Harpo Marx
Actor, comedian
Harpo Marx
Adolph "Harpo" Marx (November 23, 1888 – September 28, 1964) was an American comedian and film star. He was the second-oldest of the Marx Brothers. His comic style was influenced by clown and pantomime traditions. He wore a curly reddish wig, and never spoke during performances (he blew a horn or whistled to communicate). Marx frequently used props such as a horn cane, made up of a lead pipe, tape, and a bulbhorn, and he played the harp in most of his films.
Biography
Harpo Marx's personal information overview.
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Photo Albums
Popular photos of Harpo Marx
News
News abour Harpo Marx from around the web
The Awkwardness Olympics - msnbc.com
Google News - over 5 years
Small talk, New York Magazine said in a 1968 article about Nixon, is “a talent at which he is as naturally gifted as, say, the late Harpo Marx.” If you find it difficult or painful to relate to your fellow man, why go into politics?
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Life Mirrors Comedy Routine - ChicagoNow
Google News - over 5 years
I felt like I was in that I Love Lucy episode when Lucy does the Mirror Routine with Harpo Marx. It was almost creepy. Now I'm no salesperson. I've often said if my family had to rely on my selling ability to survive we should just start the food
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Italian manufacturers shine at Monterey's Concorso - Santa Cruz Sentinel
Google News - over 5 years
Connie is both amused and unapologetic when discussing her role in the purchase. "Hey, you go somewhere and your hair is like ... pffft!" she explained, using her hands to mime a Harpo Marx hair day. "I mean, it's bad enough if you already have wild
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Setting a new Clench mark... - The Star
Google News - over 5 years
“We initially formed for a one-off performance at a mutual friend's birthday party, playing such cowboy hits as Patrick Swayze's She's Like The Wind while dressed as Harpo Marx, Indiana Jones etc,” recalls Oliver. “We weren't very good, but we decided
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Molly Brennan named new artistic director of Barrel of Monkeys - WBEZ (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
You might remember her for her roles in various 500 Clown productions, where she is also a company member, or for her recent turn as Harpo Marx in the Goodman Theater's production of Animal Crackers. Brennan also has appeared in productions at
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10 Best Movies With Greek Subtitles - Screen Junkies
Google News - over 5 years
Kitty Carlisle and Allan Jones are joined by Groucho Marx, Chino Marx, and Harpo Marx. “Ninotchka.” Also available with subtitles in the Greek language is “Ninotchka,” a 1939 romantic comedy directed by Ernst Lubitsch. This black-and-white American
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Top ten famous movies banned in Ireland - VIDEOS - Irish Central
Google News - over 5 years
This is the third of the Marx Brothers' movies starring the famous brothers Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx and Zeppo Marx. The story takes place on an ocean liner crossing the Atlantic Ocean. As with many of the Marx Brothers' movies the censors
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Top 5: 'I Love Lucy' moments - MassLive.com
Google News - over 5 years
Harpo Marx guest appearance - Lucy, dressed as Harpo, mimics his comedic moves. Grape stomping - Lucy makes wine the old-fashioned wine. Chocolate factory - Lucy and Ethel get jobs at a chocolate assembly line, When rthye can't keep ip,
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Classical and Jazz: Latest News > August 4 - West End Extra
Google News - over 5 years
It's a delight that she includes Harpo Marx among the people who have influenced her life. On Saturday, it's the Big Chris Barber Band. Chris is a most glorious jazz veteran if there was one; he's been leading his own band for more than 60 years since
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Style Icon - Racked National
Google News - over 5 years
Hmm. We recently asked our audience to tell us who their dream dinner party guests would be and their answers were inspiring: Thomas Jefferson, Tina Fey, Werner Herzog, Harpo Marx, etc... Any of them would make great guests -- except for Harpo Marx
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New on DVD this week - NorthJersey.com
Google News - over 5 years
... the exclusive on this nifty set, which collects 14 newly restored episodes featuring the Queen of Comedy at her gut-busting best, wrapping chocolates on an assembly line, stomping grapes in Italy, imitating Harpo Marx and pushing Vitameatavegamin
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National Heritage Museum presents "Inspired by Fashion: American Masonic Regalia" - Fall River Herald News
Google News - over 5 years
