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Rosine Bernhardt (Bernardt)

Also Known As: "The Divine Sarah"
Birthplace: Paris, Ile-de-France, France
Death: March 26, 1923 (78)
56 boulevard Pereire, Paris, Île-de-France, France (Empoisonnement urémique (Uremic Poisoning))
Place of Burial: Paris, Île-de-France, France
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Julie Bernardt
Wife of Jacques Damala
Mother of Maurice Bernhardt

Occupation: famous actress
Managed by: Malka Mysels
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Sarah Bernhardt

Sarah Bernhardt (c. October 22, 1844 – March 26, 1923) was a French stage and early film actress, and has been referred to as the most famous actress the world has ever known.

Bernhardt made her fame on the stages of Europe in the 1870s, and was soon in demand in Europe and the Americas. She developed a reputation as a serious dramatic actress, earning the nickname "The Divine Sarah".

Bernhardt was born in Paris as Rosine Bernardt, the daughter of Julie Bernardt (1821, Amsterdam – 1876, Paris) and an unknown father.

Julie, her mother, 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) (ca 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".

Sarah would add the letter "H" to both her first and last name. 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.

As the presence of a baby interfered with her mother Julie's terrible and stressful life, Sarah was brought up in a pension, and later in a convent.

A child of delicate health, she considered becoming a nun, but one of her mother's reputed lovers – the future Duc de Morny, Napoleon III's half-brother – decided that Sarah should be an actress.

When she was 13, le Duc de Morny arranged for her to enter the Conservatoire, the government sponsored school of acting. She was not considered a particularly promising student, and, although she revered some of her teachers, she regarded the Conservatoire's methods as antiquated and too deeply steeped in tradition.

Bernhardt had an affair with a Belgian nobleman, Charles-Joseph Eugène Henri Georges Lamoral de Ligne (1837–1914), son of Eugène, 8th Prince of Ligne, with whom she had her only child, Maurice Bernhardt, in 1864. He married a Polish princess, Maria Jablonowska (see Jablonowski).

She later married Greek-born actor Aristides Damala (known in France by the stage name Jacques Damala) in London in 1882, but the marriage, which legally endured until Damala's death in 1889 at age 34, quickly collapsed, largely due to Damala's dependence on morphine.

During the later years of this marriage, Bernhardt was said to have been involved in an affair with the Prince of Wales, who later became Edward VII.

Much of the uncertainty about Bernhardt's life arises because of her tendency to exaggerate and distort.

She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1751 Vine Street.


  • Dans les nuages, Impressions d'une chaise (1878)
  • L'Aveu, drame en un acte en prose (1888)
  • Adrienne Lecouvreur, drame en six actes (1907)
  • Ma Double Vie (1907), & as My Double Life: Memoirs of Sarah Bernhardt, (1907) William Heinemann
  • Un Coeur d'Homme, pièce en quatre actes (1911)
  • Petite Idole (1920; as The Idol of Paris, 1921)
  • L'Art du Théâtre: la voix, le geste, la prononciation, etc. (1923; as The Art of the Theatre, 1924)
  • "Sarah: The Life of Sarah Bernhardt" Robert Gottlieb (2010)

Family & Partners

  • Parents: 
Charles Auguste Louis Joseph de MORNY, Judith Julie (Youle) de MORNY (née BERNHARDT)
  • Sister: 
  • Husband: 
Aristides DAMALA
  • Son: 
* Partner: 
Henri Maximilien Joseph Charles Louis Lamoral de LIGNE 
  • Partner: 
Charles François Marie de REMUSAT
  • Partner: 
  • Partner: 
  • Partner: 
  • Partner: 
Victor Marie HUGO
  • Partner: 
Lucien Germain GUITRY
  • Partner: 
Georges Jules Victor CLAIRIN
  • Partner: 
Gustave DORE
  • Partner: 
Charles HAAS
  • Partner: 
Albert Edward (VII) de SAXE-COBURG & GOTHA

Sara Bernhardt in Chile:

The Chileans are rough, so cold, so lacking in intelligence, "said the great French actress after her only visit to the country in 1886. Juan Antonio Muñoz H. Neither the memory of the port of Valparaiso decked especially for her nor the tickets sold weeks in advance served to temper the mood of Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) after his passage through our country in 1886.

Several facts conspired. First, that she herself should be contradicted. La Bernhardt had asked to make the trip on the mountain range, on a mule, but his representative considered it preferable to do so by sea, supposedly safer. Thus, Sarah was shipped in Montevideo on the Cotopaxi steamer, which was about to sink in the waters of the Strait of Magellan. This was a difficult road, to say the least, that even motivated the song "Nous irons a Valparaiso", that the sailors sang to be animated when passing the Cape of Horns (consigned by Marcel Niedergang, of "Le Monde" , In February 1993).

Once away from the turbulence, the ship headed north, first docking in Lota, where the actress was received with the chords of "La Marseillaise". "After being housed in one of the houses of the very park of Lota (one of the seven wonders of the world, say the Penquistas), followed Talcahuano, and from there to Valparaíso" (Sara Vial, "La Segunda", February 15 Of 1996).

At the port, at nine o'clock in the morning, the armored Cochrane dispatched a boat to Prat Pier to accommodate those who would honor Sarah before her landing on board the Cotopaxi. They uploaded the uncle of the actress, Michel Kerbernhardt, owner of Hotel Colon; A nephew of Sarah; The administrator of the Victoria Theater; Some French residents; The consul of Peru, and the reporters.

Three days after her arrival, on October 9, Sarah debuted in the capital in a role that was considered the most she could do: Fedora, based on the story of Princess Romazoff. He arrived by train to the Central Station, where shortly they stole a bracelet watch from his niece Juanita, who accompanied her. His debut in Valparaíso was on October 19, at the Victoria Theater. There she was the protagonist of eight roles in titles such as "Frou Frou", "Adriana Lecrouvreur", "The Lady of the Camelias" and "El Despecho Amoroso".

