❤ A te…!


The great Italian actress Eleonora Duse (1859-1924) was born this calendar day. Often spoke of in terms of rivalry with Sarah Bernhardt, in reality Duse was considered by many, including George Bernard Shaw, to be the greatest international actress of her day. The fact that she is less well-remembered today probably owes to the fact that she only made one film Cenere (1917).

Duse was third-generation theatre folk. Born in Lombardy, she joined the family acting troupe at age four. From the time she was in her twenties she became associated with the great female classical roles, as well as contemporary melodramas and the works of Ibsen. For a time in the 1890s her lover and collaborator was playwright Gabriele d’Annunzio. The relationship ended harshly when d’Annunzio offered his play La Citta Morta first to Bernhardt rather than Duse. The bisexual Duse is almost as widely known for her…

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