* 18 Sep 1935 , † 19 July 2016, Swiss, Clown & Mime
I am driving to Verscio in Ticino to meet Dimitri and see my first live show. I am thrilled. He reminds me of the sad clown in Fellini’s film “La Dolce Vita”, but he makes people happy. Is there anything more beautiful than that? And yes, his mouth is also with no makeup extremely wide.
Dimitri Jakob Müller was born in Ascona, Switzerland in 1935. When he was seven years old he decided to become a clown. After graduating from school, Dimitri became an apprentice potter while studying music and theatre. He went to Paris to study under Etienne Decroux, then Marcel Marceau.
In 1959, he was hired as an Auguste by Louise Maisse, a whiteface clown. He then created his own solo mime act, which was received with much acclaim during the 1962 International Mime Festival in Berlin. In 1975, he founded with his wife Gunda the Scuola Teatro Dimitri in Verscio, a small performing arts college. In 1973, he was awarded the Grock prize, and appeared with New York's Big Apple Circus. He has also performed in many other countries across the globe. He was inducted into the International Clown Hall of Fame in 1995.
He married his wife Gunda in 1961 and they had five children. He died on July 19, 2016 at age 80 in Switzerland.