Marcel Marceau, mime artist, dies aged 84 – Times Online

The mime artist was born Marcel Mangel on March 22, 1923, in Strasbourg, France. His father, Charles, a butcher who sang baritone, introduced his son to the world of music and theatre at an early age. The boy adored the silent film stars of the era: Chaplin, Buster Keaton and the Marx brothers.

When the Germans marched into eastern France, he and his family were given just hours to pack their bags. He fled to southwest France and changed his last name to Marceau to hide his Jewish origins. In 1944, Marceau’s father was sent to Auschwitz, where he died.

There are several articles out today but I like this one. The quote in the title is great. The New York Times article mentions that he had a role in the classic french film “Les Enfants du Paradis” (The Children of Paradise) with another acclaimed mime, Jean-Louis Barrault. It is an excellent film – rent it if you can. He also had a speaking role in Mel Brooks “Silent Movie.”

What amazes me most is the length of his career – over 60 years. The picture above is from 2005!

“I want to be a man who will represent as an active witness my time, and who wants to say, without words, my feelings about the world.”

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