Groucho Marx


Actor, Comedian
Groucho Marx

About

Also Known As
Julius Henry Marx, Groucho [Marx]
Birth Place
New York City, New York, USA
Born
October 02, 1890
Died
August 19, 1977
Cause of Death
Pneumonia

Biography

With his signature glasses, cigar and grease-painted mustache, Groucho Marx led the manic madness of The Marx Brothers in more than a dozen films, highlighted by his rapid-fire, sardonic wit and mastery of the double entendre. Encouraged by their ambitious mother, Groucho and his brothers crafted their individual personas while toiling on the vaudeville circuit for more than 15 years bef...

Photos & Videos

A Night at the Opera - Publicity Stills
At the Circus - Publicity Stills
A Day at the Races - Lobby Card Set

Family & Companions

Ruth Johnson
Wife
Married 1920; divorced 1942.
Kay Gorcey
Wife
Actor. Married 1945; divorced 1951; previously married to actor Leo Gorcey.
Eden Hartford
Wife
Model. Married 1954; divorced 1969.
Erin Fleming
Companion
Actress. Born 1939; together from 1970.

Bibliography

"Groucho: The Lie and Times of Julius Henry Marx"
Stefan Kanfer, Alfred A. Knopf (2000)
"The Grouchophile"
Groucho Marx (1977)
"The Secret Word Is Groucho"
Groucho Marx and Hector Arce (1977)
"The Marx Brothers Scrapbook"
Groucho Marx and Richard Anobile (1973)

Notes

Note should also be made of actress Margaret Dumont, "the female Marx Brother", who appeared in seven films with the brothers and certainly contributed more to their act than actual brothers Zeppo and Gummo.

Biography

With his signature glasses, cigar and grease-painted mustache, Groucho Marx led the manic madness of The Marx Brothers in more than a dozen films, highlighted by his rapid-fire, sardonic wit and mastery of the double entendre. Encouraged by their ambitious mother, Groucho and his brothers crafted their individual personas while toiling on the vaudeville circuit for more than 15 years before taking their act to Broadway in 1924. Working with writers like George S. Kaufman and ensemble players like Margaret Dumont, Groucho and the Marx Brothers eventually brought their comedic chaos to the cinema with such early hits as "The Cocoanuts" (1929), "Animal Crackers" (1930) and "Monkey Business" (1931). Underappreciated in its day, "Duck Soup" (1933) found the group at their unbridled creative peak, while the more structured "A Night at the Opera" (1935) and "A Day at the Races" (1937) were undeniably crowd pleasers. Although The Marx Brothers’ film career began to wane in the years leading up to World War II, Groucho enjoyed a lengthy second career as the beloved host of the long-running game show "You Bet Your Life" (NBC, 1950-1961), which began on radio in 1947. Outliving his brothers Chico and Harpo and outlasting nearly all his contemporaries, the 82-year-old comedian had the crowd in stitches one last time with a sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall in 1972. Long before his passing, Groucho had become more than a movie star and comic legend – he was an indelible part of American iconography.

Born Julius Henry Marx on Oct. 2, 1890 in New York City, he was one of five sons born to Jewish-German immigrants Minnie and Samuel "Frenchie" Marx. Although a firstborn son had died mere months after birth, Julius (later, Groucho) had two older brothers, Leonard (Chico) and Arthur (Harpo), in addition to two younger siblings, Milton (Gummo) and Herbert (Zeppo). Marx's maternal family was an artistic one and included famed vaudeville star Al Shean from the popular team of Gallagher and Shean. Minnie, the Marx family’s ambitious matriarch, was a defining force in the lives of all her young children and from an early age, she groomed them to follow in Uncle Shean’s footsteps. While Chico and Harpo proved themselves to be virtuosos on the piano and harp, respectively, Groucho developed into a respectable vocalist, in addition to exhibiting impressive skill on the guitar.

