Celebrity Birthday of the Day – March 22

Marcel Marceau is the most famous mime who ever lived. Marceau was born Marcel Mangel in France to a Jewish family, and he and his older brother adopted the surname Marceau during the German occupation of France to escape the Nazis. They joined the French Resistance, and it was during this period that Marcel began to practice mime as a way of keeping children quiet as they were escaping to Switzerland with General Patton’s army. In 1946, Marcel enrolled in Charles Dullin’s School of Dramatic Art in Paris and studied to become a performer. Over the next decade, he would go on to find worldwide fame on the stage, developing his famous Bip the Clown character and performing for international audiences, including his North American debut at the Stratford Festival of Canada. Marceau also made the transition to film, appearing in movies such as Shanks, Barbarella, The Islands, Joseph’s Gift, and Mel Brooks’ Silent Movie (in which he speaks the only audible line). In 1969, Marceau opened his first school of mime – Ecole Internationale de Mime – and in 1978 he opened another – Ecole International de Mimodrame de Paris, Marcel Marceau. Marcel Marceau died on September 22, 2007, and was buried in Pere Lachaise Cemetary in Patis. He was 84.

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