BORN 25 Jan 1723, Condé sur l'Escaut, Hainaut - DIED 18 Jan 1803, Paris
BIRTH NAME Léris de la Tude, Claire Josèphe Hippolyte
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Père Lachaise, Rue du Repos 16 (division 20, ligne 01, S, 21)

Clairon came from a poor family. She was the natural daughter of an army sergeant. At an early age she went to Paris to become an actress and when she was thirteen she was on the stage of the Théâtre des Italiens, where she had a part in "Ile des esclaves" by Marivaux. But she had no success and went to Rouen and other cities where she worked as an actress, a ballet dancer and a singer.

In 1743 she was engaged at the Opera in Paris and soon afterwards at the Théâtre Français. She attracted attention with her part as Phèdre and her fame grew after she was praised by Voltaire. She became very popular with the public and worked for 22 years at the Théâtre Français, but in 1765 she was imprisoned after she refused to work with a certain actor. After a while she was released and she said farewell to the stage.

She lost most of her fortune after abbé Terray speculated with her money. When she was fifty she started an affair with the count of Anspach. She lived at his court for a considerable time before returning to Paris in 1791, where she died in poor circumstances. In 1901 a memorial was erected for her in Condé.

Related persons
• was admired by Voltaire


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


• Baedeker, Karl, Paris et ses Environs, Karl Baedeker Éditeur, Leipzig, 1931
• Beyern, Bertrand, Guide des Cimetières en France, Le Cherche Midi Éditeur, Paris, 1994
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909

Clapisson, Louis

Published: 30 Sep 2007
Last update: 26 Jan 2022