Michel Baron - Encyclopedia


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BARON, MICHEL (1653-1729), French actor (whose family name originally was Boyron), was born in Paris, the son of a leading actor (d. 16J5) and of a talented actress (d. 1662). At the age of twelve he joined the company of children known as the Petits Comediens Dauphins, of which he was the brightest star. Moliere was delighted with his talent, and with the king's permission secured him for his own company. In consequence of a misunderstanding with Moliere's wife, the actor withdrew from the dramatist's company, but rejoined it in 1670, reappearing as Domitien in Corneille's Tile et Berenice, and in his Psyche. He remained in this company until Moliere's death. He then became a member of the company at the Hotel de Bourgogne, and from this time until his retirement in 1691 was undisputed master of the French stage, creating many of the leading roles in Racine's tragedies, besides those in two of his own comedies, L'Homme a bonnes fortunes (1686), and La Coquette (1687). He also wrote Les Enlevements (1685), Le Debauche (1689), and translated and acted two plays of Terence. In 1720 Baron reappeared at the Palais Royal, and his activity on the stage was renewed in a multitude of parts. He died on the 22nd of December 1729.

His SOH Etienne Michel Baron (1676-1711) was also a fine actor, and left a son and two daughters who all played at the Comedic Francaise.

See George Nlonval, Un Comedien amateur d'art (1893); also the Abbe d'Allamial's Lettres a mylord XXX. sur Baron et la de moiselle Lecouvreur, in F. G. J. S. Andrieux's Collection des memoires sur lart dramatique (1822).

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