Born in Strasbourg as Marie Grosholtz. Her mother worked for Dr Curtius, a wax modeller, who taught his skills to Marie. In the French revolution made death masks of the executed nobles and royalty. In 1794 she inherited Curtius's wax exhibition. 1795 married Francois Tussaud. 1802 she brought the exhibition on a British tour (without her husband) and in 1835 she opened a permanent show at the Baker Street Bazaar. Her grandsons moved the attraction to its current site in 1884.