From George Washington to Buffalo Bill and Harpo Marx, members of Masonic fraternities have used specialized regalia, symbolic clothing and character costumes to express traditions passed down from the 16th century. An informative and well-researched
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Power outage - Mohave Valley News
Google News - over 5 years
“USA Today called us up and said 'We're gonna put this on the front page,' and I said 'Sure you are, and I'm Harpo Marx,'” Eck said. “So they came out here and took the photos, and on July 17, 1987, I was out in Westwood, Calif., and I got the weekend
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National Heritage Museum explores the meaning behind Masonic regalia - MetroWest Daily News
Google News - over 5 years
From George Washington to Buffalo Bill and Harpo Marx, members of Masonic fraternities have used specialized regalia, symbolic clothing and character costumes to express traditions passed down from the 16th century. An informative and well-researched
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Top ten movies banned in Ireland - Irish Central
Google News - over 5 years
This is the third of the Marx Brothers' movies starring the famous brothers Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx and Zeppo Marx. The story takes place on an ocean liner crossing the Atlantic Ocean. As with many of the Marx Brothers' movies the censors
Article Link:
Google News article
Wolfgang Amadeus Klitschko: The Southpaw - The Boxing Tribune
Google News - over 5 years
Unfortunately, for Haye's style this makes about as much sense as slipping the sheet music for Take Me Out to the Ballgame into an operatic score and fencing with the conductor like Harpo Marx. As we saw in the Harrison fight, Haye has way too much
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Peter Falk, 1927-2011 - Boston Globe (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Harpo Marx's is a very distant second. But Falk had a notable movie history, too. Starting in the late '50s, he spent a dozen years playing a steady stream of cops and crooks. Right away, he earned a pair of best supporting actor Oscar nominations,
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Harpo Marx
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1964
    Age 75
    Harpo Marx died on September 28, 1964 (his and his wife, Susan's, 28th wedding anniversary), at age 75 in a West Los Angeles hospital one day after undergoing heart surgery.
    More Details Hide Details Harpo's death was said to have hit the surviving Marx brothers very hard. Groucho's son Arthur Marx, who attended the funeral with most of the Marx family, later said that Harpo's funeral was the only time in his life that he ever saw his father cry. In his will, Harpo Marx donated his trademark harp to the State of Israel. His remains were cremated, and his ashes were scattered at a golf course in Rancho Mirage, California. Harpo is most known for his signature outfit: trench coat with over-large pockets, red wig (he switched to a blonde one for every film after The Cocoanuts), top hat, and a comical horn heard in his movies. He was also well known for playing the harp, though he could not read music. For many moviegoers, Harpo Marx provided their introduction to harp music. Today, thanks to reruns of Marx Brothers films, Harpo continues to entertain audiences old and new. Outside the professional harp community, he remains one of the best "ambassadors for the harp" the world has known. In time, his talent earned him an international reputation as he performed in movies as well as in stage shows around the globe.
  • 1963
    Age 74
    Harpo's final public appearance came on January 19, 1963 with singer/comedian Allan Sherman.
    More Details Hide Details Sherman burst into tears when Harpo announced his retirement from the entertainment business. Comedian Steve Allen, who was in the audience, remembered that Harpo spoke for several minutes about his career, and how he would miss it all, and repeatedly interrupted Sherman when he tried to speak. The audience found it charmingly ironic, Allen said, that Harpo, who had never before spoken on stage or screen, "wouldn't shut up!" Harpo, an avid croquet player, was inducted into the Croquet Hall of Fame in 1979.
  • 1962
    Age 73
    Harpo's two final television appearances came less than a month apart in late 1962.
    More Details Hide Details He portrayed a guardian angel on CBS's The Red Skelton Show on September 25. He guest starred as himself on October 20 in the episode "Musicale" of ABC's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, a sitcom starring Fess Parker, based on the 1939 Frank Capra film.
    In 1962 he guest-starred with Carol Burnett in an installment of The DuPont Show of the Week entitled "The Wonderful World of Toys".
    More Details Hide Details The show was filmed in Central Park and featured Marx playing "Autumn Leaves" on the harp. A visit to the set inspired poet Robert Lowell to compose a poem about Marx.
