|ACTOR, COMEDIAN (FRANCE)|
BORN 5 Jul 1874, Paris, 10e - DIED 12 May 1919, Paris, 4e|
BIRTH NAME Grolleron, Blanche Alice
CAUSE OF DEATH suicide by hanging
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Cimetière des Batignolles, 8 rue Saint-Just (Division 28, ligne 1, tombe 14)
Blanche Dufrêne was the born as Blanche Grolleron. She was the daughter of the painter Paul Grolleron (1848-1901). According to her birth certificate, her mother was Marie-Louise Daguet. She was educated at the Conservatory in Paris where Gustave Worms was her teacher. She won a first prize for comedy and a second prize for tragedy in 1891. On 9 November 1891 she debuted at the Odéon in "Rodugne". In 1892 at the Théâtre de l'Athénée Louis-Jouvet she performed in several premieres. After that she was engaged at the Théâtre Michel and the Théâtre de la Porte-Saint-Martin.
Around 1896 she joined the Théâtre de la Renaissance that was directed by Sarah Bernhardt. She stayed with Sarah Bernhard for the rest of her career and joined her on her tours and replaced her several times. In 1898 she performed at the premiere of "La Ville Morte" by Gabriel d'Annunzio at the Théâtre de la place du Châtelet, that was taken over by Bernhardt in 1897. In 1917 she played the part of Monique Felt in a reprise of Henri Kistemaecker's "La Flambée" at the Théâtre de la Porte-Saint-Martin.
She suffered from depressions and in 1919 she hung herself in her dressing room at the Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt after a rehearsal of "Bohémos" and before she would play the part of Marguerite Gautier in "La Dame aux Camélias", a part that she had acted as the double for Sarah Bernhardt for years. Her daughter Alice Dufrêne (1899-1975) and her niece Marthe Dufêne were actresses as well.
cooperated with Bernhardt, Sarah