Catherine
Samie

Sociétaire honoraire

Teachers have found the twenty-three-year old girl rather clumsy and difficult to accommodate in a job. Nevertheless, in 1956, after her graduation exam during which she performed Molière and Courteline, the jury awarded her a double prize, a second prize for her performances from the classical repertoire and a second prize from the contemporary one. Created with mischievous humor, endowed with an unequalled energy, a nice dose of lightness, gales of laughter, and a sort of calm strength, the young actress made her début in comedy.

Catherine Samie joined the Comédie-Française in September 1956 and boarded for a trip that lasted half a century. In a few months, she took part in more than six productions staged by Jean Meyer. She embodied all of Molière’s soubrettes, Dorine, Lisette, Nérine, Marine, Zerbinette,Nicole, Toinette, Jeannette, and Claudine. She was even considered the archetype of a Molière’s soubrette. Besides Molière, she performed in plays by Feydeau, Courteline, Meilhac and Halévy, Labiche, Flers and Caillavet.

Less than five years after she enrolled in the Troupe, Catherine Samie had already played in more than fifty plays ranging from classic comedy to vaudeville. She was appointed in 1962 as its 438th sociétaire.
She could play any role for comedy had taught her generosity in acting, involvement and aloofness, the controlling of effects, the graciousness of a moment and an intense connection with the public. She could play everything and that was what she did. From Marivaux and Montherlant, to Shakespeare and Dostoyevsky, and from Mérimée and Rostand to Strindberg, Euripides and Beckett. Catherine Samie epitomized the Comédie-Française which was at a turning point in its history, one willing for change, for transformation and for the relinquishment of obsolete customs and practices, one that was opening up to the world despite its centuries-old tradition, one that created new links with the public and expected a whole range of different work from the members of its Troupe. She took part in all the new experimentations led by the general administrators Maurice Escande, Pierre Dux, Jean-Pierre Vincent, Jacques Lassalle, Antoine Vitez, Jean-Pierre Miquel, and Marcel Bozonnet. She was the source of great inspiration to the most renowned directors, namely Jacques Charon, Jean-Paul Roussillon, Jorge Lavelli, Otomar Krejka, Klaus-Michael Grüber, Stuart Seide, Bruno Bayen, Jean-Luc Boutté and Éric Vigner. She starred in plays by famous contemporary authors such those written by Fernando Arrabal, Jean Audureau, Samuel Beckett, and Marguerite Duras. In fifty years, she has performed 133 roles.

As of the beginning of 1989, upon Bernard Dhéran’s departure from the Company, Catherine Samie became the Doyen of the Comédie-Française, a title she has kept eighteen years, one of the longest reigns in the history of the House of Molière. In 1990, when Antoine Vitez died, she was the second woman, after Claude Winter, to assume the postion of an acting General Administrator. As she played a role in Jean Audureau’s Félicité, the writer gained access to the company’s Repertoire. She performed in Aimé Césaire’s The Tragedy of King Christophe (La Tragédie du Roi Christophe), and performed Madeleine’s role, in Savannah Bay, for the début of Marguerite Duras at the Salle Richelieu in 2002. Moreover, she played Winnie in Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days in 2005.

During fifty years, the big screens have sought her performances, and she thus worked with numerous directors ranging from Julien Duvivier to Josiane Balasko, from Michel Audiard to Claude Lelouch, from Jean-Jacques Annaud to James Ivory, just to name a few.

At the end of 2006, she was ready to leave the House of Molière. The following January, “Jubilé Jubilant,” a traditional big farewell party was held in her honor celebrating the immense actress she was. All the members of the Troupe paid a vibrant tribute, imbued with a love of life and theatre that she had indefatigably witnessed over the years.

