221 Facts About Sarah Bernhardt


Sarah Bernhardt was a French stage actress who starred in some of the most popular French plays of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including La Dame Aux Camelias by Alexandre Dumas fils; Ruy Blas by Victor Hugo, Fedora and La Tosca by Victorien Sardou, and L'Aiglon by Edmond Rostand.


Sarah Bernhardt made several theatrical tours around the world, and was one of the first prominent actresses to make sound recordings and to act in motion pictures.


Sarah Bernhardt is linked with the success of artist Alphonse Mucha, whose work she helped to publicize.


Sarah Bernhardt was the daughter of Judith Bernard, a Dutch Jewish courtesan with a wealthy or upper-class clientele.


Sarah Bernhardt's mother travelled frequently, and saw little of her daughter.


Sarah Bernhardt placed Bernhardt with a nurse in Brittany, then in a cottage in the Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine.


When Sarah Bernhardt 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.


Sarah Bernhardt 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.


Sarah Bernhardt received her first communion as a Roman Catholic in 1856, and thereafter she was fervently religious.


In 1857, Sarah Bernhardt learned that her father had died overseas.


Sarah Bernhardt's mother summoned a family council, including Morny, to decide what to do with her.


Morny proposed that Sarah Bernhardt should become an actress, an idea that horrified Sarah Bernhardt, as she had never been inside a theatre.


Sarah Bernhardt was so moved by the emotion of the play, she began to sob loudly, disturbing the rest of the audience.


Sarah Bernhardt was supposed to recite verses from Racine, but no one had told her that she needed someone to give her cues as she recited.


Sarah Bernhardt told the jury she would instead recite the fable of the Two Pigeons by La Fontaine.


Sarah Bernhardt studied acting at the Conservatory from January 1860 until 1862 under two prominent actors of the Comedie Francaise, Joseph-Isidore Samson and Jean-Baptiste Provost.


Sarah Bernhardt wrote in her memoirs that Provost taught her diction and grand gestures, while Samson taught her the power of simplicity.


Sarah Bernhardt put in a good word for her with the National Minister of the Arts, Camille Doucet.


Sarah Bernhardt made her debut with the company on 31 August 1862 in the title role of Racine's Iphigenie.


Sarah Bernhardt played Henrietta in Moliere's Les Femmes Savantes and Hippolyte in L'Etourdi, and the title role in Scribe's Valerie, but did not impress the critics, or the other members of the company, who had resented her rapid rise.


Sarah Bernhardt apologised profusely, and when the doorkeeper retired 20 years later, she bought a cottage for him in Normandy.


At a ceremony honoring the birthday of Moliere on 15 January 1863, Sarah Bernhardt invited her younger sister, Regina, to accompany her.


Regina and Madame Nathalie began shouting at one another, and Sarah Bernhardt stepped forward and slapped Madame Nathalie on the cheek.


Sarah Bernhardt refused to do so until Madame Nathalie apologised to Regina.


Sarah Bernhardt had already been scheduled for a new role with the theater, and had begun rehearsals.


Madame Nathalie demanded that Sarah Bernhardt be dropped from the role unless she apologised.


Sarah Bernhardt chose to recite two romantic poems by Victor Hugo, unaware that Hugo was a bitter critic of the emperor.


Sarah Bernhardt decided abruptly to quit the theater to travel, and like her mother, to take on lovers.


Sarah Bernhardt went briefly to Spain, then, at the suggestion of Alexandre Dumas, to Belgium.


Sarah Bernhardt carried to Brussels letters of introduction from Dumas, and was admitted to the highest levels of society.


Sarah Bernhardt returned to Paris, where she found that her mother was better, but that she herself was pregnant from her affair with the Prince.


Sarah Bernhardt's mother did not want the fatherless child born under her roof, so she moved to a small apartment on rue Duphot, and on 22 December 1864, the 20-year-old actress gave birth to her only child, Maurice Bernhardt.


Sarah Bernhardt later called the affair "her abiding wound", but she never discussed Maurice's parentage with anyone.


