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Adagio Teas
   Features  >  LATEST NEW YORK NEWS


By David Lefkowitz
Published September 23 2007

  Marcel Marceau

Marcel Marceau, perhaps the world's most recognized and lauded practitioner of mime, died Saturday at age 84, after months of declining health.


Born Marcel Mangel in Strasbourg, France on March 22, 1923, a young Marceau was introduced to film comedy by his father. When the Nazis came, Marcel and his brothers escaped to Western France and helped the French resistance. His father was not so lucky and died in Auschwitz in 1944.

Following the war, Marceau studied with celebrated mime Etienne Decroux at Charles Dullin's School of Dramatic Art. The gentle character of Bib - world famous for his high hat topped by a flower - was created in 1947. A few years later, an American tour made him an international star.

He would reach Broadway twice, in 1955 and then again in 1983, though he would later appear in recurring engagements at off-Broadway's Kaye Playhouse. Perhaps his most famous piece was Youth, Maturity, Old Age, Death, as well as such vignettes as walking against the wind and the scary/funny Mask piece.

Reacting to news of Marceau's death, recently elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in a statement, France loses one of its most eminent ambassadors.


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