Photo of Marcel Marceau Marcel Marceau

Marcel Marceau -- the most famous and beloved mime of the 20th century -- was born Marcel Mangel on March 22, 1923, in Strasbourg, France. As a teen, he and his family fled to southern France, where he changed his surname to hide his Jewish origins. An active member of the French underground, Marcel helped hundreds of Jewish children escape to safety in Switzerland.

In 1946, two years after his father died in a concentration camp, Marceau attended the Dullin School of Dramatic Art, where he was introduced to mime. He began to perfect a distinct, accessible style, and his popularity grew quickly. His most famous character, Bip, was modeled after Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp.

By the 1950s, Marceau was known widely in America, thanks to TV appearances, and for the rest of the century he remained the art form's most celebrated practitioner and teacher. He died on Sept. 22, 2007, at age 84.

Marcel Marceau in Barbarella


1968 R

A shapely 41st-century space traveler must apprehend scientist Durand Durand, whose creation threatens to bring evil back to the galaxy. En route, Barbarella discovers the joys of celestial sex and has kinky misadventures with bizarre characters.

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