Talking about his universal and lasting appeal, Marceau once said: " "Mime, like music, knows neither borders nor nationalities."
My childhood in Paris was punctuated, every few years, by trips to the theater to see Marcel Marceau perform, entirely in silence. I think the last time I saw him live I was a young adult, but I read in today's BBC obituary that he performed until very recently. He died Saturday at the age of 84. His main character was Bip (pictured above), a white-faced descendant of the harlequins of yore. Sad and witty, Marceau was, off stage as well as on, humane and plastic (in the sense of "flexible"), giving voiceless voice to the human heart. He must have listened to it well.