Groucho Marx
Comedian
Groucho Marx
Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx was an American comedian and film star famed as a master of wit. His rapid-fire delivery of innuendo-laden patter earned him many admirers. He made 13 feature films with his siblings the Marx Brothers, of whom he was the third-born. He also had a successful solo career, most notably as the host of the radio and television game show You Bet Your Life.
Biography
Groucho Marx's personal information overview.
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Photo Albums
Popular photos of Groucho Marx
News
News abour Groucho Marx from around the web
Facing the challenges of the rich man's burden - The National
Google News - over 5 years
It was Groucho Marx who said that he would never join a club that would accept him as a member. Norwegian governments seem to have taken this aphorism to heart, turning down membership of the euro zone, Nato, and even Opec, which has helped to
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Not dead yet - South Bend Tribune
Google News - over 5 years
Eight comics will perform excerpts from stand-up routines or movie scenes from comedians such as Groucho Marx, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Bernie Mac and Kinison. The Marian High School graduate says he views Kinison as a groundbreaking performer for
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Pop culture Q&A: Learn the cast of 'The Closer' - Kansas City Star
Google News - over 5 years
In his biography of Groucho Marx, Stefan Kanfer describes the piece this way: "Harpo and Chico acted in pantomime, stealing goods, running from the police, and assuming disguises, with Chico made up as a cop, and Harpo camouflaged as Groucho
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Cancer fighters club has a courageous, inspiring membership - Las Vegas Review-Journal
Google News - over 5 years
I guess, to paraphrase Groucho Marx and his secret son Woody Allen, "I don't care to belong to a club that will have me as a member." But the club I recently joined is different. Membership isn't voluntary, far from it, and I've quickly learned that
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Groucho Marx Was My Favorite Hollywood Interviewee - Travel Adventure Cinema
Google News - over 5 years
It was Groucho Marx. My editor had assigned me to update the obituaries of the Marx Brothers—all the brothers. I was thrilled. As a youngster, I was crazy about the Marx Brothers' movies, particularly their epic, A Night at the Opera, made at MGM
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Centenary of Mexico's 'Groucho Marx' - euronews
Google News - over 5 years
It is 100 years since the birth of one of Mexico's best-loved popular characters. In his trademark baggy pants and scruffy clothes, Cantinflas embodied the rural anti-hero, a lovable rogue who survived on his wits. The character was the brainchild of
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Market in free fall. Who do you believe? - Newsworks.org (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
I think it was Groucho Marx who asked, "Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?" In response to the downgrade of US debt by Standard & Poor's, President Obama says that regardless of what any rating agency says,
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RIP Francisco Rodriguez's vest. Once more for good measure. - Amazin' Avenue
Google News - over 5 years
Groucho Marx "Kovalev would work with Tortorella like a kitty would work in a microwave. A lot of smoke and desperate clawing at the door. It wouldn't work. It would just be a big, hot mess." -Dig Deep by 8kpower on Jul 13, 2011 11:20 AM EDT up reply
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Marx Brothers Classic Musical Comedy Revived at Prairie Center - TribLocal
Google News - over 5 years
For Jake Robertson, reviving a role played by Groucho Marx leaves little room for error. “The task comes down to being Groucho, so to prepare for the role, I've been watching a lot of his movies to extract the essence of his persona,” says Robertson,
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The Copacabana: A timeline - New York Post
Google News - over 5 years
1947: Groucho Marx and Carmen Miranda star in the film “Copacabana.” * 1949: Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin start performing at the club, part of a large group of A-list performers who would frequent the Copa in the coming decades
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Senior Moments – for week of July 11 - The Shrewsbury Lantern
Google News - over 5 years
SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – You ever hear of the song “Lydia the Tattooed Lady” sung by Groucho Marx in the movie “A Day at the Circus?” When I was young and taken to the Ringling Brothers “Greatest Show On Earth” I always marveled at the tattooed man
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Photo Anonymizer App Helps Protect Dissidents, Obscure Epic Bro-Downs - Fast Company
Google News - over 5 years
The software handles both regular pixel-based blurring and several “fun” filters, including giant Groucho Marx glasses. After altering a picture, the app automatically strips all EXIF metadata such as GPS location and camera model and removes the
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Rod Walton: Father's Day goes better with Groucho Marx - Tulsa World
Google News - over 5 years
But the best thing about Father's Day is Groucho Marx. I'll explain later, but my feeling about it is fairly straightforward Marx-ism. I wouldn't want to belong to any holiday that would have me for a member. Call me a Grouch, and I'd be honored,
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Groucho Marx
    CHILDHOOD
  • 1977
    In March 1977, Groucho invited Queen to visit him in his Los Angeles home; there they performed "'39" a cappella.
