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Marcel Marceau (1923 - 2007)

A photo of Marcel Marceau
Marcel Marceau
1923 - 2007
Born
March 22, 1923
Strasbourg, France
Death
September 22, 2007
Cahors, Departement du Lot County, Midi-Pyrénées, France
Other Names
Marcel Mangel Marceau
Summary
Marcel Marceau was born on March 22, 1923 in Strasbourg France, and died at age 84 years old on September 22, 2007 in Cahors, Departement du Lot County, Midi-Pyrénées. Marcel Marceau was buried at Cimetière du Père Lachaise in Paris, Île-de-France County.
Updated: January 9, 2023
Biography ID: 192760058

Marcel Marceau's Biography

Family, friend, or fan this Collaborative Biography is for you to show & tell Marcel's life so that he is always remembered.
About Marcel

Introduction

Marcel Mangel Marceau was born to Charles Chaim David Mangel and Ann Wertzberg. He had one brother, Alain Mangel (1921 - 1993). His father was born in Germany. He and his brother changed their surname to "Marceau" after Germany invaded France.François Séverin Marceau was a French General of the French Revolutionary Wars.

Marcel Marceau married Anne Sicco about 1975 and they had two daughters. He also married Ella Jaroszewicz (married 1966 to about 1975, no children) and Huguette Mallet (they divorced in 1958) as well. He and Huguette had two sons.

Marceau played several silent film roles and only two with a speaking part, as himself, speaking the single word "Non" in Mel Brooks' Silent Movie (1976) And in Barbarella, a 1968 science fiction film directed by Roger Vadim, Marcel Marceau had his first speaking role in the film as Professor Ping.

Marcel Marceau was a French actor and mime artist most famous for his stage persona, "Bip the Clown". He referred to mime as the "art of silence" and he performed professionally worldwide for over 60 years, including the Untied States and Canada, as well as South America, Africa, Australia, China, Japan, Russia, and Europe.. See Marcel Marceau: Obituary

Quotes
Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us all without words?
Never get a mime talking. He won't stop.
Music and silence combine strongly because music is done with silence, and silence is full of music.
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Marcel Marceau
Most commonly known as
Marcel Marceau
Full legal name
Marcel Mangel Marceau
Other names or aliases

Name & aliases

In his later years he was living on a farm at Cahors, near Toulouse, France.
Last place lived

Last residence

March 22, 1923
Birthday
Strasbourg France
Birth location

Birth details

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Ethnicity & Family History

Marcel was Caucasian. He was born in France of German and Ukraine heritage (his father was born in Germany ant his mother was born in Ukraine.). His family was Jewish.

Nationality & Locations

Born in Strasbourg, France, as a child he lived with his family in Strasbourg and Lille France. After Germany invaded France, the family fled to Limoges and he and his brother joined the French Resistance. Later, Marcel lived all over the world because of his profession but he returned to France in his later years.

Education

He was tri-lingual, speaking fluent French, German and English. He had formal training as an actor but was world famous as a mime.

Religion

dd/mm/yyyy
Baptism date
Unknown
Place of worship

Baptism date & location

Marcel Marceau was born into an Orthodox Jewish family. His parents (Mangel) lived in France and his father was murdered at Auschwitz. Marcel altered his passport to Marceau and joined the French Resistance and spent the war saving thousands of Jewish children by passing them off as Catholics, teaching them the Ave Maria and smuggling them over to Switzerland. He received honors from the French Government for his heroism and became the most famous MIME of all times.

Professions

He was born Marcel Mangel on March 22, 1923, in Strasbourg, Alsace, France, and was brought up in Strasbourg and Lille. There he was introduced to music and theatre by his father, Charles Mangel, a kosher butcher, who also sang baritone and was a supporter of arts and music. His mother, Anne Mangel (née Werzberg), was a native Alsatian, and the family was bilingual. At the age of 5, his mother took Marcel to a Charlie Chaplin's movie, and he was entranced and decided to become a mime. Young Marcel was also fond of art and literature, he studied English in addition to his French and German, and became trilingual. At the beginning of the Second World War, he had to hide his Jewish origin and changed his name to Marceau, when his Jewish family was forced to flee their home. His father was deported to Auschwitz, where he was killed in 1944. Both Marceau and his brother, Alain, were in the French underground, helping children to escape to safety in neutral Switzerland. Then Marceau served as interpreter for the Free French Forces under General Charles de Gaulle, acting as liaison officer with the allied armies. Marcel Marceau gave his first big public performance to 3000 troops after liberation of Paris in August of 1944. After the war, in 1946, he enrolled as a student in Charles Dullin's School of Dramatic Art at the Sarah Bernhardt Theatre in Paris. There his teacher was Etienne Decroux, whose other apprentice Jean-Louis Barrault hired Marcel Marceau, and cast him in the role as Arlequin. His biggest inspirations were Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Marx Brothers. In 1947, blending the 19th century harlequin with the gestures of Chaplin and Keaton, Marceau created his most famous mime character, Bip, a white-faced clown with a tall, battered hat and a red flower. In 1949 he created his own company and toured around the world. Marcel Marceau shone in a range of characters, from an innocent child, to a peevish waiter, to a lion tamer, to an old woman, and became acknowledged as one of the world's finest mimes. In just a couple of minutes, he could show a metamorphosis of an entire human life from birth to death. Through his alter ego, Bip, he played out the human comedy without uttering a word. His classic silent works such as The Cage, Walking Against the Wind, The Mask Maker, In The Park, and satires on artists, sculptors, matadors, has been described as works of genius. For many years Marceau's 'Compagnie de Mime Marcel Marceau', also known as 'Compagnie de Mimodrame', was the only company of pantomime in the world. Marceau played several silent film roles and only one with a speaking part, as himself, speaking the single word "Non" in Mel Brooks' Silent Movie (1976). In 1959, Marcel Marceau established his own school in Paris, and later the Marceau Foundation to promote the art of pantomime in the United States. His latest performances in 2000-2001 received great acclaim. He was made "Officer de la Legion d'Honneur" (1978) and "Grand Officer de la Legion d'Honneur" (1998), and was awarded the National Order of Merit (1998). He won the Emmy Award for his work on television, and was elected member of the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin, the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, the Academie des beaux-arts France and the Institut de France, and was declared "National treasure" in Japan. In 2002 he was UN Goodwill Ambassador at the international conference on aging in Madrid. His "art of silence" filled a remarkable acting career that lasted over 60 years. He was an actor, director, teacher, interpreter, and public figure, and made extensive tours in countries on five continents. Outside of his mime profession, Marcel Marceau was a multilingual speaker and a great communicator, who surprised many with his flowing speeches in several languages. In his later years he was living on a farm at Cahors, near Toulouse, France. He continued his routine practice daily to keep himself in good form, never losing the agility that made him famous. He also continued coaching his numerous students. Marcel Marceau passed away at his home in France, on September 23, 2007, like an Autumn leaf after the Autumn Equinox, and after Yom Kippur in the Jewish calendar, having the Day of Atonement as his final curtain. His burial ceremony was accompanied by the Mozart's piano concerto No 21, and the music of J.C. Bach. Marcel Marceau was laid to rest in the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris, France. "He brought poetry to silence." - IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov

