Sarah BERNHARDT

Family tree of Sarah BERNHARDT

Actor

FrenchBorn Sarah BERNHARDT

French stage and early film actress

Born on October 22, 1844 in Paris , France

Died on March 26, 1923 in Paris , France

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Bernhardt was born in Paris as Rosine Bernardt, the daughter of Julie Bernardt (1821, Amsterdam – 1876, Paris) and an unknown father. Julie was one of six children of a widely traveling Jewish spectacle merchant, "vision specialist" and petty criminal, Moritz Baruch Bernardt, and Sara Hirsch (later known as Janetta Hartog; c. 1797–1829). Julie's father remarried Sara Kinsbergen (1809–1878) two weeks after his first wife's death, and abandoned his family in 1835. Julie left for Paris, where she made a living as a courtesan and was known by the name "Youle". Sara would add the letter "H" to both her first and last names. Sarah's birth records were lost in a fire in 1871, but in order to prove French citizenship, necessary for Légion d'honneur eligibility, she created false birth records, on which she was the daughter of "Judith van Hard" and "Edouard Bernardt" from Le Havre, in later stories either a law student, accountant, naval cadet or naval officer.



When Sarah was young her mother sent her to Grandchamp, an Augustine convent school near Versailles In 1860 she began attending The Conservatoire de Musique at Déclemation in Paris and eventually became a student at the Comédie Française where she would have her acting debut ( August 11, 1862) as the title role of Rancin's Iphigéniie to lackluster reviews. 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.

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Much of the uncertainty about Bernhardt's life arises because of her tendency to exaggerate and distort. Alexandre Dumas, fils described her as a notorious liar.



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Geographical origins

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