Lecouvreur, Adrienne (ädrēĕnˈ ləkōvrörˈ) [key], 1692–1730, French actress. With Michel Baron she helped change the traditional acting techniques of the French stage to a simpler, more natural style. She was extremely popular from her debut at the Comédie Française in 1717. Her love for Maurice de Saxe ended in tragedy; her mysterious death was ascribed to poisoning by her rival, the duchesse de Bouillon. The Church's refusal to grant Lecouvreur a Christian burial resulted in a bitter poem by her friend Voltaire. She is the subject of a play by Scribe and Legouvé and of the opera Adriana Lecouvreur by Francesco Cilea.
See biography by J. Richtman (1971).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.