She was only a housekeeper's daughter....
THE amazing life and times of Madame Tussaud
From housekeeper’s daughter to Royal tutor, master figure maker and thriving businesswoman, the life of Madame Marie Tussaud has all the ingredients of a best-selling novel. Add in French Revolution, escape from the ‘Guillotine’ and a spell making the death masks of former aristocratic friends and employers, and that life has all the ingredients of a Hollywood blockbuster. Undeniably, the life of Madame Tussauds’ founder was as colourful as any of the celebrities who have been posed for the world famous attraction in its illustrious 200 year history.
1761: Madame Tussaud is born Marie Grosholtz in Strasbourg.
1777: Models the famous author and philosopher, Francois Voltaire.
1780: Becomes art tutor to King Louis XVI’s sister and goes to live at the Royal Court in Versailles.
1789: On the eve of The French Revolution, Marie returns to Paris.
1793: Imprisoned with her mother in the notorious Laforce Prison, Paris. On her release she is forced to prove her allegiance to the Revolution by making death masks of executed nobles and her former employers, the King and Queen.
1794: The French Revolution ends and Marie inherits Dr Philippe Curtius’ wax exhibition.
1795: Marie marries Francois Tussaud.
1802: Madame Tussaud takes her exhibition on tour to the British Isles, leaving behind her husband.
1835: With her sons, Madame Tussaud establishes a base in London at The Baker Street Bazaar
1850: Madame Tussaud dies
1884: Marie’s grandsons move the attraction to its current site on Marylebone Road.