Sarah Bernhardt was cast in highly stylised and frivolous 18th-century comedies, whereas her strong point on stage was her complete sincerity.


Sarah Bernhardt's salary was immediately raised to 250 francs a month.


Sarah Bernhardt developed a close friendship with the writer George Sand, and performed in two plays that she authored.


Sarah Bernhardt received celebrities in her dressing room, including Gustave Flaubert and Leon Gambetta.


Sarah Bernhardt's mother began to visit her for the first time in years, and her grandmother, a strict Orthodox Jew, moved into the apartment to take care of Maurice.


Sarah Bernhardt added a maid and a cook to her household, as well as the beginning of a collection of animals; she had one or two dogs with her at all times, and two turtles moved freely around the apartment.


Sarah Bernhardt found the diamonds in the ashes, and the managers of the Odeon organised a benefit performance.


Sarah Bernhardt was able to buy an even larger residence, with two salons and a large dining room, at 4 rue de Rome.


Sarah Bernhardt took charge of converting the Odeon into a hospital for soldiers wounded in the battles outside the city.


Sarah Bernhardt organised the placement of 32 beds in the lobby and the foyers, brought in her personal chef to prepare soup for the patients, and persuaded her wealthy friends and admirers to donate supplies for the hospital.


Sarah Bernhardt arranged for serious cases to be transferred to another military hospital, and she rented an apartment on rue de Provence to house the remaining 20 patients.


The French government signed an armistice on 19 January 1871, and Sarah Bernhardt learned that her son and family had been moved to Hamburg.


Sarah Bernhardt went to the new chief executive of the French Republic, Adolphe Thiers, and obtained a pass to go to Germany to return them.


Charles-Marie Chilly, the co-director of the Odeon, came to her apartment, where Sarah Bernhardt received him reclining on a sofa.


Sarah Bernhardt announced that the theaters would reopen in October 1871, and he asked her to play the lead in a new play, Jean-Marie by Andre Theuriet.


Sarah Bernhardt replied that she was finished with the theatre and was going to move to Brittany and start a farm.


At first, Sarah Bernhardt pretended to be indifferent to him, but he gradually won her over and she became a fervent admirer.


The opening night was attended by the Prince of Wales and by Hugo himself; after the performance, Hugo approached Sarah Bernhardt, dropped to one knee, and kissed her hand.


Sarah Bernhardt asked Chilly if he would match the offer, but he refused.


Sarah Bernhardt formally returned to the Comedie Francaise on 1 October 1872, and quickly took on some of the most famous and demanding roles in French theatre.


Sarah Bernhardt maintained a highly theatrical lifestyle in her house on the rue de Rome.


Sarah Bernhardt kept a satin-lined coffin in her bedroom, and occasionally slept in it or lay in it to study her roles, though, contrary to the popular stories, she never took it with her on her travels.


Sarah Bernhardt cared for her younger sister who was ill with tuberculosis, and allowed her to sleep in her own bed, while she slept in the coffin.


Sarah Bernhardt posed in it for photographs, adding to the legends she created about herself.


Sarah Bernhardt repaired her old relationships with the other members of the Comedie Francaise; she participated in a benefit for Madame Nathalie, the actress she had once slapped.


Sarah Bernhardt refused to pay, and threatened to resign from the Comedie.


Sarah Bernhardt was earning a substantial amount at the theatre, but her expenses were even greater.


When Perrin protested, saying that Sarah Bernhardt was only 10th or 11th in seniority, the Gaiety manager threatened to cancel the performance; Perrin had to give in.


Sarah Bernhardt scheduled Bernhardt to perform one act of Phedre on the opening night, between two traditional French comedies, Le Misanthrope and Les Precieuses.


Sarah Bernhardt wrote later that she pitched her voice too high, and was unable to lower it.


Sarah Bernhardt insisted that she perform the lead in a new play, L'Aventuriere by Emile Augier, a play which she thought was mediocre.


Now on her own, Sarah Bernhardt first assembled and tried out her new troupe at the Theatre de la Gaite-Lyrique in Paris.


