Marcel Marceau

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Marcel Marceau
Marcel Mangel
BirthplaceStrasbourg, France
Actor, mime artist
Known for Bip the Clown

Marceau, Marcel

(märsĕl` märsō`), 1923–2007, French mime, b. Strasbourg as Marcel Mangel. Marceau studied under Charles DullinDullin, Charles
, 1885–1949, French actor, producer, and director. Dullin was an outstanding member of Copeau's Théâtre du Vieux Colombier. He organized and toured with his own group before opening the Théâtre de l'Atelier in Paris in 1921.
..... Click the link for more information.
 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).

Marceau, Marcel


Born Mar. 22, 1923, in Strasbourg. French pantomimist.

Marceau was a student of the theatrical director C. Dullin and the actor E. Decroux. In 1947 he organized his own troupe, the Community of Mimes. Marceau created the character Bip, who is filled with a naive and joyful love of life and people. Bip is the central figure in mime scenes that vary in theme. Among Marceau’s best works are the pantomimes The Overcoat (based on N. V. Gogol’s story) and Paris Cries, Paris Laughs and the sketches “Youth, Maturity, Old Age, and Death,” “The Mask-maker,” and “David and Goliath.” Developing the artistic tradition of the outstanding 19th-century mime J.-B.-G. Deburau, Marceau’s performances are dramatic, poetic, and witty. They reflect human truths and are marked by broad character generalization. In 1960, Marceau’s company disbanded, and since then he has performed mainly outside of France. He appeared in the USSR in 1961, 1964, 1966, 1972, and 1973.


Boiadzhiev, G. Teatral’nyi Parizh segodnia. Moscow, 1960.
Markova, E. “Marseliu Marso—50 let.” Teatr, 1973, no. 4.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Another echo reverberated in my mind as I spent time with a stack of VHS tapes of Marcel Marceau teaching acting and mime students in the U.
In Mel Brooks' Silent Movie, mime artist Marcel Marceau was the only person who had a speaking role.
Please stop with the Marcel Marceau jokes: Yes, he was a mime, and everyone hates mimes.
But, more seriously, Blood said he loves the Hult because of all the acts he's seen there, from Lyle Lovett and the Grateful Dead to Emmylou Harris and Marcel Marceau.
En el medio teatral colombiano todos conocen la historia de un "loco" teatrero que alguna vez lanzo una cuerda desde el gallinero al escenario del Teatro Municipal de Cali (aun no rebautizado Enrique Buenaventura), en plena funcion de Marcel Marceau.
The government had offered to allow smokers to mime the habit, a la Marcel Marceau, though the prospect of this was even more offensive to nonsmokers than was the putrid carcinogenic clouds billowing out of every cafe, bar, and nursery school.
Marcel Marceau was born in Strasbourg, France, on March 22, 1923.
The finest of all mimes, Marcel Marceau, called them 'Fools of God' and it's easy to see what he meant.
The graceful movements of the models bring to mind Rudolf Nureyev's dancing at the peak of his career, and they speak through an eloquent silence that connects them to the mime artistry of Marcel Marceau or Jean-Louis Barrault.
Doing a bizarre impersonation of Marcel Marceau in stripes, Will looks like he's lost his mime, er, mind, in this outfit
Those outside the cult--which includes yours truly--may find themselves scratching their heads and wondering what's the big deal about a gay Marcel Marceau who strikes poses, makes faces, and overidentifies with a very narrow stripe of female emotional existence for 75 minutes.