Marceau was Jewish, his father, a butcher was captured by the Nazi's and sent to and died in the Concentration Camps in Poland. Marceau was also captured but escaped from the Nazis, and became involved in the French Underground during WWII. Marceau allegedly helped save the lives of a number of Jewish Children by altering their ID
papers. He also helped with American Forces during the war and in the post-war period.
Marceau helped to revive the art of mine. He was deeply influenced by silent stars like Charles Chaplin and Buster Keaton. He studied under some of the best in mime performing in France after WWII. He became an international star by the mid-1950's with Television, especially in the USA. His main character was 'Bip' and the sailor suit styled outfit became his mark. He even appeared in the mid-1970's Mel Brooks "Silent Movie" and Marceau said the only word in it.
While many of us mock and despise mimes, it is an classic and very old form of performance, one that helped to revive. Yes, the jokes come easy with his death, as previously noted in other posts, but in life he entertained millions throughout the world in his exceptional and unique way.