Sarah Bernhardt performed for the first time La Dame aux Camelias, by Alexandre Dumas fils.


Sarah Bernhardt did not create the role; the play had first been performed by Eugenie Dochein in 1852, but it quickly became her most performed and most famous role.


Sarah Bernhardt played the role more than a thousand times, and acted regularly and successfully in it until the end of her life.


Sarah Bernhardt thanked the audience with her distinctive curtain call; she did not bow, but stood perfectly still, with her hands clasped under her chin, or with her palms on her cheeks, and then suddenly stretched them out to the audience.


Sarah Bernhardt travelled on a special train with her own luxurious palace car, which carried her two maids, two cooks, a waiter, her maitre d'hotel, and her personal assistant, Madame Guerard.


Sarah Bernhardt crisscrossed the United States and Canada from Montreal and Toronto to Saint Louis and New Orleans, usually performing each evening, and departing immediately after the performance.


Sarah Bernhardt gave countless press interviews, and in Boston posed for photos on the back of a dead whale.


Sarah Bernhardt was condemned as immoral by the Bishop of Montreal and by the Methodist press, which only increased ticket sales.


Sarah Bernhardt performed Phedre six times and La Dame Aux Camelias 65 times.


When Sarah Bernhardt returned to France, she brought with her a chest filled with $194,000 in gold coins.


Sarah Bernhardt recited the Marseillaise, dressed in a white robe with a tricolor banner, and at the end dramatically waved the French flag.


Sarah Bernhardt announced that she would not be available to begin until 1882.


Sarah Bernhardt departed on a tour of theatres in the French provinces, and then to Italy, Greece, Hungary, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Austria, and Russia.


Sarah Bernhardt had leased and refurbished a theatre, the Ambigu, specifically to give her husband leading roles, and made her 18-year-old son Maurice, who had no business experience, the manager.


Sarah Bernhardt was forced to give up the Ambigu, and then, in February 1883, to sell her jewellery, her carriages, and her horses at an auction.


Sarah Bernhardt renewed her relationship with the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII.


Richepin then wrote an adaptation of Macbeth in French, with Sarah Bernhardt as Lady Macbeth, but it was a failure.


Sarah Bernhardt began writing a play, Salome, in French, especially for Bernhardt, though it was quickly banned by British censors and she never performed it.


Sarah Bernhardt then performed a new play by Sardou, Theodora, a melodrama set in sixth-century Byzantine Empire.


Sarah Bernhardt travelled to Ravenna, Italy, to study and sketch the costumes seen in Byzantine mosaic murals, and had them reproduced for her own costumes.


Sarah Bernhardt was able to pay off most of her debts, and bought a lion cub, which she named Justinian, for her home menagerie.


Sarah Bernhardt renewed her love affair with her former lead actor, Philippe Garnier.


Sarah Bernhardt next put on Hamlet, with her lover Philippe Garnier in the leading role and Bernhardt in the relatively minor role of Ophelia.


Sarah Bernhardt had built up large expenses, which included a 10,000 francs a month allowance paid to her son Maurice, a passionate gambler.


Sarah Bernhardt was forced to sell her chalet in Sainte-Adresse and her mansion on rue Fortuny, and part of her collection of animals.


Sarah Bernhardt was on tour for 15 months, from early 1886 until late 1887.


Sarah Bernhardt was undaunted and went crocodile hunting at Guayaquil, and bought more animals for her menagerie.


Sarah Bernhardt returned to Paris in early 1889 with an enormous owl given to her by the Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich, the brother of the Czar.


Sarah Bernhardt carried a trunk for her perfumes, cosmetics and makeup, and another for her sheets and tablecloths and her five pillows.


Sarah Bernhardt turned to Sardou, who had written a new play for her, La Tosca, which featured a prolonged and extremely dramatic death scene at the end.


The success of the play allowed Sarah Bernhardt to buy a new pet lion for her household menagerie.


Sarah Bernhardt named him Scarpia, after the villain of La Tosca.


Sarah Bernhardt then performed another traditional melodrama, Francillon by Alexandre Dumas fils in 1888.


