September 25, 2007

Marcel Marceau was a French Jew

Marcel Marceau, whose lithe gestures and pliant facial expressions revived the art of mime and brought poetry to silence, died Saturday. He was 84. Wearing white face paint, soft shoes and a battered hat topped with a red flower, Marceau — notably through his famed personnage Bip — played the entire range of human emotions onstage for more than 50 years, never uttering a word. Offstage, however, he was famously chatty. "Never get a mime talking. He won't stop," he once said. A French Jew, Marceau escaped deportation during World War II — unlike his father, who died at Auschwitz — and worked with the French Resistance to protect Jewish children.

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