Profile of Groucho Marx
Julius "Groucho" Marx was the most famous of the Marx Brothers, a landmark comedy team of vaudeville and the movies. The Marx Brothers' witty, irreverent wordplay and clever physical gags made them some of the world's biggest movie stars during their heyday in the 1920s and 1930s. Groucho Marx was the ringleader in the group's routines, cracking wise and waggling his eyebrows over his signature greasepaint mustache. His brothers included fellow stars Chico (Leonard Marx, 1886-1961) and Harpo (Adolph Marx, 1888-1964), plus two brothers who made more rare appearances: Gummo (Milton Marx, 1897-1977) and Zeppo (Herbert Marx, 1901-1979). The Marx Brothers' movies included Animal Crackers (1930), Duck Soup (1933) and A Night At the Opera (1935); often the actress Margaret Dumont served as a stuffy foil for their antics. Groucho Marx became a solo success when he hosted the game show You Bet Your Life on radio and television from 1947-1961. In 1974 he received a special Academy Award for lifetime achievement.
Harpo Marx was the brother who didn’t speak on-screen; Chico often played a comical Italian… Among those who wrote routines for the Marx Brothers were S.J. Perelman and George S. Kaufman… In his last years Groucho was guided by a secretary and companion, Erin Fleming, eventually leading to a legal battle with his family in which she was ousted as his guardian… A new version of You Bet Your Life aired briefly in 1992, with comedian Bill Cosby as host… Marx is no relation to philosopher Karl Marx… Groucho Marx died in 1977, three days after Elvis Presley.
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