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André Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri
Carte de visite
Though there were many star actors during the Second Empire, Constant-Benoit Coquelin is considered one of the most important. Born in Boulogne, the son of a baker (a hostile critic once called him un boulanger manqué), he began his career at the Comédie Franþaise in 1860, later creating a major scandal by breaking the unwritten rule that forbade actors who left the company from performing at other Paris theatres. Known for his technical proficiency, he was highly critical and analytical towards his art, believing in simulated rather than real emotions.
He achieved fame in such classic roles as the valet in Figaro, but is best known for creating the role of Cyrano de Bergerac (1897), which was written especially for him. The greatest role in any of Rostand's plays, it was at the actor's request that the final death scene was added.