Neither Chile nor the port was to Sarah's taste. "I love Buenos Aires, I love Rio, I hate Chile and I love Mexico, and although I hate Chile, I have eight cousins ​​there, but they are all there," he said. French, are not Chilean. " With "The Tribune" in New York, it was no less blunt: "We passed through the Strait of Magellan and went to Chile, but there they are brutes, so cold, so lacking in intelligence, so unfriendly!

"El Mercurio" of Valparaíso, answering, wrote: "We will be very rough Chileans, but at least we know some dignity, and we also distinguish the merit of the artist and the merit of the woman. The Ristori (actress Adelaida Ristori, favorite in the country in those years) and a sack of vices and bones like the Bernhardt.

In 1906 his return was announced. It would now be received at the Teatro San Martín de Santiago, but it was burned intact, and the visit was suspended (February, 1906). "El Mercurio" of Santiago, on March 2 of that year, confirmed the cancellation with a notice signed by Sarah herself offering something in exchange for her frustrated presence: "Instead of not coming, she has sent to Which recreates the fumeril public of Santiago, the eminent and tasty Cigarettes Sarah Bernhardt Justifying your absence

The actress was going to return to Chile in 1906, but the theater where she would act burned. In a notice signed by her she offered in return cigarettes and "a nice card".


Find A Grave Memorial# 1333

Sarah Bernhardt

  • Original name: Henriette Rosine Bernard
  • Birth:  Oct. 22, 1844
  • Death: Mar. 26, 1923

Legendary Actress. Also known as The Divine Sarah. Born Henriette Rosine Bernard the child of Dutch courtesan, Julie Bernard. She was the eldest of three illegitimate daughters, and though it is not clear who her father was, speculation often names a young student called Morel. The presence of children interfered with her mother's preferred lifestyle, so she spent her childhood in a pension, cared for by a hired nurse, and in Grandchamp Augustine convent school near Versailles. When she turned sixteen, her mother’s protector, Charles Duc de Morny, sent her to the Conservatoire de Musique et Déclamation in Paris, to study for a career in the theater. She came to regard the Conservatoire’s methods as antiquated. In 1862, she adopted the stage name of Sarah, and was accepted by the national theatre company Comédie-Française and debuted in the title role of Racine’s 'Iphigénie.' In 1863 she proceeded to the Théâtre du Gymnase-Dramatique, but was dissatisfied with the small parts she received. In 1868, she had her first public and critical success in Alexandre Dumas’ 'Kean,' followed buy a portrayal of Cordelia in 'King Lear,' and a great triumph as the minstrel boy in 'Le Passant.' In 1872, the Comédie Française attracted by her success, invited her back, and she became an undisputed star with her portrayals of 'Phèdre' (1874) and Doña Sol in Hugo’s 'Hernani' (1877). She played Desdemona in Othello in 1878, and again, when the Comédie-Française appeared in London in 1879. In 1880, she formed her own traveling company, touring in Europe and in the United States. The tour was a great success. In 1882 Sarah met Aristidis Damala, a Greek army officer. They married at St. Andrew’s in London at the end of Bernhardt’s successful European tour. Her fame at it's peak, she received honors from King Umberto of Italy, Alfonso XII of Spain, Austrian emperor Franz Joseph, and Czar Alexander III. In 1891, she undertook a world tour that included Australia and South America. Returning to France in 1893, she was the wealthiest and most publicized actress of her day. That same year, she became the manager of the Théâtre de la Renaissance, and in 1899 she relocated to the former Théâtre des Nations, which she renamed the Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt. She had made notable appearances as Hamlet in Paris and London in 1899, and as François-Joseph Bonaparte in 'L’Aiglon' (1900). She was one of the first women known to have performed the title role in Hamlet. In 1905, during a South American tour, she injured her right knee when jumping off the parapet in the last scene of La Tosca. Nearly a decade later, the injury became infected and gangrenous; and her leg had to be amputated. She again left for America in October 1910. She appeared in several silent films, but her only success was in the title role in 'Elizabeth Queen of England' in 1912. In 1914, she was made a Chevalier of France’s Legion of Honor.

After the loss of her leg, she insisted on visiting the soldiers at the front during the 1st World War, carried in a litter chair. In 1916, she began her last tour of the United States, running to 18 months on the road. In November 1918, she returned to France, only to set out on a European tour, playing parts she could perform while seated. New roles were provided for her by several playwrights that catered to her physical needs. In the fall of 1922, she gave a benefit performance to raise money for Madame Curie’s laboratory. She later collapsed during the dress rehearsal of the play 'Un Sujet de roman' but recovered sufficiently to take an interest in the motion picture, 'La Voyante', which was being filmed in her house in Paris shortly before her death. She was the author of an autobiography, 'My Double Life: Memoirs of Sarah Bernhardt,' (1907), a novel, 'Petite Idole,' (1920), and a treatise on acting, 'L’Art du théâtre' (1923). (bio by: Iola) 

  • Family links: 
    • Children:
      •  Maurice Bernhardt (1864 - 1958)*
  • Cause of death: Uremia following kidney failure
  • Burial: Cimetière du Père Lachaise, Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France,
    • Plot: Division 44, #6; GPS (lat/lon): 48.86119, 2.39489

Over Sarah Bernhardt (Nederlands)

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Sarah Bernhardt's Timeline

October 22, 1844
Paris, Ile-de-France, France
December 22, 1864
Age 20
Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France
March 26, 1923
Age 78
Paris, Île-de-France, France
Paris, Île-de-France, France