Marcel Marceau

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Marcel Marceau (born March 22, 1923) is a well-known mime and among the most popular representatives of this art form world-wide.

He was born Marcel Mangel in Strasbourg, France. After having seen Charlie Chaplin he became interested in acting and from 1946 on he studied at the Sarah-Bernhardt-Theatre in Paris with teachers like Charles Dullin and tienne Decroux (who was also the teacher of Jean-Louis Barrault).

At 15 his Jewish family was forced to flee their home as France entered the second World War. He later joined Charles De Gaulle's Free French Army and, because of his excellent English, worked as a liaison officer with Patton's army.

He was married three times and has four children.

In 1947 he performed for the very first time as BIP, his tragicomic figure with silk dented hat and red flower. This has become his most famous character. In his career he performed all over the world in order to spread the "art of silence" (L'art du silence).

In 1978 he established his own school in Paris: "cole Internationale de Mimodrame de Paris, Marcel Marceau". In 1996 he established the Marceau Foundation to promote mime in the United States.

He appeared in several films including the 1968 film Barbarella and appeared as himself to speak the only word ("Non") in the 1976 comedy film, Silent Movie.

He wrote and illustrated several books translated in up to 7 languages (eg. the history of BIP) and obtained many honours in France and USA (eg. Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres).

The city of New York declared March 18 Marcel Marceau Day.

His last world tour took place covered the United States in 2004 and returned to Europe in 2005.

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