Madame Tussauds (, )[N. 1] is a wax museum in London with smaller museums in a number of other major cities. It was founded by wax sculptor Marie Tussaud. It used to be known as "Madame Tussaud's"; the apostrophe is no longer used. Madame Tussauds is a major tourist attraction in London, displaying the waxworks of famous and historic people and also popular film and television characters.
Marie Tussaud was born as Marie Grosholtz in 1761 in Strasbourg, France. Her mother worked for Dr. Philippe Curtius in Bern, Switzerland, who was a physician skilled in wax modeling. Curtius taught Tussaud the art of wax modelling. He moved to Paris and took his young apprentice, only 6 years old, with him.
Tussaud created her first wax sculpture in 1777 of Voltaire. At the age of 17 she became the art tutor to King Louis XVI of France's sister, Madame Elizabeth, at the Palace of Versailles. During the French Revolution she was imprisoned for three months awaiting execution, but was released after the intervention of an influential friend. Other famous people whom she modelled included Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Benjamin Franklin. During the Revolution, she modelled many prominent victims.
She inherited the doctor's vast collection of wax models following his death in 1794, and spent the next 33 years travelling around Europe. She married Francois Tussaud in 1795, and the show acquired a new name: Madame Tussaud's. In 1802, she accepted an invitation from Paul Philidor, a magic lantern and phantasmagoria pioneer, to exhibit her work alongside his show at the Lyceum Theatre, London. She did not fare particularly well financially, with Philidor taking half of her profits.
She was unable to return to France because of the Napoleonic Wars, so she traveled throughout Great Britain and Ireland exhibiting her collection. From 1831, she took a series of short leases on the upper floor of "Baker Street Bazaar" (on the west side of Baker Street, Dorset Street, and King Street), which later featured in the Druce-Portland case sequence of trials of 1898-1907. This became Tussaud's first permanent home in 1836.
By 1835, Marie had settled down in Baker Street, London and opened a museum. One of the main attractions of her museum was the Chamber of Horrors. The name is often credited to a contributor to Punch in 1845, but Marie appears to have originated it herself, using it in advertising as early as 1843.
This part of the exhibition included victims of the French Revolution and newly created figures of murderers and other criminals. Other famous people were added, including Lord Nelson and Sir Walter Scott.
Some sculptures still exist that were done by Marie Tussaud herself. The gallery originally contained some 400 different figures, but fire damage in 1925 coupled with German bombs in 1941 has rendered most of these older models defunct. The casts themselves have survived, allowing the historical waxworks to be remade, and these can be seen in the museum's history exhibit. The oldest figure on display is that of Madame du Barry, the work of Curtius from 1765 and part of the waxworks left to Tussaud at his death. Other faces from the time of Tussaud include Robespierre and George III. In 1842, she made a self-portrait which is now on display at the entrance of her museum. She died in her sleep on 16 April 1850.
By 1883, the restricted space and rising cost of the Baker Street site prompted her grandson Joseph Randall to commission the building at its current location on Marylebone Road. The new exhibition galleries were opened on 14 July 1884 and were a great success. However, Randall had bought out his cousin Louisa's half share in the business in 1881, and that plus the building costs meant that the business was under-funded. A limited company was formed in 1888 to attract fresh capital but had to be dissolved after disagreements between the family shareholders, and Tussaud's was sold to a group of businessmen in February 1889 led by Edwin Josiah Poyser.
In 2005, Madame Tussauds was sold to company in Dubai, Dubai International Capital, for £800m (US$1.5bn). In May 2007 Blackstone Group purchased The Tussauds Group from then-owner Dubai International Capital for US$1.9 billion; the company was merged with Blackstone's Merlin Entertainments and operation of Madame Tussauds was taken over by Merlin. After the Tussauds acquisition, Dubai International Capital gained 20% of Merlin Entertainment. The Tussauds Group as a separate entity ceased to exist.
On 17 July 2007, as part of the financing for the Tussauds deal, Merlin sold the freehold of Madame Tussauds to private investor Nick Leslau and his investment firm Prestbury under a sale and leaseback agreement. Although the attraction sites are owned by Prestbury, they are operated by Merlin based on a renewable 35-year lease.
