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Julie Bernardt's Geni Profile

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Julie Bernardt

Also Known As: "Judith Julie (Youle) de Morny (née Bernhardt)"
Birthdate: (55)
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Nederland
Death: January 06, 1876 (55)
8ème, Paris, Ile-de-France, France
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Moritz Baruch Bernardt and Janetta Hartog (aka Sara Hirsch)
Wife of Charles Auguste Louis Joseph de Morny, 1st Duc de Morny
Mother of Sarah Bernhardt
Sister of Edouard Bernardt

Managed by: Malka Mysels
Last Updated:

About Julie Bernardt

FYI: Information on the mother of Sarah Bernhardt.........

Sarah Bernhardt was born Henriette-Rosine Bernard at 5 rue de L'École-de-Médicine in the Latin Quarter of Paris on 22 or 23 October 1844.

She was the illegitimate daughter of Judith Bernard (also known as Julie and in France as Youle), a Dutch Jewish courtesan, a prostitute with a wealthy or upper-class clientele.

The name of her father is not recorded. According to some sources, he was probably the son of a wealthy merchant from Le Havre.

Bernhardt later wrote that her father's family paid for her education, insisted she be baptized as a Catholic, and left a large sum to be paid when she came of age.

Her mother traveled frequently, and saw little of her daughter. She placed the child with a nurse in Brittany, then in a cottage in the Paris suburb of Neuilly.

When Sarah was seven, her mother sent her to a boarding school for young ladies in the Paris suburb of Auteuil, paid with funds from her father's family. There, she acted in her first theatrical performance in the play Clothilde, where she had the role of the Queen of the Fairies, and performed her first of many dramatic death scenes.

While Sarah was in the boarding school, her mother rose to the top ranks of Parisian courtesans, consorting with politicians, bankers, generals, and writers. Her patrons and friends included Charles de Morny, Duke of Morny, the half-brother of Emperor Napoleon III and President of the French legislature.

At the age of 10, with the sponsorship of Morny, Sarah was admitted to Grandchamp, an exclusive Augustine convent school near Versailles. At the convent, she performed the part of the Archangel Raphael in the story of Tobias and the Angel. She declared her intention to become a nun, but did not always follow convent rules; she was accused of sacrilege when she arranged a Christian burial, with a procession and ceremony, for her pet lizard.

In 1859, Sarah learned that her father had died overseas. Her mother summoned a family council, including Morny, to decide what to do with her. Morny proposed that Sarah should become an actress, an idea that horrified Sarah, as she had never been inside a theater. Morny arranged for her to attend her first theater performance at the Comedie Française in a party which included her mother, Morny, and his friend Alexandre Dumas, père. The play they attended was Brittanicus, by Jean Racine, followed by the classical comedy Amphitryon by Plautus. Sarah was so moved by the emotion of the play, she began to sob loudly, disturbing the rest of the audience. Morny and others in their party were angry at her and left, but Dumas comforted her, and later told Morny that he believed that she was destined for the stage. After the performance, Dumas called her "my little star".

Morny used his influence with the composer Daniel Auber, the head of the Paris Conservatory, to arrange for her to audition. She began preparing, as she described it in her memoirs, "with that vivid exaggeration with which I embrace any new enterprise." Dumas coached her. The jury was composed of Auber and five leading actors and actresses from the Comédie Française. She was supposed to recite verses from Racine, but no one had told her that she needed someone to give her cues as she recited. Bernhardt told the jury she would instead recite the fable of the Two Pigeons by La Fontaine. The jurors were skeptical, but the fervor and pathos of her recitation won them over, and she was invited to become a student.

Source: Wikipedia Added by Janet Milburn to Geni on 10/25/18

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Julie Bernardt's Timeline

Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Nederland
October 22, 1844
Age 23
Paris, Ile-de-France, France
January 6, 1876
Age 55
Paris, Ile-de-France, France