    More Details Hide Details A long-running ad campaign for Vlasic Pickles features an animated stork that imitates Groucho's mannerisms and voice. On the famous Hollywood Sign in California, one of the "O"s is dedicated to Groucho. Alice Cooper contributed over $27,000 to remodel the sign, in memory of his friend. Actor Frank Ferrante has performed as Groucho Marx on stage for more than two decades. He continues to tour under rights granted by the Marx family in a show entitled An Evening with Groucho in theaters throughout the United States and Canada with supporting actors and piano accompanist Jim Furmston. In the late 1980s Ferrante starred as Groucho in the off-Broadway and London show Groucho: A Life in Revue penned by Groucho's son Arthur. Ferrante portrayed the comedian from age 15 to 85. The show was later filmed for PBS in 2001. In 1982, Gabe Kaplan filmed a version of the same show, entitled Groucho.
    Marx was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with pneumonia on June 22, 1977 and died at the age of 86 on August 19, four months after Gummo.
    More Details Hide Details Marx was cremated and the ashes were interred in the Eden Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. Groucho had the longest lifespan of all the Marx Brothers and was survived by his children and younger brother Zeppo, who outlived him by two years. His gravestone bears no epitaph; but in one of his last interviews, he suggested one: "Excuse me, I can't stand up." Protracted court battles over the disposition of his estate lasted well into the 1980s. Eventually, Arthur Marx was awarded the bulk of the estate's assets, and Fleming was ordered to repay $472,000. Groucho Marx was, and remains, the most recognizable and well-known of the Marx Brothers. Groucho-like characters and references have appeared in popular culture both during and after his life, some aimed at audiences who may never have seen a Marx Brothers movie. Groucho's trademark eyeglasses, nose, mustache, and cigar have become icons of comedy—glasses with fake noses and mustaches (referred to as "Groucho glasses", "nose-glasses," and other names) are sold by novelty and costume shops around the world.
  • 1975
    Groucho's previous work regained popularity; new books of transcribed conversations were published by Richard J. Anobile and Charlotte Chandler. In a BBC interview in 1975, Groucho called his greatest achievement having a book selected for cultural preservation in the Library of Congress.
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  • 1974
    On the 1974 Academy Awards telecast, Marx's final major public appearance, Jack Lemmon presented him with an honorary Academy Award to a standing ovation.
    More Details Hide Details Noticeably frail, Groucho took a bow for his deceased brothers. "I wish that Harpo and Chico could be here to share with me this great honor," he said. He also praised the late Margaret Dumont as a great straight woman who never understood any of his jokes. Groucho's final appearance was a brief sketch with George Burns in the Bob Hope television special Joys in 1976.
  • 1973
    He also made an appearance in 1973 on a short-lived variety show hosted by Bill Cosby.
    More Details Hide Details Fleming's influence on Marx was controversial. Some close to Marx believed that she did much to revive his popularity, and the relationship with a younger woman boosted his ego and vitality. Others described her as a Svengali, exploiting an increasingly senile Marx in pursuit of her own stardom. Marx's children, particularly Arthur, felt strongly that Fleming was pushing their weak father beyond his physical and mental limits. Writer Mark Evanier concurred.
  • 1972
    In 1972, largely at the behest of his companion Erin Fleming, Groucho staged a live one-man show at Carnegie Hall that was later released as a double album, An Evening with Groucho, on A&M Records.
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  • 1971
    As he passed his 81st birthday in 1971, however, Groucho became increasingly frail, physically and mentally, as a result of a succession of minor strokes.
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  • OTHER
  • 1964
    In 1964, Marx starred in the "Time for Elizabeth" episode of Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, a truncated version of a play that Groucho Marx and Norman Krasna wrote in 1948.