At the Comédie-Française

2011-2012

  • Peer Gynt

    by Henrik Ibsen Directed by Éric Ruf

    Ase

    Grand Palais

2006-2007

2005-2006

2004-2005

  • Les Bacchantes

    The Bacchantes by Euripide Directed by André Wilms

    le Coryphée

    Richelieu

  • Place des Héros

    by Thomas Bernhard Directed by Arthur Nauzyciel

    Hedwig Schuster

    Richelieu

2003-2004

  • Le Conte d'hiver

    The Winter Tale by William Shakespeare Directed by Muriel Mayette-Holtz

    le Temps

    Studio

2002-2003

  • Présences

    by Yacine Kateb Directed by Mohamed Kacimi

    Richelieu

  • Savannah Bay

    by Marguerite Duras Directed by Éric Vigner

    Madeleine

    Richelieu

2001-2002

  • Hedda Gabler

    by Henrik Ibsen Directed by Jean-Pierre Miquel

    Tante Julie

    Vx-Colombier

2000-2001

  • Les Danseurs de la pluie

    The Rain Dancers by Karin Mainwaring Directed by Muriel Mayette-Holtz and Jacques Vincey

    Mémé, Dan's Mother

    Vx-Colombier

  • La Dernière Lettre

    by Vassili Grossman Directed by Frederick Wiseman

    Studio

1999-2000

1998-1999

  • Faust

    by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Directed by Alexander Lang

    Marguerite

    Richelieu

  • Rodogune

    by Pierre Corneille Directed by Jacques Rosner

    Laonice

    Richelieu

  • Mère Courage et ses enfants

    Mother Courage by Bertolt Brecht Directed by Jorge Lavelli

    La paysanne

    Richelieu

  • Les Femmes savantes

    by Molière Directed by Simon Eine

    Bélise (alternating)

    Richelieu

1997-1998

  • Les Femmes savantes

    by Molière Directed by Simon Eine

    Bélise (en alternance)

