Groucho Marx, otherwise known as Julius Henry “Groucho” Marx is most notably known as a comedian but also has had much experience with film making. His most known pieces of film work are with his siblings, the Marx Brothers.
- Early Life
- Grew up in New York City in a Jewish Neighborhood
- His mother Minnie Marx had high ambitions for her children to go in to the acting business.
- Their first act together was as a singing group known as “The Four Nightingales.” The group included Julius Marx, Milton Marx, and Adolph Marx.
- Julius, Milton, and Arthur (formerly known as Adolph Marx), after a disheartening music performance began making jokes onstage for their own amusement. Apparently the crowd liked them better as comedians than as singers. For the next seven years the Marx Brothers performed the skit “Fun in Hi Skule” instead of doing singing performances.
Each brother developed their own character for the comedy acts. Julius started out as a German character, but after the RMS Lusitania sank in 1915 he quickly changed his character to the fast talking wise guy that would make him famous.
The Marx brothers became a Broadway sensation which would soon lead to their Hollywood career. By the time they had finished their first movie they were already famous celebrities.
During the 1930’s and 1940’s Marx began working as a radio comedian and show host. He was then asked to host a radio quiz program called “You Bet Your Life.” It was filmed before a live audience where Marx would interview the contestants and ad lib jokes.
During his career he made many songs in film extremely memorable. Some of those memorable songs are “Everyone Says I love You” Hooray for Captain Spaulding” and “Hello I Must Be Going.”
- Marx was married and divorced three times during the course of his life. His first marriage took place on February 4th 1920 to Ruth Johnson. They were divorced on July 15 1942. They had two children together, Arthur and Miriam.
- His second marriage took place on February 24 1945 to Kay Marvis Gorcey. They were divorced on May 12 1951. They together had one daughter named Melinda.
- His third wife was an actress named Eden Hartford and they were married on July 17 1954; divorced on December 4 1969.
- Marx had no formal education but wrote many books including his autobiography.
- He was the TV show host for The Tonight Show and introduced Johnny Carson as the new host.
- He appeared as “God” in the movie skidoo which proved to be a failure and got negative reviews. This was his last theatrical film appearance.
- He made a come back in the 70’s by doing a live one-man-show. He released a double album on A&M records; appeared on a live show with Bill Cosby; and accompanied Elton John to the performance of Jesus Christ Superstar where he gave two witticisms as the lights went down.
- Marx was hospitalized with pneumonia on June 22 1977
- Marx died at the age of 86 in Mission Hills, Los Angeles California on August 19 1977. He was cremated at the Eden Memorial Park Cemetary. His death did not receive very much publicity as it occurred three days after the death of Elvis Presley.
Groucho’s works became popular again but by this time had become weak and frail.