Above, a classic performance by French actor and mime Marcel Marceau. He was inspired to mime at five years old when his mother took him to a Charlie Chaplin film, but his tragic and inspiring years in France during World War II also influenced his path into the artform.

The world’s most renowned mime, Marceau’s silent work became known globally on a world tour in 1955-56. NPR’s and The New York Times’ 2007 obituaries for Marceau, born Marcel Mangel, celebrate his unique ability to express anguish, hope, and innocence without words.

There’s more communication, more performances, and a few mimes in the archives.

WATCH MORE VIDEOS ABOUT...