French actor and dramatist; born at Paris July 31, 1867; brother of Emile Berr. He was educated at the lyceums of Vanves and Charlemagne, but, yielding to an irresistible love for the stage, he, at the age of sixteen, left his classical studies for the Conservatoire, and became the pupil of Got. In 1886 he won the first prize for comedy in a scene from "Les Plaideurs," and joined the Comédie Française. In 1892 he was nominated a member (sociétaire), and since then has acted the comic parts in the classical and modern repertoires.
Berr is equally excellent in purely lyrical works. He interprets the "Romanesques" of Edmond Rostand with the same superiority as the "Gringoire" of Théodore de Banville, in which he is considered to equal Coquelin, the creator of the rôle, who has never been replaced since he left the Théâtre Français. It is in this wide range of characters that the originality of Berr's talent manifests itself. In 1901 he succeeded M. Worms in the Conservatoire as professor of declamation.
As a dramatist Berr is known by the pseudonym "Colias," which is an anagram of his mother's name, "Ascoli." It is therefore probable that the Berrs are connected with the family of Chief Rabbi Ascoli, and M. Ascoli, who took part in the centennial commemoration of the Institut de France.
Berr is the author of: Two volumes of comedies, "Pour Quand on est Deux" and "Pour Quand on est Trois"; (with Maurice Froyez) "Plaiser d'Amour," 1899; "Phoebé," a pantomime, 1900; (with Paul Gavault) "Moins Cinq," comedy, 1901; (with P. Decourcelle) La Princesse Bébé," a comic opera, 1902; (with Gavault) "L'Inconnue" and "Madame Flirt," 1902; also many unpublished humoristic songs.