Josep Andreu i Lasserre (April 23, 1896 – July 26, 1983), best known as Charlie Rivel, was an internationally known Spanish circus clown. He was born in Cubelles (Barcelona, Spain). His parents Pere Andreu Pausas (Spanish) and Marie-Louise Lasarre (French) were circus artists as well.
He debuted when he was three and formed the group Los Rivels with his brothers Polo Rivel and René Rivel. He took his artistic first name from Charlie Chaplin whom he encountered first in 1910. Each respected the other. Legend has that Chaplin later asked him: "Is it you who imitate me or I who imitate you?"
At the start of the Second World War he discovered his definitive routine, featuring a chair, a guitar and a long jersey. During the war he stayed two years in Nazi Germany where a film (Akrobat schö-ö-ö-n, 1943) about his life was produced. The theater play by Gerard Vàzquez Uuuuh! is based on that time. He was a big admirer of Adolf Hitler, to whom he sent birthday greetings as late as 1943.
Nowadays in Cubelles a Museum is dedicated to him, the Charlie Rivel Hall
There is also a park dedicated to him in Vigo in the province of Pontevedra, Spain.
- (Catalan) Charlie Rivel
- (Catalan) CharlieRivel.com
- (Catalan) Charlie Rivel Hall
- Charlie Rivel at Find a Grave
- Charlie Rivel at Circopedia
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