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Sarah Bernhardt: The Most Famous Actress

1592 words - 7 pages

Have you ever wondered how certain people become so famous? Do you know their culture or where they come from? Perhaps, you had never even thought about it for a moment, but everyone that is famous and not famous all have certain life events that lead them to where they are now. Just like Leonardo Dicaprio and everyone else, Sarah Bernhardt, the most famous French actress had many life events as a child through growing up that led her to become an actress.
Sarah Bernhardt was born in October of 1844 and died in March of 1923. Sarah Bernhardt was known as the most “famous international star” says Mark Twain, an American author. Bernhardt’s original name when she was born was Henriette-Rosine Bernard, but she had it changed to Sarah and added a “T” to her last name. She was the daughter of Judith van Bernardt and an unknown father. When Bernhardt was born it caused a burden to Bernhardt’s mother and she did not want Sarah. Sarah grew up in a nomadic life because she was always moving around and no one wanted her. She was tossed everywhere from different convents, to pensions, and back to her home in Paris. At the age of seven, Bernhardt was sent to be raised in a convent (known as a Christian community) called Grand-Champs in Versailles because of her mother was pregnant with another child and she did not want her (Richardson 15-17; Pauk 1).
Sarah became destined to become a star while she was at the Grand-Champs convent. Sarah had an opportunity to read the play, Tobie recouvrant sa vue written by Mére Sainte-Thérèse because according to Joanna Richardson, French and English translator, “the convent was sent into a turmoil.” Sarah wanted to be in the play so bad that she waited in fear for a part and it was never assigned to her. Sarah was upset with this situation; she felt that no one wanted her. She then decided to create a part that she thought that could have been made up, “the shepherd’s dog,” says Richardson. But, it was never available for Sarah to play the part. She then decided to create a costume and enter it for the competition, but as usual Sarah was turned down once again. Later on, something magical happened to Sarah. During dress rehearsal, Sarah was offered a chance to play a part because of a girl, “Archangel Raphael collapsed from stage-fright, and she declared she could never say her part,” says Richardson. Finally, according to Richardson, Sarah was given a “holy medal” by Monseigneur Sibour which was the “Archbishop of Paris” says Bernhardt, and promised to be there for Sarah’s baptism when it came around (Richardson 17; Bernhardt 23).
When Monseigneur Sibour gave Sarah the medal, he also asked if she would kindly “recite ‘Esther’s Prayer’” says Bernhardt. Sarah accepted and agreed to start studying so she could recite the prayer. Unfortunately, in January 1857, Monseigneur Sibour was murdered. The news was that a priest had murdered Monseigneur Sibour. When Sarah found out that Monseigneur Sibour had been killed,...

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