Armande Béjart

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Armande Béjart

Armande-Grésinde-Claire-Élisabeth Béjart (1640 – 30 November 1700), was a French actress, one of the most famous French stage actors of the 17th-century. She belonged to the Béjart family, a famous theatre family in 17th-century France. She was the daughter of Madeleine Béjart. In 1643 Madeleine co-founded, with Molière, the Illustre Théâtre.

Armande married Molière in 1662, with whom she had three children: Louis (19 January – 11 November 1664), Marie Madeleine Esprit (3 August 1665 – 23 May 1723) and Pierre Jean-Baptiste Armand (15 September – 11 October 1672). She played her first important role in Molière's company in June 1663. Her mother had a relationship with Molière which likely continued after her marriage to him.

After Molière's death, she brought together actors from the Théâtre du Palais-Royal and the Théâtre du Marais to form the Théâtre Guénégaud on 23 May 1673. On 31 May 1677, she married her second husband, the actor Guerin Estrich. She became a Sociétaire of the Comédie-Française, as a member of its pioneer troupe of actors in 1680. She retired 14 October 1694 with a pension of 1000 pounds. In 1676, three years after the death of Molière, Armande paid 5400 pounds for a house in Meudon a suburb of Paris. This house was previously owned by the surgeon Ambroise Pare from 1550. She lived there with her second husband, until his death in 1700. Her house became the Museum of Art and History of Meudon.[citation needed]

Sources[edit]

This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the French Wikipedia.