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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Marcel Marceau has passed away

World-famous mime Marcel Marceau has died at the age of 84.

What an amazing life he lived! I'm just now discovering that he fought in the French resistance during World War II and that he helped many Jewish children flee to safety in Switzerland. Then Marceau became a translator for General Patton liberation army. After the war he studied drama and that's how he wound up discovering and perfecting the art of pantomime.

I saw him on TV bunches of times over the years (think the first time I ever saw him was on an episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood) but ironically the performance that most comes to mind whenever I hear his name was his brief appearance in Mel Brooks' 1976 comedy Silent Movie. Marceau had the only line that's actually spoke aloud in the entire movie: he says "Non!" (so far as I know this was Marceau's only spoken word in a major performance).

Hope it'll be awhile before I have to post another one of these. They seem to be all too frequent lately...