Portrait by François Courboin
October 8, 1653|
|Died||December 22, 1729
|Awards||Sociétaires of the Comédie-Française|
His family name was originally Boyron. His father and mother were leading players. He was born in Paris. He was orphaned at age 9, and joined the child company Petits Comédiens Dauphins at age 12, becoming its brightest star. He came to the notice of Molière, joined his troupe, and eventually became his protégé. He left the troupe after a conflict with Molière's wife, Armande Béjart, but rejoined in 1670. He played the role of Domitien in Pierre Corneille's Tite et Bérénice and played in Corneille's Psyché. He stayed with the troupe until Molière's death in 1673, when he joined the troupe at the Hotel de Bourgogne. This troupe merged with another in 1680 to become the Comédie-Française.
With Comédie-Française, Baron was the undisputed master of the French stage until his retirement in 1691. He created many of the leading roles in Racine's plays, and in his own L'Homme à bonnes fortunes (1686), his most popular play, and La Coquette. He also wrote Les Enlèvements and Le Debauche, and translated and acted in two plays by Terence.
After retiring in 1691, Baron re-appeared in 1720 at the Palais Royal, and was very active. During his last years on stage, he regularly performed with Adrienne Lecouvreur. He died on December 22, 1729.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Baron, Michel". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.