  • 1961
    Age 72
    In 1961, he made guest appearances on The Today Show, Play Your Hunch, Candid Camera, I've Got a Secret, Here's Hollywood, Art Linkletter's House Party, Groucho's quiz show You Bet Your Life, The Ed Sullivan Show, and Your Surprise Package.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1960
    Age 71
    In 1960, he appeared with Ernest Truex in an episode of The DuPont Show with June Allyson entitled "A Silent Panic".
    More Details Hide Details He played a deaf-mute who, as a "mechanical man" in a department store window, witnessed a gangland murder.
  • 1959
    Age 70
    Harpo and Chico played a television anthology episode of General Electric Theater entitled "The Incredible Jewelry Robbery" entirely in pantomime in 1959, with a brief surprise appearance by Groucho at the end.
    More Details Hide Details Harpo made television appearances in the 1960s.
  • 1955
    Age 66
    In 1955, Harpo made an appearance on the sitcom I Love Lucy, in which they re-enacted the famous mirror scene from the Marx Brothers movie Duck Soup (1933).
    More Details Hide Details In this scene, they are both supposed to be Harpo, not Groucho; he stays the same and Lucille Ball is dressed as him. About this time, he also appeared on NBC's The Martha Raye Show. Harpo recorded an album of harp music for RCA Victor (Harp by Harpo, 1952) and two for Mercury Records (Harpo in Hi-Fi, 1957; Harpo at Work, 1958).
  • FORTIES
  • 1936
    Age 47
    Harpo married actress Susan Fleming on September 28, 1936.
    More Details Hide Details The wedding became public knowledge after President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent the couple a telegram of congratulations the following month. Harpo's marriage, like Gummo's, was lifelong. (Groucho was divorced three times, Zeppo twice, Chico once.) The couple adopted four children: Bill, Alex, Jimmy, and Minnie. When he was asked by George Burns in 1948 how many children he planned to adopt, he answered, "I’d like to adopt as many children as I have windows in my house. So when I leave for work, I want a kid in every window, waving goodbye." Harpo was good friends with theater critic Alexander Woollcott, and became a regular member of the Algonquin Round Table. He once said his main contribution was to be the audience for the quips of other members. In their play The Man Who Came to Dinner, George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart based the character of "Banjo" on Harpo. Harpo later played the role in Los Angeles opposite Woolcott, who had inspired the character of Sheridan Whiteside. In 1961 Harpo published his autobiography, Harpo Speaks. Because he never spoke a word in character, many believed he actually was mute. In fact, radio and TV news recordings of his voice can be found on the Internet, in documentaries, and on bonus materials of Marx Brothers DVDs. A reporter who interviewed him in the early 1930s wrote that "he Harpo... had a deep and distinguished voice, like a professional announcer", and like his brothers, spoke with a New York accent his entire life.
    Friz Freleng's 1936 Merrie Melodies cartoon The Coo-Coo Nut Grove featuring animal versions of assorted celebrities, caricatures Harpo as a bird with a red beak.
    More Details Hide Details When he first appears, he is chasing a woman, but the woman later turns out to be Groucho. Harpo also took an interest in painting, and a few of his works can be seen in his autobiography. In the book, Marx tells a story about how he tried to paint a nude female model, but froze up because he simply did not know how to paint properly. The model took pity on him, however, showing him a few basic strokes with a brush, until finally Harpo (fully clothed) took the model's place as the subject and the naked woman painted his portrait.
    In 1936, he was one of a number of performers and celebrities to appear as caricatures in the Walt Disney Production of Mickey's Polo Team.
    More Details Hide Details Harpo was part of a team of polo-playing movie stars which included Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy. His mount was an ostrich. Walt Disney would later have Harpo (with Groucho and Chico) appear as one of King Cole's "Fiddlers Three" in the Silly Symphony Mother Goose Goes Hollywood. Harpo was also caricatured in Sock-A-Bye Baby (1934), an early episode of the Popeye cartoon series created by Fleischer Studios. Harpo is playing the harp, and wakes up Popeye's baby, and then Popeye kills him. (After Popeye hits him, a halo appears over his head and he floats to the sky.)
