Eleonora Duse (Eleonora Duse)

Eleonora Duse

Eleonora Duse was considered (with Polish-American diva Helena Modjeska and Duse’s life-long rival, Sarah Bernhardt) the finest actress in the world. Born in Vigevano, in northern Italy to a show business family, she began acting at age 4. After seeing a performance in 1879 by Bernhardt, she experienced an artistic revelation. Whereas Bernhardt was often noted as “playing Bernhardt”, Duse began to explore the psychological aspects of her characters, modifying her mannerisms and nuances to each role. Her subdued style made her a forerunner of “method” acting. Duse is famous for the quote describing her technique: “I did not use paint. I made myself up morally.” She also sought out plays by up-and-coming playwrights such as Ibsen (Hedda Gabler, A Doll’s House), Sardou (Fédora), D’Annunzio (Francesca da Rimini) and Zola (Thérèse Raquin). Her only film role was in Cenere (1916). Like many actresses of today, she bemoaned the lack of roles for mature women in her later life.  Eleonora Duse died in Pittsburgh while on tour in the United States and is buried at Asolo Cemetery, Treviso, Venetia, Italy. (bio by: Miss Morgan)


  • October, 03, 1858
  • Italy


  • April, 04, 1924
  • USA


  • Asolo Cemetery
  • Veneto
  • Italy

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