Marcel Marceau smuggled Jewish children out of Nazi-occupied France with the art of mime

Marcel Marceau is the subject of Today’s Google Doodle on what would have been his 100th birthday – we explore his cause of death.

For nearly 25 years, Google has been educating people around the world about significant dates and notable figures from history. A special Google Doodle of the site’s logo is created by an artist for the search engine’s homepage each day. It remains on the homepage for a brief time, while the event or honoree is celebrated.

Today’s Google Doodle (Wednesday, March 22) pays homage to Marcel Marceau on what would’ve been the late artist‘s 100th birthday.

Marcel Marceau cause of death

Marcel Marceau died on September 22, 2007, at the age of 84. His personal assistant, and former student Alexander Neander, announced the news to the world.

The world-renowned mime artist died in the southwestern French town of Cahors, where he had moved after retiring from the stage in 2005. No cause of death was given at the time and almost 15 years later further details surrounding his death have still not been made public.


He helped smuggle Jewish children out of Nazi-occupied France

Marcel Marceau was born to a Jewish family on March 22, 1923, in Strasbourg, France. His family name was Mangel but he changed it to Marceau and moved to Paris with false papers after the Nazis invaded France to avoid being identified as Jewish. His father was deported to a concentration camp by the Germans in 1944 where he was killed.

Until the liberation of Paris, Marcel worked in the Resistance, hiding Jewish children from the Gestapo and the French police, who helped round up Jews for deportation. Along with his cousin Georges Loinger, he smuggled Jewish children across the border into Switzerland.

Marcel used mime to keep the children relaxed and quiet during the high-risk missions and ultimately saved at least 70.

Marceau created Bip the Clown in 1947

In 1947, Marcel Marceau created one of the most recognizable characters in history, Bip the Clown. The iconic character wore a striped shirt, white face paint, and a battered tophat with a flower in it. He traveled the world entertaining huge crowds without uttering a word.

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

“This character Bip is a funny, sad fellow,” Mr. Marceau once observed via The New York Times, “and things are always happening to him that could happen to anybody. Because he speaks with the gestures and the movement of the body, everyone knows what is happening to him, and he is popular everywhere — Scandinavia, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Austria, wherever he has traveled.”

In other news, How to get Lollapalooza 2023 tickets and prices revealed

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