  • 1933
    Age 44
    In 1933, following U.S. diplomatic recognition of the Soviet Union, he spent six weeks in Moscow as a performer and goodwill ambassador.
    More Details Hide Details His tour was a huge success. Harpo's name was transliterated into Russian, using the Cyrillic alphabet, as ХАРПО МАРКС, and was billed as such during his Soviet Union appearances. Harpo, having no knowledge of Russian, pronounced it as 'Exapno Mapcase'. At that time Harpo and the Soviet Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov became friends and even performed a routine on stage together. During this time he served as a secret courier; delivering communiques to and from the US embassy in Moscow at the request of Ambassador William Christian Bullitt, Jr., smuggling the messages in and out of Russia by taping a sealed envelope to his leg beneath his trousers, an event described in David Fromkin's 1995 book In the Time of the Americans. In Harpo Speaks, Marx describes his relief at making it out of the Soviet Union, recalling how "I pulled up my pants, ripped off the tape, unwound the straps, handed over the dispatches from Ambassador Bullitt, and gave my leg its first scratch in ten days."
  • THIRTIES
  • 1921
    Age 32
    His first screen appearance was in the 1921 film Humor Risk, with his brothers, although according to Groucho, it was only screened once and then lost.
    More Details Hide Details Four years later, Harpo appeared without his brothers in Too Many Kisses, four years before the brothers' first widely released film, The Cocoanuts (1929). In Too Many Kisses, Harpo spoke the only line he would ever speak on-camera in a movie: "You sure you can't move?" (said to the film's tied-up hero before punching him). Fittingly, it was a silent movie, and the audience saw only his lips move and the line on a title card. Harpo was often cast as Chico's eccentric partner-in-crime, whom he would often help by playing charades to tell of Groucho's problem, and/or annoy by giving Chico his leg. Harpo became famous for prop-laden sight gags, in particular the seemingly infinite number of odd things stored in his topcoat's oversized pockets. In the film Horse Feathers (1932), Groucho, referring to an impossible situation, tells Harpo that he cannot "burn the candle at both ends." Harpo immediately produces from within his coat pocket a lit candle burning at both ends. In the same film, a homeless man on the street asks Harpo for money for a cup of coffee, and he subsequently produces a steaming cup, complete with saucer, from inside his coat. In Duck Soup, he produces a lit blowtorch to light a cigar. As author Joe Adamson put in his book, Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Sometimes Zeppo, "The president of the college has been shouted down by a mute."
  • TWENTIES
  • 1911
    Age 22
    Harpo had changed his name from Adolph to Arthur by 1911.
    More Details Hide Details This was due primarily to his dislike for the name Adolph (as a child, he was routinely called "Ahdie" instead). The name change may have also happened because of the similarity between Harpo's name and Adolph Marks, a prominent show business attorney in Chicago. Urban legends stating that the name change came about during World War I due to anti-German sentiment in the US, or during World War II because of the stigma that Adolf Hitler imposed on the name, are groundless.
  • 1910
    Age 21
    In January 1910, Harpo joined two of his brothers, Julius (later "Groucho") and Milton (later "Gummo"), to form "The Three Nightingales", later changed to simply "The Marx Brothers".
    More Details Hide Details Multiple stories—most unsubstantiated—exist to explain Harpo's evolution as the "silent" character in the brothers' act. In his memoir, Groucho wrote that Harpo simply wasn't very good at memorizing dialogue, and thus was ideal for the role of the "dunce who couldn't speak", a common character in vaudeville acts of the time. Harpo gained his stage name during a card game at the Orpheum Theatre in Galesburg, Illinois. The dealer (Art Fisher) called him "Harpo" because he played the harp. He learned how to hold it properly from a picture of an angel playing a harp that he saw in a five-and-dime. No one in town knew how to play the harp, so Harpo tuned it as best he could, starting with one basic note and tuning it from there. Three years later he found out he had tuned it incorrectly, but he could not have tuned it properly; if he had, the strings would have broken each night. Harpo's method placed much less tension on the strings. Although he played this way for the rest of his life, he did try to learn how to play correctly, and he spent considerable money hiring the best teachers. They spent their time listening to him, fascinated by the way he played.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1888
    Born
    Born on November 23, 1888.
    More Details Hide Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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