    More Details Hide Details In 1965, Groucho starred in a weekly show for British TV titled Groucho, broadcast on ITV. The show was along similar lines to "You Bet Your Life", with Keith Fordyce taking on the Fenneman role. The show was poorly received and lasted only 11 weeks. Groucho appeared as a gangster named God in the movie Skidoo (1968), directed by Otto Preminger, and costarring Jackie Gleason and Carol Channing. It was released by the studio where the Marx Brothers began their film career, Paramount Pictures. The film received almost universally negative reviews. As a side note, writer Paul Krassner published a story in the February 1981 issue of High Times, relating how Groucho prepared for the LSD-themed movie by taking a dose of the drug in Krassner's company, and had a moving, largely pleasant experience. Four years later came Groucho's last theatrical film appearance, a brief, uncredited cameo in Michael Ritchie's The Candidate (1972).
  • 1958
    During a tour of Germany in 1958, accompanied by then-wife Eden, daughter Melinda, Robert Dwan and Dwan's daughter Judith, he climbed a pile of rubble that marked the site of Adolf Hitler's bunker, the site of Hitler's death, and performed a two-minute Charleston.
    More Details Hide Details He later remarked to Richard J. Anobile in The Marx Brothers Scrapbook, "Not much satisfaction after he killed six million Jews!" In 1960, Groucho, a lifelong devotee of the comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan, appeared as Koko the Lord High Executioner in a televised production of The Mikado on NBC's Bell Telephone Hour. A clip of this is in rotation on Classic Arts Showcase. Another TV show, Tell It To Groucho, premiered January 11, 1962 on CBS, but only lasted five months. On October 1, 1962, Groucho, after acting as occasional guest host of The Tonight Show during the six-month interval between Jack Paar and Johnny Carson, introduced Carson as the new host.
  • 1950
    By the time You Bet Your Life debuted on TV on October 5, 1950, Groucho had grown a real mustache (which he had already sported earlier in the films Copacabana and Love Happy).
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  • 1947
    You Bet Your Life debuted in October 1947 on radio on ABC (which aired it from 1947 to 1949), sponsored by costume jewelry manufacturer Allen Gellman; and then on CBS (1949–50), and finally NBC, continuing until May 1961—on radio only, 1947–1950; on both radio and television, 1950–1960; and on television only, 1960–1961.
    More Details Hide Details The show proved a huge hit, being one of the most popular on television by the mid-1950s. With George Fenneman as his announcer and straight man, Groucho entertained his audiences with improvised conversation with his guests. Since You Bet Your Life was mostly ad-libbed and unscripted—although writers did pre-interview the guests and feed Groucho ready-made lines in advance—the producers insisted that the network prerecord it (instead of it being broadcast live). There were two reasons for this: prerecording provided Groucho with time to fish around for funny exchanges and any intervening dead spots to be edited out; and secondly to protect the network, since Groucho was a notorious loose cannon and known to say almost anything. The television show ran for 11 successful seasons until it was canceled in 1961. Automobile marque DeSoto was a longtime major sponsor. For the DeSoto ads Marx would sometimes say: "Tell 'em Groucho sent you", or "Try a DeSoto before you decide".
    In 1947 Marx was asked to host a radio quiz program You Bet Your Life.
    More Details Hide Details It was broadcast by ABC and then CBS before moving to NBC. It moved from radio to television on October 5, 1950 and ran for eleven years. Filmed before a live audience, the show consisted of Marx bantering with the contestants and ad-libbing jokes before briefly quizzing them. The show was responsible for popularizing the phrases "Say the secret woid word and the duck will come down and give you fifty dollars," "Who's buried in Grant's Tomb?" and "What color is the White House?" (asked to reward a losing contestant a consolation prize). Throughout his career he introduced a number of memorable songs in films, including "Hooray for Captain Spaulding" and "Hello, I Must Be Going", in Animal Crackers, "Whatever It Is, I'm Against It", "Everyone Says I Love You" and "Lydia the Tattooed Lady". Frank Sinatra, who once quipped that the only thing he could do better than Marx was sing, made a film with Marx and Jane Russell in 1951 entitled Double Dynamite.
  • 1932
    Marx also worked as a radio comedian and show host. One of his earliest stints was a short-lived series in 1932, Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel, costarring Chico.
