BORN 13 Jul 1886, Bucharest - DIED 3 Dec 1954, Paris|
BIRTH NAME Ventura, Marioara
CAUSE OF DEATH kidney failure
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Passy Cimetière, 2 Rue du Commandant Schloesing (division 10)
Marie Ventura was the natural daughter of Fanseta Vermont, an actress at the National Theatre in Bucharest, and the dramatist Grigore Ventura. When her parents married in 1890 she took her father's name. From her early youth she wanted to be an actress and at twelve she entered the conservatory in Bucharest. Her mother died of kidney failure when she was only nine years old.
On 21 Feb 1901 she debuted at the National Theatre in "L'enfant naturelle", a play that was written by her father. On 21 May 1901 she concluded her theatre education as the best of her year. The Romanian govenrment granted her a scholarship that enabled her to continue her studies at the Conservatory in Paris. She had a hard time learning to speak French without a Romanian accent and failed to pass her first exams, but a little later she spoke French fluently and she was asked if she really came from Romania.
During her studies she performed in "La Joconda" at d'Annunzio's Théâtre de l'Oeuvre and she was discovered by literary Paris. She had an affair with the actor Edouard de Max and she toured with him in the USA. At nineteen she joined the Odeon Theatre in Paris. In 1908 she succeeded Sarah Bernhardt as Marguerite Gauthier in "La Dame aux Camélias". During her years at the Odeon she had an affair with its director, André Antoine.
In 1919 she obtained a contract at the Comédie-Française, where she became the 366th sociétaire in 1922. In 1935 she was awarded the Légion d'Honneur. In 1941 she left the Comédie-Française to become a drama teacher. In 1951 she returned to the stage to perform in "Colombe", written especially for her by Jean Anouilh. It was performed 369 times. In 1952 she had her last success with "La valse des toréadors", also written by Anouilh. Like her mother she died of kidney failure.
has a connection with Bernhardt, Sarah
Beyern, Bertrand, Guide des tombes d'hommes célèbres, Le Cherche Midi, Paris, 2003