A mime or mime artist is a person who uses mime as a theatrical medium or as a performance art, involving miming, or the acting out a story through body motions, without use of speech. In earlier times, in English, such a performer would typically be referred to as a mummer. Miming is to be distinguished from silent comedy, in which the artist is a seamless character in a film or sketch.
The performance of mime originates at its earliest in Ancient Greece; the name is taken from a single masked dancer called Pantomimus, although performances were not necessarily silent. In Medieval Europe, early forms of mime such as mummer plays and later dumbshows evolved. In early nineteenth century Paris, Jean-Gaspard Deburau solidified the many attributes that have come to be known in modern times—the silent figure in whiteface.