Bernhardt, and the legendary designer, Coco Chanel, both had lovers well into their later lives. 'Catherine the Great was reputed to have taken younger lovers to bed. Mae West, who lived to 90, had a live-in lover 45
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For 'Heritage Days', Access to Hidden Paris - New York Times (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Museums will provide free guided tours, concerts and workshops; there will also be free guided tours of famous Paris cemeteries, including Père Lachaise, the final resting place of Molière, Chopin, Proust, Sarah Bernhardt and Jim Morrison
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Joan Collins says sex is secret to looking young - CTV.ca
Google News - over 5 years
The great French actress Sarah Bernhardt, and the legendary designer Coco Chanel, both had lovers well into their later lives ... It is every adult's prerogative to enjoy sex (although young people may not agree). It delights me to read about a couple
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Andy Warhol's 'Jewish geniuses' still fuelling debate - The Independent
Google News - over 5 years
The portraits are brightly coloured silk-screen prints Warhol created using famous photographs of historical figures which, in addition to Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud, included Sarah Bernhardt, Louis Brandeis, Martin Buber, George Gershwin,
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Errors & Omissions: How did a dog end up on a list of famous cats? - The Independent
Google News - over 5 years
There are all those blind blues singers for a start, and Sarah Bernhardt with her dodgy leg, and then ... Yes, the mad human brain starts compiling lists quite unbidden, but what does it all prove? Tom Campbell of Birmingham writes to point out a story
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MUSIC REVIEW; Poul Ruders’s ‘Selma Jezkova’ at Lincoln Center - Review
NYTimes - over 5 years
If Sarah Bernhardt’s definitive performance in Victorien Sardou’s 1887 play “La Tosca” had been available through Netflix, would Puccini ever have based an opera on it? Would his “Tosca” have stood a chance? Recycling is at the heart of art, but contemporary culture has added a new twist. Now the source material
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NYTimes article
Carnegie offers fashion trip from the 1860s to 1960s - Newnan Times-Herald
Google News - over 5 years
Queen Alexandra of England and actress Sarah Bernhardt were among those popularizing fashions of the era. The 1890s brought a moderating wind to women's fashions. Women were more active -- walking and riding bicycles. "The invention of the typewriter
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Talking Theatre by Richard Eyre – review - The Guardian
Google News - over 5 years
While mid-century Broadway, Brecht, Beckett and the Royal Court revolution recur as themes, the subject-matter is diverse; one moment John Gielgud is reminiscing about Sarah Bernhardt, the next Peter Brook might be discussing his 60s experiments,
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Old Savannah Theatre has become a popular live show - Savannah Morning News
Google News - over 5 years
Icons such as Fanny Davenport, EH Sothern, Julia Marlowe, Otis Skinner, Henry Irving, Tyrone Power, Ellen Terry, Oscar Wilde, Lillian Russell, Sarah Bernhardt, WC Fields and Edwin Booth made the theater a favorite venue for everyone from Savannah's
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Sarah Bernhardt inspires actress, playwright to compose one-woman musical ... - Kalamazoo Gazette - MLive.com
Google News - over 5 years
By Patrick Norris | Special to the Gazette Courtesy photoBernhardt reborn: Playwright and actress Carol Dunitz pays homage to French actress Sarah Bernhardt in her one-woman musical "Bernhardt on Broadway." SAUGATUCK — Sarah Bernhardt returns to
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Sarah Bernhardt
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1923
    Age 78
    Sarah Bernhardt died from uremia following kidney failure in 1923.
    More Details Hide Details Newspaper reports stated she died "peacefully, without suffering, in the arms of her son". She is believed to have been 79 years old. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1751 Vine Street. Bernhardt's career spanned over six decades, during which she established herself as the Victorian era's most celebrated actress. In addition to being one of the greatest actors of all time, she was noted for her outsize legend, which made her the first international entertainment icon. Bernhardt's admirers included Sigmund Freud, who kept a photograph of her in his waiting room, Mark Twain, who remarked "There are five kinds of actresses: bad actresses, fair actresses, good actresses, great actresses— and then there is Sarah Bernhardt", and Czar Alexander III, who famously rejected a bow from Bernhardt with "No, Madame. It is I who must bow to you." (and he did so before his entire court). Numerous theatres and works bear her name.
  • 1915
    Age 70
    She continued her career, sometimes without using a wooden prosthetic limb, which she did not like. She carried out a successful tour of America in 1915, and on returning to France she played in her own productions almost continuously until her death.
    More Details Hide Details Later successes included Daniel (1920), La Gloire (1921), and Régine Armand (1922). According to Arthur Croxton, the manager of London's Coliseum, the amputation was not apparent during her performances, which were done with the use of the artificial limb. Her physical condition may have limited her mobility on the stage, but the charm of her voice, which had altered little with age, ensured her triumphs.
    By 1915, gangrene set in and her entire right leg was amputated; she was required to use a wheelchair for several months.
    More Details Hide Details Bernhardt reportedly refused a $10,000 offer by a showman to display her amputated leg as a medical curiosity. (While P.T. Barnum is usually cited as the one to have made the offer, he had been dead since 1891.)
  • 1910
    Age 65
    In New York’s art scene of 1910 the story line of the play was nothing short of scandalous.