Personal Life

Marcel was in the French Resistance during World War II. Married three times, he had children Aurélia Marceau, Michel Marceau, Baptiste Marceau, and Camille Marceau.

Military Service

While Marcel was not in the French Army, he joined the resistance and saved many Jewish children in WWII.
September 22, 2007
Death date
Unknown
Cause of death
Cahors, Departement du Lot County, Midi-Pyrénées France
Death location

Death details

dd/mm/yyyy
Funeral date
Cimetière du Père Lachaise in Paris, Île-de-France County France
Burial location

Gravesite & burial

Obituary

1959, Marcel Marceau established his own school in Paris, and later the Marceau Foundation to promote the art of pantomime in the United States. His latest performances in 2000-2001 received great acclaim. He was made "Officer de la Legion d'Honneur" (1978) and "Grand Officer de la Legion d'Honneur" (1998), and was awarded the National Order of Merit (1998). He won the Emmy Award for his work on television, and was elected member of the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin, the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, the Academie des beaux-arts France and the Institut de France, and was declared "National treasure" in Japan. In 2002 he was UN Goodwill Ambassador at the international conference on aging in Madrid. His "art of silence" filled a remarkable acting career that lasted over 60 years. He was an actor, director, teacher, interpreter, and public figure, and made extensive tours in countries on five continents. Outside of his mime profession, Marcel Marceau was a multilingual speaker and a great communicator, who surprised many with his flowing speeches in several languages. In his later years he was living on a farm at Cahors, near Toulouse, France. He continued his routine practice daily to keep himself in good form, never losing the agility that made him famous. He also continued coaching his numerous students. Marcel Marceau passed away at his home in France, on September 23, 2007, like an Autumn leaf after the Autumn Equinox, and after Yom Kippur in Jewish calendar, having the Day of Atonement as his final curtain. His burial ceremony was accompanied by the Mozart's piano concerto No21, and the music of J.C. Bach. Marcel Marceau was laid to rest in the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris, France.

Average Age & Life Expectancy

Marcel Marceau lived 11 years longer than the average Marceau family member when he died at the age of 84.
The average age of a Marceau family member is 73.
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Memories: Stories & Photos

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Marcel Marceau
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Marcel Marceau in the film SILENT MOVIE.
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Marcel Marceau in the film BARBARELLA.
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Best and most famous MIME in the World.
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Family Tree & Friends

Marcel's immediate relatives including parents, siblings, partnerships and children in the Marceau family tree.

Marcel's Family Tree

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Parent
Marcel Marceau Marcel Marceau
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Sibling

Friends

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1923 - 2007 World Events

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Marcel's lifetime.

In 1923, in the year that Marcel Marceau was born, on September 1, an earthquake - the Great Kanto earthquake - destroyed one-third of Tokyo. Measuring 7.9 and with a reported duration of between 4 and 10 minutes, casualties totaled about 142,800 deaths, including about 40,000 who went missing and were presumed dead.

In 1959, at the age of 36 years old, Marcel was alive when on January 3rd, Alaska became the 49th state of the United States and the first state not a part of the contiguous United States. The flag was changed to display 49 stars.

In 1968, at the age of 45 years old, Marcel was alive when on June 5th, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles by Sirhan after celebrating his win in the California presidential primary. He died the next day at Good Samaritan Hospital.

In 1981, at the age of 58 years old, Marcel was alive when on January 20th, Ronald Reagan became the 40th President of the United States. He ran against the incumbent, Jimmy Carter, and won 50.7% of the popular vote to Carter's 41.0%.

In 1991, he was 68 years old when on November 7th, legendary basketball player Magic Johnson announced that he had HIV. In 1991, the public was confused about the difference between HIV and AIDS (HIV is a virus that can lead to AIDS) and there was little treatment for either. Most thought that Johnson would die within a year or so. Also, the transmission of AIDS wasn't understood so he had to retire from basketball. Magic Johnson is still alive and well.

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