From the Internet….
He was born Marcel Mangel on March 22, 1923, in Strasbourg, Alsace. His father Charles, was a kosher butcher who loved the arts. Marcel’s mother Anne nee Werzberger, took him to a Chaplin movie when her was five. He was entranced.
At the beginning of WWII, he and his brother, Alain, hid their Jewish origins, and Changed their name from Mangel to Marceau. His father died in Auschwitz. His mother
survived the war.
The French Resistance was headed up by many Jews. Marcel and Alain joined the Resistance in Limoges. The Jewish children had to be protected from both the French police and the Germans.
Although he was trilingual, Marcel taught hundreds of Jewish children the art of communicating in mime because it was important for the children to converse silently.
The children were brought to safety by Marceau in Switzerland.
In 1944, he joined the Free French Forces under General Charles de Gaulle, acting as liaison officer to General Patton’s army. Marceau entertained thousands of US troops after the liberation of Paris.
Marceau was “discovered” by Laurel and Hardy. He spoke only once in a performance.. In Mel Brooks’ film “Silent Movie, ” Marceau said the word, “Non.” His
career lasted over 60 years as an actor, director, teacher, interpreter, and public multilingual speaker on five continents. He died on Yom Kippur in 2007.
“Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us without words?” Marcel Marceau