Talma, François Joseph

BORN 15 Jan 1763, Paris - DIED 19 Oct 1826, Paris
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Père Lachaise, Rue du Repos 16 (division 12, ligne 01, W, 18)

Talma debuted in 1787 at the Comédie Française in Voltaire's "Mahomet". In 1789 his part in Chenier's "Charles IX" made him famous. He sympathized with the French Revolution and started his own theatre, the "Théâtre de la République". In 1799 this threatre merged with the Comédie Française.

Talma was the most famous tragedian of the time and he was a great favourite of Napoleon, who often invited him to lunch and probably adopted some of the mannerisms of the actor. In 1808 he performed in Voltaire's "Death of Ceasar" for the assembled monarchs at Erfurt. In 1813 he had an affair with Pauline, the emperor's sister. It went unnoticed at the time, but in later years the letters they had written to each other were found.

Related persons
• had a relationship with Bonaparte, Pauline
• performed with Duchesnois, Joséphine
• was pupil of Dugazon
• was admired by Napoleon I Bonaparte
• was a friend of Wolff, Pius Alexander


The grave of François Joseph Talma at Père Lachaise, Paris.
Picture by Androom (19 Nov 2006)


• Culbertson, Judi & Tom Randall, Permanent Parisians, Robson Books, London, 1991
Talma and the Princess

Tamagno, Francesco

Published: 30 Sep 2007
Last update: 26 Jan 2022