    Richelieu

  • Rodogune

    by Pierre Corneille Directed by Jacques Rosner

    Laonice

    Richelieu

  • Les Fausses confidences

    The False Confidences by Marivaux Directed by Jean-Pierre Miquel

    Lady Argante

    Richelieu

1996-1997

1995-1996

  • Phèdre

    by Jean Racine Directed by Anne Delbée

    Panope

    Richelieu

  • Le Prince de Hombourg

    The Prince of Homburg by Heinrich von Kleist Directed by Alexander Lang

    la Dame d'honneur

    Richelieu

  • La Thébaïde

    by Jean Racine Directed by Yannis Kokkos

    Jocaste

    Richelieu

1994-1995

  • Le Prince de Hombourg

    The Prince of Homburg by Heinrich von Kleist Directed by Alexander Lang

    la Dame d'honneur

    Richelieu

1993-1994

  • Caligula

    by Albert Camus Directed by Youssef Chahine

    le Vieux Patricien

    Richelieu

  • Le Prince de Hombourg

    The Prince of Homburg by Heinrich von Kleist Directed by Alexander Lang

    la Dame d'honneur

    Odéon

  • Les Amants puérils

    by Fernand Crommelynck Directed by Muriel Mayette-Holtz

    Elisabeth de Groulingen

    Vx-Colombier

  • Les Précieuses ridicules

    The Affected Young Ladies by Molière Directed by Jean-Luc Boutté

    Marotte

    Richelieu

  • L'Impromptu de Versailles

    The Versailles Impromptu by Molière Directed by Jean-Luc Boutté

    Miss de Brie

    Richelieu

1992-1993

  • Les Précieuses ridicules

    The Affected Young Ladies by Molière Directed by Jean-Luc Boutté

    Marotte

    Richelieu

  • L'Impromptu de Versailles

    The Versailles Impromptu by Molière Directed by Jean-Luc Boutté

    Miss de Brie

    Richelieu

  • Caligula

    by Albert Camus Directed by Youssef Chahine

    Le Vieux Patricien

    Richelieu

1991-1992

  • Le Mariage de Figaro

    by Beaumarchais Directed Antoine Vitez

    Marceline

    Richelieu

  • Caligula

    by Albert Camus Directed by Youssef Chahine

    le Vieux Patricien

    Richelieu

  • Père

    The Father by August Strindberg Directed by Patrice Kerbrat

    la Nourrice

    Richelieu

  • La Tragédie du Roi Christophe

    The Tragedy of King Christophe by Aimé Césaire Directed by Idrissa Ouédraogo

    Madame Christophe

    Richelieu

1990-1991

  • La Tragédie du Roi Christophe

    The Tragedy of King Christophe by Aimé Césaire Directed by Idrissa Ouédraogo

    Madame Christophe

    Richelieu

  • Père

    The Father by August Strindberg Directed by Patrice Kerbrat

    la Nourrice

    Richelieu

  • La Mère coupable

    by Beaumarchais Directed by Jean-Pierre Vincent

    Suzanne

    Richelieu

  • Le Mariage de Figaro

    by Beaumarchais Directed by Antoine Vitez

    Marceline

    Richelieu

1989-1990

1988-1989

  • Le Mariage de Figaro

    by Beaumarchais Directed by Antoine Vitez

    Marceline

    Richelieu

  • La Cagnotte

    by Eugène Labiche and Alfred Delacour Directed by Jean-Michel Ribes

    Léonida

    Richelieu

1987-1988

  • Turcaret

    by Alain-René Lesage Directed by Yves Gasc

    Madame Jacob

    Richelieu

  • Les Femmes savantes

    by Molière Directed by Catherine Hiegel

    Bélise

    Richelieu

1986-1987

  • Les Femmes savantes

    by Molière Directed by Catherine Hiegel

    Bélise

    Odéon

  • Turcaret

    by Alain-René Lesage Directed by Yves Gasc

    Madame Jacob

    Richelieu

1985-1986

1984-1985

1983-1984

  • Le Suicidé

    by Nicolaï Erdman Directed by Jean-Pierre Vincent

    Sérafine Ilinitchna

    Odéon

  • Félicité

    by Jean Audureau Directed by Jean-Pierre Vincent

    Maud

    Richelieu

  • La Colonie

    by Marivaux Directed by Jean-Pierre Miquel

    Mrs Sorbin

    Richelieu

1982-1983

  • La Colonie

    by Marivaux Directed by Jean-Pierre Miquel

    Mrs Sorbin

    Richelieu

1981-1982

  • Yvonne, princesse de Bourgogne

    by Witold Gombrowicz Directed by Jacques Rosner

    Tante II

    Odéon

  • L'Épreuve

    The Test by Marivaux Directed by Jean-Louis Thamin

    Madame Argante

    Richelieu

  • La Dame de chez Maxim

    The Girl from Maxim’s by Georges Feydeau Directed by Jean-Paul Roussillon

    La Môme Crevette

    Richelieu

1980-1981

  • La Mouette

    The Seagull by Anton Tchekhov Directed by Otomar Krejca

    Irina Arkadina

    Richelieu

  • Tartuffe - Les Plaisirs de L'Ile...

    by Molière Directed by Maurice Béjart

    Mrs Pernelle - Mrs de Maintenon

    Richelieu

  • L'Épreuve

    The Test by Marivaux Directed by Jean-Louis Thamin

    Madame Argante

    Richelieu

  • Tartuffe

    by Molière Directed by Jean-Paul Roussillon

    Dorine

    Richelieu

1979-1980

  • La Mouette

    The Seagull by Anton Tchekhov Directed by Otomar Krejca

    Irina Arkadina

    Richelieu

  • Tartuffe

    by Molière Directed by Jean-Paul Roussillon

    Dorine

    Richelieu

  • La Tour de Babel

    by Fernando Arrabal Directed by Jorge Lavelli

    Pocharde - Asuncion Oca, "Don Juan"

    Odéon

1978-1979

1977-1978

1976-1977

  • Les Bacchantes

    The Bacchantes by Euripide Directed by Michel Cacoyannis

    Agavé

    Odéon

Welcome

SAISON 2019-2020

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