Marcel Marceau

Marcel Marceau (* 22. March 1923 in Strasbourg/France; actually Marcel lack) is a famous Pantomime. The public is he as “Monsieur gros domestic product” trusts, a tragikomische clown in the Ringelhemd with the white made up face, the zerbeulten silk hat and the red flower.

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Marcel Marceau buildup in Strasbourg with the surname lack as a son of a Jewish butcher . Already during its youth it was noticeable by the fact that it spoke few and its rather by Mimik and gesturing expressed impressions and ideas. The large silent movie - star such as Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton aroused already early its interest in the play stage, in order to make the “art of the silence” (L'Art you Silence) its occupation. The attendance of the play school became however by the 2. World war first retards.

With outbreak of war 1940 its family had to flee. Its father was arrested of the Gestapo and murdered in Auschwitz. 1942 it followed in Limoges of the French resistance movement . In this time it changed its names in Marceau and maintained it after the war for memory. Later it than member of the French army fought against the German Besatzer. Because of its good English knowledge he was liaison officer to the 3. US Army under general George S. Patton. The war experience taught it important characteristics of the Pantomime: The life in the hiding place, the forced silence, the fear, to betray itself. Its Ur-scene played Marceau probably already 1944, when it was taken up in that Paris Metro by the Gestapo. As a looked for Jewish resistance fighter with wrong papers it suppressed its fear and gave the role to harmless civilians. Here it recognized the value of physical self-control.

1946 it began its training in the Paris Sarah Bernhardt theatre. Its teachers were Charles Dullin and Etienne Decroux, which was also a teacher of Jean Louis Barrault. At the side of Barrault it played the “Harlekin “on the stage in the Pantomime Baptiste after the film of “children of the Olymp “. The positive criticism encouraged it to specify own Mimodramen. 1947, at the age of 24 years, appeared to Marceau in of Paris for the first time as “Monsieur gros domestic product”. In this clown role, which made him world-famous, it tourte over 40 years long around the globe.

The Compagnie de Mime Marcel Marceau created by it was singular in the world and specified numerous well-known plays as Mimodramen, among other things Gogols the coat and Tirso de Molinas Don Juan. It finally created its international break-through in Germany. 1951 it planned a four-day appearance in Berlin, remained then however for two months. To its performances came also Bertolt break and the critic Friedrich air, that afterwards wrote

“Marceau makes a new art, that must one have seen.”

Similarly it was issued it 1955 with its first America tour. From a two-week appearance a six month's success tour between Broadway and Hollywood became. In this time he became acquainted with also its Idole Charles Laughton, Buster Keaton, Stan Laurel, olive Hardy and the Marx Brothers personally. Its largest model, Charlie Chaplin, he met 1967 at Paris airport the Orly. Since the 1960er years became it also by solo appearances over the television admits.

Apart from its tours and television appearances Marceau worried also about the new generation. it with the help of at that time Paris mayor Jacques Chirac the small play school École international de Mimodrame de Paris, Marcel Marceau created 1978, in which Pantomime, but also classical dance, fencing and play were not only trained. With the best graduates he formed 1993 a new troop, the Nouvelle Compagnie de Mimodrame. Furthermore it belongs to the international Salzburg seminar , which it supported by several artistically sensational Benefiz meetings personally financially since 1950.

Success had Marceau also as painter and a draughtsman. Its works became among other things in Germany, France, Japan and shown in the USA. Besides and illustrated he wrote several books, under it the history to gros domestic product and Pimporello, the history old road acting like and its affection to small wild ores a girl, a Hommage at Charlie Chaplin's The Kid.


in the course of its career constantly extended Marceau the topics and expression possibilities of the Pantomime and its public in the famous Pantomimes de Style demonstrated. To the firm repertoire belong among other things The Erschaffung of the world; The tribunal; The stairs; In the people garden; The Vogelfänger; The Court of Justice; The hands - fight between property and bad; Youth, matures, age, death; The nightmare of the pickpocket; The Bürokraten and the march against the wind. It calls its pantomimischen pictures also “cries of the silence” and understands it as possibility of expressing the clumsyness of humans.

Marceau affected to today numerous artists from all Genren. It inspired Samuel Beckett to the pantomimischen final in the final game. Samy Molcho, Milan Sladek and Jango Edward stressed its influence on their career. German acting like such as Peter Makal and Rolf Mielke learned with it. The actor Anthony Hopkins and the dancer Rudolf Nurejew appointed themselves to his model. Michael Jackson with its MOO-mill by by Marceau created “march against the wind” inspired. Marceau also 1976 specified these in the silent movie - Hommage silent Movie of Mel Brooks .

This very day (2005) goes over 80-year old Pantomime on tour. In its Paris school it still gives master courses and removes all premieres. It persists in the most important characteristic of its body art:

“The Filmschauspieler must make forgotten that he plays. The Pantomime may not do that, it must in steady strain be ".
“The Pantomime is the art of the attitude”.


  • member Institut de France
  • member in the citizens of Berlin academy of the beautiful arts


  • officer of the French Ehrenlegion, 1986
  • Commandeur kinds et the Lettres
  • carrier of the French earnings/service medal
  • several American Universities of


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| | * Literature of and over Marcel Marceau in the catalog of the DDB



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