    More Details Hide Details Mary Magdalene, who at first became a lover of Pontius Pilate, then of Judas Iscariot, got involved with Jesus. Judas, after realizing that Mary Magdalene had given herself to Jesus, decided to betray his friend to the Romans. To top the provocation of New York’s theater lovers, Judas was played by the voluptuous Sarah Bernhardt. In Paris, Bernhardt continued to direct the Théâtre Sarah-Bernhardt until her death, when her son Maurice took over. After his death in 1928, the theatre retained the name Sarah Bernhardt until the Occupation by the Germans in World War II, when the name was changed to Théâtre de la Cité because of Bernhardt's Jewish ancestry. After establishing herself on the stage, by age 25 Bernhardt, who designed her own clothes (and was the first woman to wear a pantsuit), began to study painting and sculpture under Mathieu Meusnier and Emilio Franceschi. Her early work consisted mainly of bust portraiture, but later works were more ambitious in design. Fifty works have been documented, of which 25 are known to still exist, including the naturalistic marble Après la Tempête (National Museum of Women in the Arts). Her work was exhibited at the Salon 1874 – 1886, with several items shown in the Columbia Exposition in Chicago and at the 1900 Exposition Universelle. Bernhardt also painted, and while on a theatrical tour to New York, hosted a private viewing of her paintings and sculpture for 500 guests.
  • 1905
    Age 60
    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.
    More Details Hide Details The leg never healed properly.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1900
    Age 55
    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.
    More Details Hide Details She went on to star in eight motion pictures and two biographical films in all. The latter included Sarah Bernhardt à Belle-Isle (1912), a film about her daily life at home.
  • 1899
    Age 54
    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.
    More Details Hide Details This was followed by revivals of Racine's Phèdre (24 February), Octave Feuillet's Dalila (8 March), Gaston de Wailly's Patron Bénic (14 March), Edmond Rostand's La Samaritaine (25 March), and Alexandre Dumas fils's La Dame aux Camélias on 9 April. On 20 May, she premiered her most controversial part, the title role in Shakespeare's Hamlet, in a prose adaptation which she had commissioned from Eugène Morand and Marcel Schwob. The play was greeted with rave reviews despite its running time of four hours. She developed a reputation as a serious dramatic actress, earning the title "The Divine Sarah"; arguably, she was the most famous actress of the 19th century. Bernhardt also participated in scandalous productions such as John Wesley De Kay's "Judas". It performed in New York’s Globe Theatre for only one night in December 1910 before it was banned there, as well as in Boston and Philadelphia.
  • FORTIES
  • 1893
    Age 48
    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.
    More Details Hide Details She coached many young women in the art of acting, including actress and courtesan Liane de Pougy.
  • 1891
    Age 46
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Another tour of America took place in 1896. 1901 saw her 6th American Tour, 1906 her 7th (her "first Farewell Tour" where she concluded the Southern California leg with "La Tosca" at the Venice Auditorium), 1910 her 8th (when she made a recording on Wax Cylinder at Thomas Edison’s laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey), and 1913-1914 her 9th (on the evening of March 12, 1913, in Los Angeles, she was involved in a motorcar accident while she was being driven in a taxi to the downtown Orpheum Theatre to appear in "La Tosca").
  • 1888
    Age 43
    In 1888 she toured Italy, Egypt, Turkey, Sweden, Norway and Russia.
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  • 1887
    Age 42
    In 1887 she toured South America including Cuba where she performed in the Sauto Theater, in Matanzas.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1882
    Age 37
    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.
    More Details Hide Details During the later years of this marriage, Bernhardt was said to have been involved in an affair with the future King Edward VII while he was still the Prince of Wales. Bernhardt is said to have once stated, "Me pray? Never! I'm an atheist." She accepted the last rites shortly before her death. At her request, her funeral Mass was celebrated at Saint-François-de-Sales Church, a "modest church she attended during her stays in Paris". Though she had been baptised a Roman Catholic, she also identified with her Jewish heritage.
  • 1880
    Age 35
    Her first tour of the United States and Canada took place in 1880-81 (157 performances in 31 cities).
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1872
    Age 27
    In 1872, she left the Odéon and returned to Comédie-Française.
    More Details Hide Details One of her remarkable successes there was in the title role of Voltaire's Zaïre (1874). She made her fame on the stages of Europe in the 1870s and was soon in demand all over Europe.
  • 1871
    Age 26
    Sarah Bernhardt changed her first name and added an "h" to her surname. Her birth records were lost in a fire in 1871.
    More Details Hide Details To prove French citizenship—necessary for Légion d'honneur eligibility—she created false birth records, in which she was the daughter of "Judith van Hard" and "Édouard Bernardt" from Le Havre, in later stories either a law student, accountant, naval cadet or naval officer.
  • 1866
    Age 21
    Bernhardt then reverted to the theater, securing a contract at the Théâtre de L’Odéon where she began performing in 1866.
    More Details Hide Details Her most famous performance there was her travesty performance as the Florentine minstrel in François Coppé's Le Passant (January 1869). With the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War performances were stopped and Bernhardt converted the theatre into a makeshift hospital where she took care of the soldiers wounded on the battlefield.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1864
    Age 19
    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.
    More Details Hide Details After Maurice's birth, the Prince proposed marriage, but his family forbade it and persuaded Bernhardt to refuse and end their relationship. After being expelled from the Comédie Française, she resumed the life of courtesan to which her mother had introduced her at a young age, and made considerable amounts of money during that period (1862–65). It was during this time she acquired her famous coffin, in which she often slept in lieu of a bed – claiming that doing so helped her understand her many tragic roles.
  • 1862
    Age 17
    Bernhardt's stage career started in 1862 while she was a student at the Comédie-Française, France's most prestigious theater.
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  • 1860
    Age 15
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Her time there was short-lived; she was asked to resign after slapping another actress across the face for shoving her younger sister during a birthday celebration for Molière. Much of the uncertainty about the facts of Bernhardt's life arises from her tendency to exaggerate and distort. Alexandre Dumas, fils, described her as a notorious liar.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1844
    Born
    Born in 1844.
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