Molière (Jean-Baptiste Poquelin) (1622-1673)

Death: 17th February 1673
Location: Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France
Cause of death: Pulmonary Tuberculosis
Photo taken by: Wayne
Buy books by Molière

French playwright and actor, considered to be a master of comic satire. It is believed that he used a pseudonym to spare his father the shame of having an actor in the family. In 1643 he formed a theatre company, but this went bankrupt after a couple of years and Molière was imprisoned for debt before his father intervened.
He spent the next fourteen years working as a travelling comedian for other theatre companies before he again created a company of his own. His theatre company joined the famous Italian theatre company Commedia dell'arte and in 1659 the company preformed one of his own works Les Précieuses Ridicules, which gained Molière much attention. He continued to write and act until he died after collapsing on stage whilst performing Le Malade Imaginaire. The superstition that yellow brings bad luck to actors is said to originate from the colour of the clothing he was wearing at the time of his death.

He was buried in the cemetery Saint-Joseph in Paris and in 1817 his remains were transferred to Père Lachaise Cemetery, near to the poet La Fontaine.