Who was Marcel Marceau ?
Marcel Mangel (1923 – 2007), better known by his stage name Marcel Marceau, was a well-known mime. He performed all over the world in order to spread the "art of silence" (L'art du silence). He was said to be "single-handedly responsible for reviving the art of mime after World War II."
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Marcel Mangel was born in Strasbourg, France. When he was 16, his Jewish family was forced to flee from their home when France entered the Second World War. He and his brother Alain later joined Charles de Gaulle's Free French Forces. Due to his excellent English, he worked as a liaison officer with General Patton's army. His father (a kosher butcher), was arrested by the Gestapo and died in the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944.
After seeing Charlie Chaplin, Marcel decided to become an actor. In 1947, Marceau created "Bip," the clown, who in his striped pullover and battered, be flowered silk opera hat (signifying the fragility of life) became his alter-ego, just as Chaplin's "Little Tramp" became that star's major personality.
Marceau showed the world every emotion imaginable. However, for more than 50 years, he never voiced a sound. Still he was famously chatty offstage. "Never get a mime talking. He won't stop."