Marcel Marceau

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Marcel Marceau
Marcel Mangel
BirthplaceStrasbourg, France
Actor, mime artist
Known for Bip the Clown

Marceau, Marcel

Marceau, Marcel (märsĕlˈ märsōˈ), 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).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
"For the new generation, if young people come they have never seen Marcel Marceau, and it is better to see him on the stage." Irwin, in addition to a myriad of freelance gigs is directing a production of the Feydeau farce A Flea in Her Ear, scheduled to open this month at the Roundabout Theatre in New York City.
Suitably humiliated in 2005, their silence on any breakaway plans these days would also do Marcel Marceau proud.
From 1974 he polished his craft at the Ecole du Mime in Paris, under the auspices of Marcel Marceau.
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FRENCH President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday led tributes to mime legend Marcel Marceau, saying: "France has lost one of its most eminent ambassadors."
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Those in search of a more animated performance need have looked no further than French ref, Joel Dume, the Marcel Marceau of world rugby.
RENOWNED mime artist Marcel Marceau is 82 tomorrow.
THE legendary French mime Marcel Marceau is still performing at the age of 81 - he's pictured here during a tour of Mexico this week.We know what you were thinking - it's been ages since we heard from him.
The man is a veritable Marcel Marceau and certainly deserves to have his routine televised.
And if the police arrest Marcel Marceau, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?
SORRY to come back to it, but in his new "tell-all" autobiography Jim Davidson actually tells less than Marcel Marceau.