PARIS — French mime Marcel Marceau was buried in a simple ceremony Wednesday, with the trademarks of his best-known character, Bip — a floppy top hat with a red flower — resting near his flag-draped coffin.
Rabbi Rene-Samuel Sirat paid homage to Marceau, noting that he died on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. A French Jew, Marceau escaped deportation to a Nazi death camp during World War II; his father died in Auschwitz.
The top hat and red flower were placed on a stand next to the mime’s coffin and later in front of his grave at the Pere Lachaise cemetery, where other giants of the arts also are buried.
Marceau died Saturday at the age of 84 after a long illness. At Pere Lachaise, he joined a host of other famous performers and artists including composer Frederic Chopin, writer Oscar Wilde, painter Eugene Delacroix and rocker Jim Morrison.
About 300 people attended the ceremony, some of them fans holding roses or carnations.
The French tricolor flag was draped over Marceau’s coffin and medals awarded to him by France — the Legion of Honor and the National Order of Merit — were pinned to a cushion also resting on the coffin.