Jean-Gaspard Deburau (2852 words)

Edward Nye (University of Oxford)
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Jean-Gaspard Deburau (‘Jean-Baptiste’, ‘Debureau’, ‘Déburaux’, ‘Debureaux’, ‘Desbureaux’, stage name ‘Baptiste’), was born on July 31 1796 (?), in Kolín (?), Kingdom of Bohemia (modern-day Czech Republic), and died in Paris on June 17, 1846. Deburau was the most famous mime actor of the nineteenth century. Given that it is his version of the Pierrot role which is the root of all other Pierrot roles since (whether they are consciously different or slavish imitations), one might say that he is the most influential mime actor of all time, possibly second only to Marcel Marceau (who, himself, acknowledged Deburau’s influence). Yet there was so much …

Citation: Nye, Edward. "Jean-Gaspard Deburau". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 September 2019 [, accessed 16 June 2021.]

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