The need to help support the financially struggling Marx family led to Groucho dropping out of school early on. After a number of low-paying menial jobs, the 15-year-old Marx boy broke into show business in 1905 as part of a musical vaudeville act called The Leroy Trio. More acts followed, until Minnie – acting as manager – cobbled another group together, initially comprised of Groucho, Gummo and Mabel O’Donnell, billed as The Three Nightingales – redubbed The Four Nightingales with the later addition of Harpo. When Minnie herself eventually joined the boys on stage, along with their Aunt Hannah Schikler, the expanded troupe were billed as The Six Mascots for a short time. After having toured most of the eastern vaudeville circuit with limited success, Minnie and Frenchie moved the Marx clan to Chicago, IL in 1909. Operating from their new home base the family traveled extensively throughout the Midwest, working the region’s lucrative vaudeville circuit.

During one particularly rough performance, Groucho, Harpo and Gummo began to lighten the proceedings – if only for their own amusement – by cracking several impromptu jokes. When the witticisms yielded unexpectedly favorable results, the Marx Brothers decided to make comedy a more prominent fixture in their act. Following a popular trend of the day, the troupe toured with a classroom musical-comedy called "Fun in Hi Skule" throughout 1910. Groucho led the proceedings as the German-accented Herr Teacher, a character that laid the foundation for much of his future onscreen persona. Two years later, Chico joined the family for the "Hi Skule" spin-off "Mr. Green’s Reception," which had begun as the second act of its popular predecessor.

Groucho and his brothers continued to enjoy stage success with productions like the long-running "Home Again" (1914), written by their uncle, Al Shean. It was Shean who accommodated Harpo’s dislike of public speaking by reducing his dialogue to the point of making his performance a pantomime. After the sinking of the RMS Lusitania in 1915 and the onset of World War I, anti-German sentiment ran high enough to prompt Groucho to drop his previous trademark accent and quickly craft a new persona. He opted for the guise of a wise-cracking con man, and by 1920, the Marx Brothers returned to New York with their iconic personalities in place. In addition to Groucho’s cigar-wagging huckster, there was Chico, the fast-talking Italian, and Harpo, the mute, childlike trickster. Zeppo, who had replaced older brother Gummo a few years prior, played the straight-man, solely by virtue of being the tallest and best-looking of the bunch.

At this point, The Marx Brothers were one of the most popular vaudeville acts in America. Largely under Groucho’s creative direction and aided by Chico’s impressive business savvy, they made the unprecedented leap of taking a vaudeville act to the hallowed halls of Broadway. In 1924, they opened the musical revue, "I’ll Say She Is," which was in large part an amalgam of previous skits strung together. Culminating with a hilarious bit featuring Groucho as a love-struck Napoleon, the show became a breakout hit and ran for nearly a year. It was during this time that Groucho – either in a hurry or simply tired of applying the adhesive gum – substituted his fake mustache for an exaggerated one done entirely in black greasepaint, complete with matching eyebrows. The look – combined with the ever-present cigar, eyeglasses and stooped swagger –was one he maintained for 20 years, becoming one of the most recognizable caricatures in history.

Encouraged by renowned theater critic Alexander Woolcott to do so, the brothers permanently adopted the stage names of Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Zeppo for their next Broadway endeavor, 1925’s "The Cocoanuts." With music and lyrics provided by Irving Berlin, the story – set at a seaside hotel during the ill-fated Florida Land Boom – was written specifically for the Marx Brothers by George S. Kaufman. Kaufman was instrumental in helping to further shape the brothers’ trademark characterizations in the wildly successful production and he continued the evolution with their next musical-comedy, "Animal Crackers," which premiered on Broadway in 1928. The even more anarchic "Animal Crackers" solidified the Marx Brothers’ status as one of the biggest acts in America, which soon attracted film studios looking to exploit the new novelty of talking pictures.

Signed to a five-year contract with Paramount Pictures, the Marx Brothers began work on the movie adaptation of "The Cocoanuts" (1929) during the day at New York’s Astoria Studios then returned to Broadway to perform in the still-running "Animal Crackers" each night. Although the primitive sound techniques of the time presented several challenges during the shoot, the finished product – which Groucho and his brothers were reportedly initially appalled by – captured enough of their manic energy and snappy dialogue to make movie audiences howl. Sadly, this professional triumph was marred by the death of the indomitable Minnie Marx in September of 1929.