Sarah Bernhardt had considerably more success with Jeanne d'Arc by the poet Jules Barbier, in which the 45-year-old actress played Joan of Arc, a 19-year-old martyr.


Sarah Bernhardt made a two-year world tour to replenish her finances.


Sarah Bernhardt managed every aspect of the theatre, from the finances to the lighting, sets, and costumes, as well as appearing in eight performances a week.


Sarah Bernhardt imposed a rule that women in the audience, no matter how wealthy or famous, had to take off their hats during performances, so the rest of the audience could see, and eliminated the prompter's box from the stage, declaring that actors should know their lines.


Sarah Bernhardt abolished in her theatre the common practice of hiring claqueurs in the audience to applaud stars.


Sarah Bernhardt used the new technology of lithography to produce vivid color posters, and in 1894, she hired Czech artist Alphonse Mucha to design the first of a series of posters for her play Gismonda.


Sarah Bernhardt continued to make posters of her for six years.


In five years, Sarah Bernhardt produced nine plays, three of which were financially successful.


Sarah Bernhardt's co-star was Lucien Guitry, who acted as her leading man until the end of her career.


At the Theatre de la Renaissance, Sarah Bernhardt staged and performed in several modern plays, but she was not a follower of the more natural school of acting that was coming into fashion at the end of the 19th century, preferring a more dramatic expression of emotions.


Sarah Bernhardt was forced to give up the Renaissance, and was preparing to go on another world tour when she learned that a much larger Paris theater, the Theatre des Nations on Place du Chatelet, was for lease.


Sarah Bernhardt renamed it the Theatre Sarah Bernhardt, and began to renovate it to suit her needs.


Sarah Bernhardt completely redecorated the interior, replacing the red plush and gilt with yellow velvet, brocade, and white woodwork.


Sarah Bernhardt's dressing room was a five-room suite, which, after the success of her Napoleonic play L'Aiglon, was decorated in Empire Style, featuring a marble fireplace with a fire Bernhardt kept burning year round, a huge bathtub that was filled with the flowers she received after each performance, and a dining room fitting 12 people, where she entertained guests after the final curtain.


Sarah Bernhardt opened the theatre on 21 January 1899 with a revival of Sardou's La Tosca, which she had first performed in 1887.


Sarah Bernhardt played Hamlet in a manner which was direct, natural, and very feminine.


Sarah Bernhardt's performance received largely positive reviews in Paris, but mixed reviews in London.


In 1900, Sarah Bernhardt presented L'Aiglon, a new play by Rostand.


Sarah Bernhardt played the Duc de Reichstadt, the son of Napoleon Bonaparte, imprisoned by his unloving mother and family until his melancholy death in the Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna.


The play inspired the creation of Sarah Bernhardt souvenirs, including statuettes, medallions, fans, perfumes, postcards of her in the role, uniforms and cardboard swords for children, and pastries and cakes; the famed chef Escoffier added Peach Aiglon with Chantilly cream to his repertoire of desserts.


Sarah Bernhardt continued to employ Mucha to design her posters, and expanded his work to include theatrical sets, programs, costumes, and jewellery props.


Sarah Bernhardt's posters became icons of the Art Nouveau style.


Sarah Bernhardt played the secondary role of Roxanne to his Cyrano de Bergerac, a role which he had premiered, and he co-starred with her as Flambeau in L'Aiglon and as the first grave-digger in Hamlet.


Sarah Bernhardt changed, for the first time, her resolution not to perform in Germany or the "occupied territories" of Alsace and Lorraine.


Sarah Bernhardt performed L'Aiglon 14 times in Germany; Kaiser William II of Germany attended two performances and hosted a dinner in her honour in Potsdam.


Sarah Bernhardt was forced to reduce her movements in L'Aiglon.


Sarah Bernhardt promised to see a doctor when she returned to Paris, but continued the tour.


Sarah Bernhardt played a Moorish sorceress in love with a Christian Spaniard, leading to her persecution by the church.


