Étienne Mélingue

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Portrait of Étienne Mélingue
published in Le Trombinscope, by Touchatout, in 1872

Étienne Marin Mélingue (1808–1875) was a French actor and sculptor.

He was born in Caen, the son of a volunteer of 1792, He early went to Paris and obtained work as a sculptor on the church of the Madeleine, but his passion for the stage soon led him to join a strolling company of comedians. Finally chance gave him an opportunity to show his talents, and at the Porte Saint Martin he became the popular interpreter of romantic drama of the Alexandre Dumas, père type.

One of his greatest successes was as Benvenuto Cellini, in which he displayed his ability both as an actor and as a sculptor, really modelling before the eyes of the audience a statue of Hebe. He sent a number of statuettes to the various exhibitions, notably one of Gilbert Louis Duprez as William Tell. Mélingue's wife, Théodorine Thiesset (1813–1886), was the actress selected by Victor Hugo to create the part of Guanhumara in Burgraves at the Comédie-Française, where she remained ten years. He created the part of D'Artagnan in The Youth of The Musketeers and The Musketeer (a ramatization of 20 Years After by Dumas and also the part of Lagardere in Feval and Anciet-Bourgeois's Hunchback (Le Bossu 1862)(see character lists for these plays. For Dumas his Complete Works, for Le Bossu Librairie de Michel Levy Freres Le Bossu 1862

See Dumas, Une Vie d'artiste; Aventures et tribulations d'un comédien (1854).

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