With their feature film debut bringing in impressive big box office, Groucho and the boys returned to Astoria Studios to film their sophomore effort, "Animal Crackers" (1930). As famed explorer Captain Geoffrey T. Spaulding, Groucho wreaked havoc at a dinner party thrown in his honor by the wealthy dowager, Mrs. Rittenhouse (frequent Marx Brothers collaborator, Margaret Dumont). The character of the irrepressible braggart, Spaulding, remained the one most closely associated with Marx throughout the remainder of his career and the film endured as one of the most beloved in the Marx Brothers’ extensive catalogue. Flush with the success of their first two motion pictures, Groucho, his brothers and their families all move to Hollywood in 1931.

Their third release for Paramount, "Monkey Business" (1931), was also the first Marx Brothers movie written specifically for the screen and not based on an existing stage play. Containing little in the way of plot to get in the way of Groucho, Chico and Harpo’s shenanigans, the action took place largely on an ocean liner on which the boys had stowed away. Borrowing liberally from previous stage material and given an added comedic boost thanks to additional bits written by Uncle Shean, "Monkey Business" was an even bigger hit than their two previous films. The Marx Brothers were now officially big time Hollywood movie stars.

"Horse Feathers" (1932) was a similarly free-form romp through college life, featuring Professor Wagstaff (Groucho) cueing the mayhem with his anti-establishment anthem "I'm Against It" and adding to the chaos by recruiting Chico and Harpo to play on his unconventional collegiate football team. At the pinnacle of their popularity, the Marx Brothers were all featured on the cover of TIME magazine that year, in an image from the film’s indelible climax, often described as one of the greatest football-related moments in movie history. That same year, Groucho teamed with Chico on radio for the NBC comedy, "Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel" (1932-33), on which he played the hilariously incompetent attorney Waldorf T. Flywheel, assisted by his bumbling employee, Ravelli (Chico). For obvious reasons, Harpo did not contribute to the audio program.

An absurdist satire on the politics of war, "Duck Soup" (1933) featured Groucho as Rufus T. Firefly, leader of the small bankrupt country of Freedonia, aided and abetted by a pair of loyalty-challenged spies (Chico & Harpo). Although it would eventually be considered the comedy troupe’s cinematic masterpiece, "Duck Soup" proved a bit too much for some audiences and critics at the time and failed to meet the troubled Paramount’s lofty box-office expectations. With relations strained to the breaking point and their five-picture deal with the studio satisfied, the Marx Brothers and Paramount Pictures parted ways that year. Brother Zeppo, who had long labored in the thankless role of straight man despite his impressive comedic abilities, also chose to end his professional relationship with his brothers after the release of "Duck Soup."

Now a three-man team, the Marx Brothers were picked up by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer at the behest of its production chief Irving Thalberg, who recast the madcap trio in the studio's well-established mold. A firm believer in narrative structure and relatable characters, Thalberg set the brothers up as more sympathetic, helpful figures and infused love stories into the proceedings in order to appeal to audiences less enamored of the team's usual manic, destructive humor. With these adjustments, plus classier production values and the return of "Cocoanuts" writers Kaufman and Ryskind, along with the new addition of director Sam Wood, MGM released "A Night at the Opera" (1935). Despite some fans' opinion that the bloated production values and saccharine romantic elements blunted the comedy’s anarchic edge and slowed the pace of the film, "A Night at the Opera" nonetheless became a mammoth hit for Groucho and his brothers, their biggest since "Horse Feathers."

After testing material extensively on stage prior to production – another tactic insisted upon by Thalberg – Groucho, Chico and Harpo returned with "A Day at the Races" (1937). With a plot involving an attempt to save a struggling sanitarium, thoroughbred horses and the usual hijinks, it delivered yet another hit for The Marx Brothers and MGM. Unfortunately, Thalberg’s sudden death during production ultimately robbed Groucho and his siblings of their greatest champion at the studio and the quality of their subsequent films with MGM suffered as a result. After taking some time to co-write the screenplay for Warner Brothers' "The King and the Chorus Girl" (1937), Groucho rejoined Chico and Harpo on loan to RKO for "Room Service" (1938), the only Marx Brothers feature not written expressly for them. It did, however, feature a little-known starlet who would go on to comedic greatness herself, Lucille Ball.

