Biography One of the most famous French actor in the history of theatre is known as Sarah Bernhardt. The adoring public knows her as ‘Divine Sarah’. On October 23 1844, she was born as Rosine Bernard in Paris…
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Her debut, which was held on September 1, 1862 at the Theatre Francois in Racine’s Iphigenie Audile, was not greeted with a lot of interest (Young student's learning library). Sarah’s formative years of upbringing were spent with a Breton nurse. Her Dutch courtesan mother would sporadically visit Sarah. The reason behind the sporadic visits was that she was constantly travelling from Spain to England, from London to Paris, from Paris to Berlin, and from there to Christiana. Her aunts also played an instrumental role in her upbringing. Sarah described her aunts as ‘pretty visitors’. They created an environment full of independent women along with her mother. However, her immediate rural habitat was dominated by hard labor and the subjugation of free will. This was incongruous with her mother’s side. The social roles primarily depended upon in survival. There was never a continuous paternal presence in Sarah’s upbringing (Cheng 2010). Sarah Bernhardt is popularly known as the first international stage star by her followers. Her productions have taken place in Europe, United States, Canada, South America, Australia and Middle East. These productions have been 125 in number out of which she has played some 70 roles. Before she rented out Theatre des Nations, she managed several theatres in Paris. The theatre, which she leased, was Theatre Des Nations. It was renamed as Theatre Sarah Bernhardt- today popularly known as Theatre de la Ville. Her own life was reflected by the tragedies and romances of her stage heroines. This is what reinvented her as a public icon (Shapira 2009) Everything from Sarah’s obscure birth to her glorious career, redefining the very nature of her art, to her amazing romantic life to her indomitable spirit- is fascinating. She was performing under bombardment for soldiers in her late seventies, after the amputation of her leg. This was during World War 1. Sarah was always proud of her Jewish heritage. She was a passionate Dreyfusard and Zolaist. She worshiped and raised her only son, Maurice as an aristocrat. He was a right wing snob (Gottlieb 2010). Sarah Bernhardt was multi talented. Apart from being involved in visual arts, she was involved in acting, painting and sculpting herself. She would also do modeling for Antonio De La Gandara. She has also been a writer, who has been publishing playa and a series of books throughout her life. Continuously she lead an active life. She date a Belgian noble man named Charles Joseph Eugene. It was with him that she had her only child. Moreover, she was one of the pioneer silent movie actresses. She debuted in Hamlet. She has been the star of 8 motion pictures and 2 biographical films in all. She was also made the member of France’s Legion of Honor in 1914. 10 years after a serious injury in 1915, she was confined to a wheel chair because her right leg was to be amputated. Despite of this she continued her career. Although she had to use a wood prosthetic limb. She died in the arms of her son, Maurice. She is buried in Paris, France (Sarah Bernhardt Biography). Important achievements It was in 1862 that Bernhardt had made her first appearance at the national theatre in the title role of Racine’s Iphigenie. The name of the national theatre was Comedie Francaise. However, she was dismissed a few months later because of her behavior towards an older actor. She slapped her. She escaped to Brussels because she was dissatisfied with the small parts she received in the fashionable theater
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