Sarah Bernhardt starred in a new version of Adrienne Lecouvreur, which she wrote herself, different from the earlier version which had been written for her by Scribe.


Sarah Bernhardt taught acting briefly at the Conservatory, but found the system there too rigid and traditional.


Sarah Bernhardt attracted controversy and press attention when, during her 1905 visit to Montreal, the Roman Catholic bishop encouraged his followers to throw eggs at Bernhardt, because she portrayed prostitutes as sympathetic characters.


Sarah Bernhardt's tour continued into South America, where it was marred by a more serious event: at the conclusion of La Tosca in Rio de Janeiro, she leaped, as always, from the wall of the fortress to plunge to her death in the Tiber.


Sarah Bernhardt landed on her right knee, which had already been damaged in earlier tours.


Sarah Bernhardt fainted and was taken from the theatre on a stretcher, but refused to be treated in a local hospital.


Sarah Bernhardt later sailed by ship from Rio to New York.


However, the award at that time required a review of the recipients' moral standards, and Sarah Bernhardt's behavior was still considered scandalous.


Sarah Bernhardt ignored the snub and continued to play both inoffensive and controversial characters.


Sarah Bernhardt was not a particularly good actor, and had a strong Dutch accent, but he was successful in roles such as Hippolyte in Phedre, where he could take off his shirt and show off his physique.


Fortunately for Sarah Bernhardt, she was able to pay off her debt with the money she received from the American producer Adolph Zukor for a film version of the play.


Sarah Bernhardt's leg had not yet fully healed, and she was unable to perform an entire play, only selected acts.


Sarah Bernhardt separated from her co-star and lover of the time, Lou Tellegen.


In December 1913, Sarah Bernhardt performed another success with the drama Jeanne Dore.


Sarah Bernhardt had made her son Maurice the director of her new theatre, and permitted him to use the receipts of the theatre to pay his gambling debts, eventually forcing her to pawn some of her jewels to pay her bills.


Sarah Bernhardt hurried back to Paris, which was threatened by an approaching German army.


Sarah Bernhardt departed for a villa on the Bay of Arcachon, where her physician discovered that gangrene had developed on her leg, still injured from her 1906 performance in Rio de Janeiro.


Sarah Bernhardt was transported to Bordeaux, where on 22 February 1915, a surgeon amputated her leg almost to the hip.


Sarah Bernhardt refused the idea of an artificial leg, crutches, or a wheelchair, and instead was usually carried in a palanquin she designed, supported by two long shafts and carried by two men.


Sarah Bernhardt had the chair decorated in the Louis XV style, with white sides and gilded trim.


Sarah Bernhardt joined a troupe of famous French actors and traveled to the Battle of Verdun and the Battle of the Argonne, where she performed for soldiers who were just returned or about to go into battle.


Sarah Bernhardt returned to Paris in 1916 and made two short films on patriotic themes, one based on the story of Joan of Arc, the other called Mothers of France.


Sarah Bernhardt was diagnosed with uremia, and had to have an emergency kidney operation.


Sarah Bernhardt recuperated in Long Beach, California, for several months, writing short stories and novellas for publication in French magazines.


Sarah Bernhardt starred in a new play, Daniel, written by her grandson-in-law, playwright Louis Verneuil.


Sarah Bernhardt played the male lead role, but appeared in just two acts.


Sarah Bernhardt took the play and other famous scenes from her repertory on a European tour and then for her last tour of England, where she gave a special command performance for Queen Mary, followed by a tour of the British provinces.


In 1921, Sarah Bernhardt made her last tour of the French provinces, lecturing about theatre and reciting the poetry of Rostand.


Sarah Bernhardt was too weak to travel, so a room in her house on Boulevard Pereire was set up as a film studio, with scenery, lights, and cameras.


Sarah Bernhardt died from uremia on the evening of 26 March 1923.


Sarah Bernhardt was one of the first actresses to star in moving pictures.


In 1900, the cameraman who had shot the first films for the Lumiere brothers, Clement Maurice, approached Sarah Bernhardt and asked her to make a film out of a scene from her stage production of Hamlet.


