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People Top 5
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- October 08, 2007
- Vol. 68
- No. 15
Marcel Marceau 1923-2007
Without a Word, the World's Most Famous Mime Moved Three Generations of Fans
Marceau, who died at age 84 (an exact cause of death was not released), was born Marcel Mangel to a Jewish family in Strasbourg, France. During World War II, he lost his father at Auschwitz and joined the French Resistance. Wanted by the Gestapo, he changed his name and moved to Paris, where he discovered pantomime in drama school: "I was like a fish in water," he once told PEOPLE.
A '70s talk show regular and an occasional actor—he had the only speaking role in Mel Brooks's 1976 Silent Movie—the thrice-married father of four toured until retiring in 2005. As he told PEOPLE in 2000, "The art of mime is like dance and music, still [a] universal language."
- With Peter Mikelbank/Paris.
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