The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

"The Divine" Sarah Bernhardt, planetary influencer before Madonna or Lady Gaga


Nicknamed the "Golden Voice" by Victor Hugo, the great actress who died on March 26, 1923, took French theater to the four corners of the world and created fashions and derivative products.

Before Hollywood, there was Sarah Bernhardt.

Disappeared 100 years ago, the legendary French actress, for whom Jean Cocteau coined the expression "

sacred monster

", is at the origin of what has become the star system.

To discover

  • SERVICE: Book your theater tickets on Le Figaro Billetterie

Nicknamed the "

Golden Voice

" by Victor Hugo, Sarah Bernhardt, who died on March 26, 1923, took French theater to the four corners of the world, created fashion trends and derivative products, hit the headlines, becoming a true living myth. .

And as it should be, for the centenary of her death, a program of commemorations called "

Sarah in all her states

" will begin on Wednesday, March 22.

Read alsoMarch 26, 1923: the death of Sarah Bernhardt, “the Divine”

She is the first planetary star

”, assures Pierre-André Hélène, historian and first private collector in France of her personal effects.

If you want to reach his ankle, today you have to add Madonna, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Michael Jackson combined.

And it was without any media, or internet

, ”said this consultant for the show

Secrets d’Histoire

, which published a book on the actress in May.

A delirious presence

Face of France abroad since her first American tour (1880), she is often welcomed by

the Marseillaise

wherever she goes.

In New York, men throw their coats on the floor to be stomped on by the actress, who spends three hours signing their shirt cuffs.

Also in America, a cowboy traveled more than 400 km to see her on stage in Dallas.

In Australia, "

there were scenes of hysteria of tens of thousands of women who wanted to see her, to touch her

", reports Pierre-André Hélène.

Read alsoMs. Sarah Bernhardt, a genius artist

Why such an interest ?

First of all, there was her talent as a tragic actress.

There are five kinds of actresses: bad, passable, good, great, and then there's Sarah Bernhardt

,” said writer Mark Twain.


It was the world myth of the theater

", explains Pierre-André Hélène.


It didn't matter whether the public understood what she was saying in London or in the United States... She had a delirious presence and this vocal technique, a melody very close to the lyrical


There were also his famous death scenes.


People came to see her die

," says the historian.


His eyes rolled back until all you could see was white.

People were flabbergasted... Some were convinced that she felt bad.

In her entourage, this authoritarian woman used to say "

if you don't do what I want, I'll stop dying


In Paris, where she was the star of the Comédie-Française before slamming the door, it was said that we came to see two things: the Eiffel Tower and Sarah Bernhardt.

But above all, it owes its fame to an unprecedented self-promotion machine.

Her impresario Edward Jarrett, who organized pharaonic trips for her, had a great sense of communication and understood that her insane behavior was going to take her to the top

“, according to the historian.

She is photographed in a coffin, has a veritable menagerie and countless lovers, poses constantly for the camera... "

She quite simply created her own myth

", comments Pierre-André Hélène.

She declines her image

Sarah Bernhardt quickly realized her power of seduction.

And she is going to use it in what is then called advertising.

Pierre-André Hélène insists on the visionary character of the actress: "

She is the first woman to decline her image in derivative products, from rice powder to absinthe


On the fashion side, people came to the theater as much to applaud her talent as to admire her fabulous outfits, which inspired us, in particular her serpentine dresses with belts wide enough to support a hernia she had and which influenced the feminine silhouette of the end of the 19th century.

Edith de Belleville, guide-lecturer in Paris, recalls that Sarah Bernhardt also "

contributed to the myth of the Parisienne

», in the middle of the Belle Époque.

Her singularity has made her famous: "

she was skinny at the time of round shapes, - redhead, the color of the devil -, a single mother

", specifies the guide.

But what she was most proud of was having brought French culture to the top of the world.

She deserves the Pantheon!

“, concludes always admiring his gesture, Pierre-André Hélène.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-03-26

You may like

Life/Entertain 2023-04-28T13:01:52.151Z

Trends 24h


© Communities 2019 - Privacy

The information on this site is from external sources that are not under our control.
The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.