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Strasbourg, France, 1923-2007
Marcel Marceau, who passed away in 2007, was acclaimed as the world's greatest mime, and also recognized as an accomplished printmaker.
Starting in 1946, Marceau trained at the Charles Dullin's School of Dramatic Art in the Sarah Bernhardt Theatre in Paris, where he studied with the great master, Etienne Decroux, who had also taught Jean-Louis Barrault. Barrault noticed Marceau's talent, and first cast him in the role of Arlequin in the pantomime entitled Baptiste - which Barrault himself had interpreted in the world famous film Les Enfants du Paradis. Marceau's performance won him such acclaim that he was encouraged to present his first "mimodrama", called Praxitele and the Golden Fish, at the Bernhardt Theatre that same year.
As a style pantomime, Marceau has been acknowledged without a comparison. His accomplishments include classic works, such as: The Cage, Walking Against the Wind, The Mask Maker, and In The Park.
In 1949, following his receipt of the renowned Deburau Prize for his second mimodrama, Death before Dawn, Marceau formed his Compagnie de Mime Marcel Marceau - the only company of pantomime in the world at the time. The ensemble played at the famous Parisian theatres, such as - Le Theatre des Champs- Elyees, Le Theatre de la Renaissance, and the Sarah Bernhardt, as well as other playhouses throughout the world. He also produced 15 other mimodramas, including Pierrot de Montmartre, The 3 Wigs, The Pawn Shop, 14th July, The Wolf of Tsu Ku Mi, Paris Cries--Paris Laughs, and Don Juan - adapted from the Spanish author Tirso de Molina.
He first toured the United States in 1955-56, eventually gaining access to millions of Americans through television appearances. His first television performance as a star performer on the Max Liebman Show of Shows won him the television industry's coveted "Emmy" award.
He has also appeared in movies, such as: First Class, Shanks, and Mel Brook's Silent Movie. In 1982 The Third Eye, his collection of ten lithographs, was published in Paris with an accompanying text by Mr. Marceau. Belfond of Paris has also published Pimporello in 1987.
Marceau has received several awards and honors around the world, such as:
France: "Officier de la Legion d'Honneur", ?Medaille Vermeil de la Ville de Paris? and Grand Officer of the Order of Merit.
He is also an 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.
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