Bernhardt, Sarah

(1844-1923)
   Actress. Born Henriette-Rosine Bernard, Sarah Bernhardt was probably the greatest stage actress of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Born of French and Dutch Jewish parents, she was sent to a convent school and converted to Christianity. She studied acting at the Paris Conservatoire d'art dramatique, where she excelled and won prizes for both tragedy and comedy. Bernhardt went on to debut at the Comédie Française at the age of seventeen. Despite her success at the Conservatoire, success on the stage did not come immediately. However, by 1880 or so, after very hard work and several great performances, most notably in Racine's Phèdre (1874) and in Victor Hugo's Hernani (1877), she had become recognized as the greatest actress of her time, so great that her reputation as a temperamental, hypochondriac diva did little to diminish her standing as an actress.
   Given Bernhardt's standing, she did not seek out the cinema. Rather, the cinema came to her in order to advance its own prestige. Bernhardt's first appearance on film came in 1900, when Clément Maurice filmed part of her performance in Shakespeare's Hamlet. She starred in 1908 in Charles le Bargy's ill-fated La Tosca, which was never formally released. She went on to star in André Calmettes and Henri Pouctal's La Dame aux camélias (1912), Henri Desfontaines and Louis Mercanton's Les Amours de la reine Elizabeth (1912) and Adrienne Lecouvreur (1913), and Mercanton and René Hervil's Jeanne Doré (1915) and Mères voyantes (1917). She died during the filming of Mercanton and Léon Abrams's La Voyante (1923), although her role was included in the final film.

Historical Dictionary of French Cinema. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • BERNHARDT, SARAH — (Rosine Bernard; 1844–1923), French actress. Fathered by a Frenchman (Edouard Bernard), she was the eldest of three illegitimate daughters born to Judith Van Hard, a Dutch Jewish music teacher. When Sarah was ten years old she was sent to the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Bernhardt, Sarah — orig. Henriette Rosine Bernard born Oct. 22/23, 1844, Paris, France died March 26, 1923, Paris French actress. The illegitimate child of a courtesan, she was encouraged to pursue a theatrical career by one of her mother s lovers, the duke de… …   Universalium

  • Bernhardt, Sarah — (1844 1923)    Actress. Born Henriette Rosine Bernard, Sarah Bernhardt was probably the greatest stage actress of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Born of French and Dutch Jewish parents, she was sent to a convent school and… …   Guide to cinema

  • Bernhardt, Sarah — (1844 1923)    actor    Born Rosine Bernard in Paris, sarah Bernhardt, one of the most celebrated actors of her time, made her debut at the comédie française. After acting there, she founded her own company and toured in many countries. At home,… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Bernhardt, Sarah — (1844 1923)    Undoubtedly the most celebrated actress in the world for much of her career, the divine French actress with the golden voice made nine American tours between 1880 and 1918. She docked in New York on 27 October 1880 for her first… …   The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater

  • Bernhardt,Sarah — Bern·hardt (bûrnʹhärt , bĕr närʹ), Sarah. Originally Henrietta Rosine Bernard. Known as “the Divine Sarah.” 1844 1923. Library of Congress French actress. Considered the romantic and tragic actress of her day, she first achieved fame for her… …   Universalium

  • Bernhardt, Sarah —  (1844–1923) French actress, called the Divine Sarah ; born Henriette Rosine Bernard …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Bernhardt, Sarah — (1844 1923)    French actress. She was baptized at an early age. She began her career at the Comedie Francaise in 1862; in 1866 she joined the Odeon theatre. In 1872 she returned to the Comedie Francaise and later toured Europe, the United States …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Bernhardt, Sarah — ► (1844 1923) Seudónimo de Henriette Rosine Bernard, actriz francesa de origen judío. Debutó en la Comédie Française. * * * orig. Henriette Rosine Bernard (22/23 oct. 1844, París, Francia–26 mar. 1923, París). Actriz francesa. Hija ilegítima de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • BERNHARDT, SARAH —    a dramatic artiste, born in Paris; of Jewish descent, but baptized as a Christian; distinguished specially as a tragédienne; of abilities qualifying her to shine in other departments of the profession and of art, of which she has given proof;… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

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