The Belgian actress Eugénie Doche was born Marie-Charlotte-Eugénie de Plunkett in Brussels on 19 November 1821. She made her début at Versailles in 1837, later appearing the Vaudeville under the name Eugénie Fleury in Renaudin de Caen. When the theatre was destroyed by a fire, she briefly toured the provinces before returning to the rebuilt Vaudeville, where the married the leader of the orchestra, M. Doche, in January 1839.
According to some of her contemporaries, her beauty was her only talent. In 1842, she separated from her husband and toured in Russia. After a short stint at the Gymnase in 1843, she returned to the Vaudeville, where she started to get bigger roles. During the annual closure of the theatre in 1848, she made a tour of Switzerland, England and Belgium, during which she landed the role of Adrienne Lecouvreur, the celebrated French actress (and courtesan) of the 18th century, in a play by Eugène Scribe.
On her return to Paris, Alexandre Dumas fils offered her the role of her carrier: that of Marguerite Gautier in La Dame aux camélias, which opened at the Vaudeville on 2 February 1852. Between then and 1867, she played the role more than 500 times.
During the course of the following years, she appeared in, among other works, Le Diable à Paris, La Pénélope normande (1860), La Jeunesse de Mirabeau (1864), Les Brebis galeuses (1867), Les Rivales (1868) and Le Contrat (1869) at the Vaudeville, Les Parasites (1864), La Contagion (1865), Le Petit Marquis (1873), and Cendrillon and Tartuffe (1874) at the Odéon. In the same year, she created the role of the Countess in Les Deux Orphelines by Adolphe Ennery and Eugène Cormon at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin.
She retired from the stage little by little and died peacefully at her apartment on the rue Picot on 13 July 1900.
Her brother, Francis de Plunkett, was director amongst others of the Théâtre du Palais-Royal and the Eden. Her sister married Paul Dalloz, editor of the Moniteur universel.
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