Madame Tussaud's wax museum became a major tourist attraction in London, incorporating (until 2010) the London Planetarium in its west wing and a large animated dark ride, The Spirit of London, opened in 1993. Today's wax figures at Tussauds include historical and royal figures, film stars, sports stars, and famous murderers. It is known as "Madame Tussauds" museums (no apostrophe) since 2007.
In July 2008, Madame Tussauds' Berlin branch became embroiled in controversy when a 41-year-old German man brushed past two guards and decapitated a wax figure depicting Adolf Hitler. This was believed to be an act of protest against showing the ruthless dictator alongside sports heroes, movie stars, and other historical figures. However, the statue has since been repaired and the perpetrator has admitted that he attacked the statue to win a bet. The original model of Hitler was unveiled in Madame Tussauds London in April 1933; it was frequently vandalised and a 1936 replacement had to be carefully guarded.
In January 2016, the statue of Adolf Hitler was removed from the London museum in response to an open letter sent by a staff writer of The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, followed by significant support for its removal from social media.
The first Madame Tussauds in India opened in New Delhi on 1 December 2017, with its operator Merlin Entertainments planning an investment of 50 million pounds over the next 10 years. It features over 50 wax models including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amitabh Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar, Kim Kardashian, Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie, Asha Bhosle, Kapil Dev, and Mary Kom.
Many times celebrities pose like their wax figures as pranks and publicity stunts.
This list of "famous" or "notable" persons has no clear inclusion or exclusion criteria. Please help to define clear inclusion criteria and edit the list to contain only subjects that fit those criteria. (June 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Film||Music||Sports||Leaders and History|
|Terminator||Michael Jackson||Muhammad Ali||Elizabeth II|
|Katniss Everdeen||One Direction||Usain Bolt||Donald Trump|
|ET||Madonna||David Beckham||Theresa May|
|Darth Vader||Lady Gaga||Mo Farah||Nelson Mandela|
|Spider-Man||Will.i.am||Tom Daley||Martin Luther King Jr.|
|Audrey Hepburn||Miley Cyrus||Rafael Nadal||Barack Obama|
|Steven Spielberg||Adele||Sachin Tendulkar||Vincent van Gogh|
|Alien||Britney Spears||Virat Kohli||Albert Einstein|
|King Kong||Rihanna||Cristiano Ronaldo||Charles Dickens|
|Iron Man||Bob Marley||Stephen Hawking|
|Michael Caine||Freddie Mercury||Pablo Picasso|
|The Incredible Hulk||The Beatles||William Shakespeare|
|Alfred Hitchcock||Dua Lipa||Mahatma Gandhi|
|Leaders and History||Sports||Music Industry||Entertainment Industry||Film|
|Elizabeth II||David Beckham||Lady Gaga||Nicky Wu||Benedict Cumberbatch|
|Prince William, Duke of Cambridge||Li Xiaopeng||Elvis Presley||Yang Lan||Johnny Depp|
|Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge||Lang Ping||Cui Jian||Liu Xiao Ling Tong||Leonardo DiCaprio|
|Barack Obama||Kobe Bryant||Luhan||Yang Mi||Kate Winslet|
|Vladimir Putin||Zhang Yixing||Leslie Cheung||Anduin Lothar|
|Lao She||Raini Rodriguez||Jackie Chan||Durotan|
|Yang Liwei||Michael Jackson||Deng Chao|
|Mei Lanfang||Liu Wen|
|Hou Baolin||Yang Yang|