Eight years later, in 1908, Sarah Bernhardt made a second motion picture, La Tosca.


When she performed on this film, Sarah Bernhardt changed both the fashion in which she performed, significantly accelerating the speed of her gestural action.


Sarah Bernhardt began painting while she was at the Comedie-Francaise; since she rarely performed more than twice a week, she wanted a new activity to fill her time.


Sarah Bernhardt's paintings were mostly landscapes and seascapes, with many painted at Belle-Ile.


Sarah Bernhardt's painting teachers were close and lifelong friends Georges Clairin and Louise Abbema.


Sarah Bernhardt exhibited a 2-m-tall canvas, The Young Woman and Death, at the 1878 Paris Salon.


Sarah Bernhardt quickly picked up the techniques; she exhibited and sold a high-relief plaque of the death of Ophelia and, for the architect Charles Garnier, she created the allegorical figure of Song for the group Music on the facade of the Opera House of Monte Carlo.


Sarah Bernhardt exhibited a group of figures, called Apres la Tempete, at the 1876 Paris Salon, receiving an honourable mention.


Sarah Bernhardt sold the original work, the molds, and signed plaster miniatures, earning more than 10,000 francs.


Fifty works by Sarah Bernhardt have been documented, of which 25 are known to still exist.


Sarah Bernhardt set up a studio at 11 boulevard de Clichy in Montmartre, where she frequently entertained her guests dressed in her sculptor's outfit, including white satin blouse and white silk trousers.


Sarah Bernhardt wrote whenever she had time, usually between productions, and when she was on vacation at Belle-Ile.


Sarah Bernhardt edited the book, and it was published as L'Art du Theatre in 1923.


Sarah Bernhardt suggested that an actress should be able to recite the following passage from Phedre in a single breath:.


Sarah Bernhardt had a remarkable ability to memorise a role quickly.


Victor Hugo was a fervent admirer of Sarah Bernhardt, praising her "golden voice".


Sarah Bernhardt is adorable; she is better than beautiful, she has the harmonious movements and looks of irresistible seduction.


Sarah Bernhardt literally hypnotized the audience", and played "with such tigerish passion and feline seduction which, whether it be good or bad art, nobody has been able to match since.


Sarah Bernhardt had her critics, particularly in her later years among the new generation of playwrights who advocated a more naturalistic style of acting.


Sarah Bernhardt is a woman who is very intelligent and knows how to produce an effect, who has immense taste, who understands the human heart, but she wanted too much to astonish and overwhelm her audience.


Sarah Bernhardt's performances were seen and appraised by many of the leading literary and cultural figures of the late 19th century.


Lawrence saw Sarah Bernhardt perform La Dame aux Camelias in 1908.


Sarah Bernhardt is not pretty, her voice is not sweet, but there is the incarnation of wild emotion that we share with all living things.


The identity of Sarah Bernhardt's father is not known for certain.


Sarah Bernhardt usually gave her birthday as 23 October 1844, and celebrated it on that day.


Sarah Bernhardt's mother Judith, or Julie, was born in the early 1820s.


Sarah Bernhardt was one of six children, five daughters and one son, of a Dutch-Jewish itinerant eyeglass merchant, Moritz Baruch Bernardt, and a German laundress, Sara Hirsch.


Sarah Bernhardt moved to Paris, to 5 rue de l'Ecole-de-Medecine, where in October 1844, Sarah was born.


From 1864 to 1866, after Sarah Bernhardt left the Comedie-Francaise, and after Maurice was born, she frequently had trouble finding roles.


Sarah Bernhardt often worked as a courtesan, taking wealthy and influential lovers.


Sarah Bernhardt received from him a diadem of pearls and diamonds.


Sarah Bernhardt had affairs with many of her leading men, and with other men more directly useful to her career, including Arsene Houssaye, director of the Theatre-Lyrique, and the editors of several major newspapers.


Sarah Bernhardt had a two-year-long affair with Charles Haas, son of a banker and one of the most celebrated Paris dandies in the Empire, the model for the character of Swann in the novels by Marcel Proust.