    More Details Hide Details Though most of the scripts and discs were thought to have been destroyed, all but one of the scripts were found in 1988 in the Library of Congress.
  • 1915
    After the sinking of the in 1915, public anti-German sentiment was widespread, and Marx's German character was booed, so he quickly dropped the accent and developed the fast-talking wise-guy character that became his trademark.
    More Details Hide Details The Marx Brothers became the biggest comedic stars of the Palace Theatre in New York City, which billed itself as the "Valhalla of Vaudeville". Brother Chico's deal-making skills resulted in three hit plays on Broadway. No comedy routine had ever so infected the Broadway circuit. All of this predated their Hollywood career. By the time the Marxes made their first movie, they were major stars with sharply honed skills, and when Groucho was relaunched to stardom on You Bet Your Life, he had already been performing successfully for half a century. Groucho Marx made 26 movies, 13 of them with his brothers Chico and Harpo. Marx developed a routine as a wisecracking hustler with a distinctive chicken-walking lope, an exaggerated greasepaint mustache and eyebrows, and an ever-present cigar, improvising insults to stuffy dowagers (often played by Margaret Dumont) and anyone else who stood in his way. As the Marx Brothers, he and his brothers starred in a series of popular stage shows and movies.
  • 1909
    By 1909 Minnie Marx had assembled her sons into a forgettable-quality vaudeville singing group billed as "The Four Nightingales".
    More Details Hide Details The brothers Julius, Milton (Gummo Marx) and Arthur (originally Adolph, from 1911 Harpo Marx) and another boy singer, Lou Levy, traveled the U.S. vaudeville circuits to little fanfare. After exhausting their prospects in the East the family moved to La Grange, Illinois, to play the Midwest. After a particularly dispiriting performance in Nacogdoches, Texas, Julius, Milton, and Arthur began cracking jokes onstage for their own amusement. Much to their surprise, the audience liked them better as comedians than as singers. They modified the then-popular Gus Edwards comedy skit "School Days" and renamed it "Fun In Hi Skule". The Marx Brothers would perform variations on this routine for the next seven years. For a time in vaudeville all the brothers performed using ethnic accents. Leonard, the oldest, developed the Italian accent he used as Chico Marx to convince some roving bullies that he was Italian, not Jewish. Arthur, the next oldest, donned a curly red wig and became "Patsy Brannigan", a stereotypical Irish character. His discomfort speaking on stage led to his uncle Al Shean's suggestion that he stop speaking altogether and play the role in mime. Julius Marx's character from "Fun In Hi Skule" was an ethnic German, so Julius played him with a German accent.
  • 1905
    After a few stabs at entry-level office work and jobs suitable for adolescents, Julius took to the stage as a boy singer with the Gene Leroy Trio, debuting at the Ramona Theatre in Grand Rapids, MI on July 16, 1905.
    More Details Hide Details Marx reputedly claimed that he was "hopelessly average" as a vaudevillian, but this was typically Marx, wisecracking in his true form.
  • 1890
    Julius Marx was born on October 2, 1890, in New York City, New York.
    More Details Hide Details Marx stated that he was born in a room above a butcher's shop on East 78th Street in New York City, "Between Lexington & 3rd", as told to Dick Cavett in a 1969 television interview. The Marx children grew up on East 93rd Street off Lexington Avenue in a neighborhood now known as Carnegie Hill on the Upper East Side of the borough of Manhattan, in New York City. The turn-of-the-century building that his brother Harpo called "the first real home they ever knew" (in his memoir Harpo Speaks) was populated with European immigrants, mostly artisans. Just across the street were the oldest brownstones in the area, owned by people such as the well-connected Loew Brothers and William Orth. The Marx family lived at this location "for about 14 years", Groucho also told Cavett. Marx's family was Jewish. Groucho's mother was Miene "Minnie" Schoenberg, whose family came from Dornum in northern Germany when she was 16 years old. His father was Simon "Sam" Marx, who changed his name from Marrix, and was called "Frenchie" by his sons throughout his life because he and his family came from Alsace in France. Minnie's brother was Al Schoenberg, who shortened his name to Al Shean when he went into show business as half of Gallagher and Shean, a noted vaudeville act of the early 20th century. According to Groucho, when Shean visited he would throw the local waifs a few coins so that when he knocked at the door he would be surrounded by adoring fans.
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