Trudi Schoop, a dancer who performed for comic and therapeutic purposes, died of unknown causes July 14 in Van Nuys, Calif. She was 95.
Originally from Switzerland, the self-taught dancer and mimic came to the U.S. in 1934 and began a performance career that took her through the U.S., Canada and Europe.
Her comic performances caused many to refer to her as the female Charlie Chaplin.
After disbanding her troupe in 1947, Schoop began focusing on using dance as therapy for schizophrenic patients. When UCLA neuropsychiatric experts reviewed Schoop’s theories, they recommended her as a therapist to Camarillo State Mental Hospital in California.
Researchers called her therapy techniques “the body-ego technique, an approach to the schizophrenic patient.” Schoop went on to teach her methods throughout the United States and Europe.
Schoop is survived by two nephews and one niece.