Late nineteenth and early twentieth-century melodramatic actress of stage and screen. She appeared in plays by Ibsen, Shakespeare, Racine, Moliere, and Scribe, as well as in a 1911 film version of Dumas fils' Camille.
She made her theatrical debut in an 1862 production of Racine's Iphigenie.
She bought a coffin in which she would sometimes sleep; she claimed that the reminder of mortality helped her to enter the psyches of the dramatic characters she portrayed.
She was born Rosine Bernhardt in Paris, France. Her father's identity was unknown, and her stepfather abandoned the family in 1835.
She was romantically interested in Nikola Tesla; however, he rejected her on the grounds that she distracted him from his work.