Sarah Bernhardt first appeared on the stage in 1862 when she was seventeen, and she played continuously until at least 1921, two years before her death. She owned her own theatre and company in France, but she traveled often to England and the United States; she was a perennial stage favorite in both countries.
She first played Shakespeare in King Lear in 1867 and 1869. In 1899 she continued a tradition of women playing Hamlet when she took the part at the Adelphi Theatre, London. In 1915 she had to have a leg amputated, but after a brief recuperation she was back on the stage, busy as ever, in 1916. In that same year the indefatigable "divine Miss Sarah" was in Washington, D. C. where she played Shylock in The Merchant of Venice.
She also appeared in nine films between 1900 and 1923.
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