Sarah Bernhardt was a very famous French actress who was the first to have toured the 5 continents and whose life was incredible !

She wanted to be a nun

Sarah Bernhardt influenced the fashion, literature and decorative arts of her time and was an international star. Born October 22, 1844, Sarah Bernhardt is the daughter of Judith-Julie Bernardt, a Dutch courtesan; his father remains unknown. She was born under the name of Rosine Bernardt; it is later that she will change her first name and add an H to her name. Sarah Bernhardt first plans to be a nun… But she finally turns to the theater and enters the National Conservatory of Dramatic Art at 15 years old. Barely 3 years later, she joined the prestigious Comédie Française, from which she was fired following an altercation with the actress Miss Nathalie to whom she slapped ! Already quite a character. This “monstre sacré” plays the most prestigious roles in the repertoire, runs several theatres, collects lovers, has a boy, gets married and travels the world with his own troupe; she makes a fortune.

Sarah Bernhardt
Sarah Bernhardt

She used scandal to attract attention

Bernhardt defends Louise Michel and Captain Dreyfus with Zola. She received the Legion of Honor in 1914. To all these talents is added that of a confirmed sculptor who regularly exhibits her works in Paris and New York. She uses scandal to attract media attention. She sets up a rosewood coffin in her home to, she claims, get used to death. It spawns the first paparazzi. She is also the first woman to have her hair cut. She welcomes wild animals into her home, including an alligator who dies after drinking too much champagne. At 69, finally, she had one of the first facelifts in history. At the age of 70, her right leg had to be amputated, suffering from bone tuberculosis, which did not prevent her from continuing to play in the theater and appear in films sitting down, because she could not bear to show up with a wooden leg.

An impressive crowd at her funeral

Her death occurs in her private mansion, while she is shooting a film, La Voyante, by Sacha Guitry. On March 29, 1923, an impressive human tide accompanied Sarah Bernhardt to her final resting place in Père-Lachaise. We had not seen such a crowd behind a funeral procession since the burial of Victor Hugo. The actress died three days earlier, at the age of 78, of kidney failure, after a two-day agony. The day before, we thought she was regaining her strength, but her only kidney ended up throwing in the towel.

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