Sarah Bernhardt is probably one of the actresses after whom Proust modelled Berma, a character present in several volumes of Remembrance of Things Past.


Sarah Bernhardt took as lovers many of the male leads of her plays, including Mounet-Sully and Lou Tellegen.


Sarah Bernhardt possibly had an affair with the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII, who frequently attended her London and Paris performances and once, as a prank, played the part of a cadaver in one of her plays.


Sarah Bernhardt's last serious love affair was with the Dutch-born actor Lou Tellegen, 37 years her junior, who became her co-star during her second American farewell tour in 1910.


Sarah Bernhardt had little acting experience, but Bernhardt signed him as a leading man just before she departed on the tour, assigned him a compartment in her private railway car, and took him as her escort to all events, functions, and parties.


Sarah Bernhardt was not a particularly good actor, and had a strong Dutch accent, but he was successful in roles, such as Hippolyte in Phedre, where he could take off his shirt.


In 1882, in Paris, Sarah Bernhardt met a Greek diplomat, Aristide Damala, who was 11 years her junior, and notorious for his romantic affairs.


Sarah Bernhardt already had a lover at the time, Philippe Garnier, her leading man, but when she met Damala, she fell in love with him, and insisted that her tour be modified to include a stop in St Petersburg.


Sarah Bernhardt told her friends that she married because marriage was the only thing she had never experienced.


Sarah Bernhardt later discovered that he was using the money she gave him to buy presents for other women.


Sarah Bernhardt instantly forgave him, and offered him the role of Armand Duval in a new production of La Dame aux Camelias at the Varietes.


Sarah Bernhardt looked exhausted and old, confused his diction, and forgot his lines.


Sarah Bernhardt attended one of her performances sitting in the first row, and made faces at her.


Sarah Bernhardt was a Roman Catholic, and did not want to divorce him.


Sarah Bernhardt continued to act, sometimes with success, particularly in a play by Georges Ohnet, Le Maitre des Forges, in 1883.


Sarah Bernhardt hurried to his bedside and nursed him until he died on 18 August 1889, at the age of 34.


Sarah Bernhardt sent a bust she had made of him to be placed on his tomb, and when she toured in the Balkans, always made a detour to visit his grave.


Sarah Bernhardt purchased a ruined 17th-century fortress, located at the end of the island and approached by a drawbridge, and turned it into her holiday retreat.


Sarah Bernhardt built bungalows for her son Maurice and her grandchildren, and bungalows with studios for her close friends, the painters Georges Clairin and Louise Abbema.


Sarah Bernhardt brought her large collection of animals, including several dogs, two horses, a donkey, a hawk given to her by the Russian Grand Duke Alexis, an Andean wildcat, and a boa constrictor she had brought back from her tour of South America.


Sarah Bernhardt entertained many visitors at Belle-Ile, including King Edward VII, who stopped by the island on a cruise aboard the royal yacht.


Sarah Bernhardt gradually enlarged the estate, purchasing a neighboring hotel and all the land with a view of the property, but in 1922, as her health declined, she abruptly sold it and never returned.


All that remains is the original old fort, and a seat cut into the rock where Sarah Bernhardt awaited the boat that took her to the mainland.


Sarah Bernhardt was described as a strict vegetarian, as she avoided dairy, eggs and meat.


Sarah Bernhardt's diet consisted of cereal, fruit, nuts and vegetables.


However, a 1923 biography of Sarah Bernhardt noted that she consumed fish and in her older years favoured Gruyere or Pont-l'Eveque cheese.


In 1876, Sarah Bernhardt constructed a large townhouse at 35 rue Fortuny in the 17th arrondissement, not far from Parc Monceau, for her family, servants, and animals.


In 1960, Sarah Bernhardt was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame with a motion pictures star located at 1751 Vine Street.


Sarah Bernhardt made use of an array of tropes assigned to women to create a public personality that afforded her freedom, independence, and immense popularity at home and abroad.


Sarah Bernhardt transcended the perceived conflict between the independent New Woman and the seductrice.