Marcel Marceau or Bip the Clown

Everything about Marcel Marceau or Bip the Clown

Marcel Marceau or Bip the Clown was one of the best clowns ever, and he is remembered until nowadays for the great job Marcel Marceau did! Take a look at this post and find everything about this great man and clown! Also, take a look at our previous posts about Top 5 famous clowns and The origin of the circus clowns

Marcel Mangel, better known as Marcel Marceau was born in Strasbourg on March 22, 1923, and died in Cahors on 22 September 2007. It was the most popular mimic of the postwar period, along with Étienne Decroux and Jean-Louis Barrault gave a new look to mimic of the twentieth century.

Everything about Marcel Marceau or Bip the ClownMarcel Marceau or Bip the Clown was from a French Jewish family and was forced to run away from home at age 16, when his country went to war, passing to live in Lille.

Later he enlisted in the Free French Forces of Charles de Gaulle, as well as his brother. As he spoke perfectly English, he worked as a liaison officer with the army of General Patton.

His father was a cashier butcher and was arrested by the Gestapo, dying in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Career of Marcel Marceau or Bip the Clown


After Marcel Marceau or Bip the Clown have seen Charlie Chaplin, he became interested in acting.

When the war ended he enrolled in drama school of Charles Dullin at the Theatre Sarah Bernhardt in Paris. Among his teachers, we can mention Charles Dullin and the great master Etienne Decroux.

Marceau or Bip the ClownThis last, seeing the great talent of Mangel (who had changed his last name to Marceau to avoid being persecuted for their Jewish origins), incorporated him into his company (played the role of Harlequin in the pantomime Baptiste).

After his brilliant performance, he represented his first mimo drama called Praxitele and flaked fish at the Bernhardt Theatre.

It was here that his career was consolidated.

He was inspired by comedians such as Chaplin, Buster Keaton, the Marx Brothers, Harry Langdon, the clowns of the Italian commedia dell’arte, and gestures of Chinese opera and the Noh Japanese theatre.

Following this inspiration in 1947, Marceau created Bip. And so it came to be called as Marcel Marceau or Bip the Clown.

The Bip was a clown face painted with a striped and poor coat, silk opera hat with a flower spike (which meant the fragility of life), and this became the alter ego of Marceau.

His almost endless interactions, his silent exercises (such as the Bip the Clownthose that are seen in The Cage, Walking Against the Wind, the mask maker in the Park, among many others), have led to the success of Marcel across borders.

He received the “Award Deburau” in 1949 for his mimodrama, Death Before Dawn.

It was then that he formed his Compagnie de Mime Marcel Marceau, which was the only pantomime company in the world at that time.

The success was such that debuted in the main theatres of Paris – Le Theatre des Champs-Elysees, Le Theatre de la Renaissance, and the Sarah Bernhardt, as well as other houses around the world.

The success was such that in 1999 the city of New York established March 18 as the “Day of Marcel Marceau.” Don’t you know the works of Marcel Marceau or Bip the Clown yet? Be sure to see them!