Marcel Marceau

Marceau, Marcel (märsĕlˈ märsōˈ) [key], 1923–2007, French mime, b. Strasbourg as Marcel Mangel. Marceau studied under Charles Dullin and master mime Étienne Decroux in Paris. He gained renown in 1947 with the creation of Bip, a silent, sad, white-faced clown with a battered stovepipe hat decorated with a limp red flower. Almost single-handedly responsible for the revival of the art of mime in modern times, he performed an average of 200 shows a year, most of them outside France. Marceau and his Compagnie de Mimodrame (est. 1949) appeared frequently in the United States from 1955 to 2000. In 1978 he founded the Ecole de mimodrame de Paris, which has trained hundreds of performers. Marceau appeared in more than a dozen films, including Un jardin public (1955), and also made lithographs and wrote children's books.

See his Bip in a Book (2002, with B. Goldstone); G. Mendoza, The Marcel Marceau Alphabet Book (1970).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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