|TV Stars||Pop Stars|
|Paddy McGuinness||Olly Murs|
|Simon Cowell||Ed Sheeran|
|Keith Lemon||Lady Gaga|
|Gok Wan||Michael Jackson|
|Bear Grylls||Peter Andre|
|David Jason||Ariana Grande|
|TV Stars||Hollywood Stars||Pop Stars||Athletes|
|Sofia Vergara||Sandra Bullock||Britney Spears||Muhammad Ali|
|Simon Cowell||Leonardo DiCaprio||Whitney Houston||Chuck Liddell|
|Eva Longoria||Halle Berry||Lady Gaga||Tiger Woods|
|Kathy Griffin||Hugh Hefner||Michael Jackson||Shaquille O'Neal|
|Jennifer Aniston||Pharrell Williams||Carmelo Anthony||Barack Obama||Albert Einstein||ET||Jimmy Fallon||Adriana Lima|
|Leonardo DiCaprio||Selena Gomez||Lionel Messi||Ronald Reagan||Marilyn Monroe||Iron Man||Michael Strahan||Sofía Vergara|
|Robert Pattinson||Rihanna||Muhammad Ali||Abraham Lincoln||Charlie Chaplin||Spider-Man||Jon Hamm|
|Angelina Jolie||Katy Perry||Eli Manning||John F. Kennedy||Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy||The Incredible Hulk||Anderson Cooper|
|Whoopi Goldberg||Taylor Swift||Derek Jeter||Mahatma Gandhi||James Dean||King Kong||Tyra Banks|
|Julia Roberts||Ed Sheeran||Cristiano Ronaldo||Martin Luther King Jr.||Jenna Marbles||Nick Fury|
|Michael Jackson||Tenzin Gyatso|
|Sports||History and Leaders||Music||Film|
|Jeremy Lin||Edwin Lee||Jimi Hendrix||Leonardo DiCaprio|
|Muhammed Ali||Steve Jobs||Adele||Alfred Hitchcock|
|Joe Montana||Barack Obama||Michael Jackson||Whoopi Goldberg|
|Tiger Woods||Abraham Lincoln||Lady Gaga||Steven Spielberg|
|Serena Williams||George Washington||Madonna||Marilyn Monroe|
|Stephen Curry||Martin Luther King Jr.||Rihanna||Audrey Hepburn|
|Sports||History and leaders||Music||Film||TV show|
|Sun Yang||Vladimir Putin||Teresa Teng||Bruce Lee||He Jiong|
|David Beckham||Barack Obama||Elvis Presley||Brad Pitt||Kangxi Lai Le|
|Michael Jordan||Nelson Mandela||Michael Jackson||Nicole Kidman||Zhou Libo|
|Ronaldo||Bill Clinton||Lady Gaga||Angelina Jolie||Fan Bingbing|
|Kobe Bryant||Winston Churchill||Madonna||Marilyn Monroe||Nicky Wu|
|Liu Xiang||Kylie Minogue||Audrey Hepburn||Sun Li|
|Yao Ming||Wu Yifan||Donnie Yen||Hu Ge|
|S.H.E||Jackie Chan||Yang Yang|
|Andy Lau||Yao Chen||William Chan|
|Nicholas Tse||Chen Kun||Lee Minho|
|Joker Xue||Zhang Yixing|
|Sports||History and Leaders||Music||Film|
|David Beckham||Mao Zedong||Elvis Presley||Nicole Kidman|
|Yao Ming||Deng Xiaoping||Madonna||Brad Pitt|
|Tiger Woods||Queen Elizabeth II||Beyonce||Angelina Jolie|
|Ronaldinho||Diana, Princess of Wales||Britney Spears||Sir Alfred Hitchcock|
|Rudy Hartono||Sukarno||Lady Gaga||Johnny Depp|
|Maria Sharapova||Joko Widodo||Anita Mui||Jackie Chan|
|William Shakespeare||Anggun Cipta Sasmi||Bruce Lee|
|Mahatma Gandhi||Lang Lang||Michelle Yeoh|
|Jiang Zemin||Siwon Choi||Amitabh Bachchan|
|Pablo Picasso||Nichkhun||Donnie Yen|
|Saddam Hussein||Jay Chou||Andy Lau|
|Adolf Hitler||One Direction||Jacky Cheung|
|Michael Jackson||Leslie Cheung|
|The Beatles||Leon Lai|
|Hugh Jackman (as Wolverine)|
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The Sleeping Beauty is the oldest existing figure on display. It was modeled after Madame du Barry. She appears asleep and a device in her chest makes it seem as if she were breathing.
Madame Tussaud herself at Madame Tussauds in London
Benny Hill (Credited Tussauds Gard)
John Wayne (London)
Olga Korbut (London)
Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow
Pierce Brosnan as James Bond