Returning to MGM, the Marx Brothers quickly turned out the formulaic and relatively listless "At the Circus" (1939) and "Go West" (1940). Groucho and his brothers closed out their commitment to the studio with "The Big Store" (1941), a movie the aging and increasingly disillusioned Marx Brothers were then billing as their final film. With his movie career apparently at an end, Groucho served as host for the musical-variety radio program, "Pabst Blue Ribbon Town," from 1943-44 and later co-wrote the play "A Time for Elizabeth" with his "King and the Chorus Girl" collaborator, Norman Krasna, in 1946. Contrary to their earlier assertions – and purportedly necessitated by Chico’s mounting gambling debts – the Marx Brothers reunited on screen once again for United Artists’ "A Night in Casablanca" (1946), produced by UA co-founder and silent era star, Mary Pickford. A bit of a return to form, if not former glory, it placed the boys at a hotel in the exotic titular city, and added intrigue and murder with a dastardly escaped Nazi. In a pair of firsts, Groucho appeared onscreen the following year with his real mustache and without either of his siblings in the Carmen Miranda musical-comedy, "Copacabana" (1947).

His biggest post-film success, however, came with the quiz show "You Bet Your Life," which began on radio in 1947 and eventually transferred to television. Essentially an excuse to showcase Groucho’s legendary quick wit while he familiarized himself with his guests, "You Bet Your Life" (NBC, 1950-1961) earned the performer an Emmy for Outstanding Personality in its first season and made Groucho one of the most beloved television staples throughout the 1950s. Considered by many to be a Marx Brothers film in name only, "Love Happy" (1950) – featuring an early walk on by a young Marilyn Monroe – was essentially a vehicle for Harpo, with Chico lending support and Groucho serving primarily as narrator. While the film featured several enjoyable moments – most of them, thanks to Harpo – for Marx Brothers fans, it was the end of an era.

Groucho carried on as a solo performer in such films as the Frank Sinatra flop, "Double Dynamite" (1951) and "A Girl in Every Port" (1952), a naval comedy co-starring William Bendix. He picked up an uncredited cameo in the lightweight Rock Hudson romp, "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" (1957) then appeared in Irwin Allen's campy all-star retrospective of humanity, "The Story of Mankind" (1957) – the very last movie to feature all three Marx Brothers, though never in the same scene. That bittersweet milestone would come to pass on television with the 30-minuted pantomime, "The Incredible Jewel Robbery" (CBS, 1959). The following year, Groucho delivered a gleeful performance as Ko-Ko the Lord High Executioner in a televised production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s "The Mikado" (NBC, 1960).

Much to the dismay of longtime fans, any chance of a Marx Brothers reunion was extinguished with the death of Chico in 1961, followed three years later by Harpo’s passing. And although he continued to make quest appearances on various television talk and variety shows for years to come, Groucho turned in one last big screen performance as "God" in the bizarre Otto Preminger counter-culture comedy "Skidoo" (1968). Shortly after divorcing from his third wife, Eden Hartford, in 1969, Groucho became involved with Canadian actress Erin Fleming. Younger than the venerated comedian by half a century, Fleming’s attachment to Groucho was a topic of interest for the press and a cause for concern for several close friends and family members who felt she was only out to further her own career. Groucho’s son, Arthur, was particularly concerned that Fleming was pushing the octogenarian too hard when she encouraged Groucho to embark on a comedy concert tour that culminated with a sold out performance at Carnegie Hall in 1972. It would be Groucho’s last hurrah as an entertainer.

After being presented with an honorary Oscar at the 1974 Academy Awards ceremony, Groucho essentially withdrew from public life. Leveling charges of physical abuse and citing Fleming’s Svengali-like influence over the increasingly addled Groucho, the Marx family entered into a battle for legal custody of the patriarch during the final years of his life. Even in his diminished state, the comedian retained his wit, as illustrated by his retort to a nurse who told the frail Groucho she needed to see if he had a temperature. "Don’t be silly," he scoffed, "Everybody has a temperature." Months after The Marx Brothers were inducted in to the Motion Picture Hall of Fame, Groucho Marx died from complications due to pneumonia on Aug. 19, 1977 at the age of 86. In a bit of ironic bad timing that surely would have prompted a sardonic retort of his own, Groucho’s passing was somewhat overshadowed by the world’s continued mourning for Elvis Presley, who had died suddenly just three days prior.

By Bryce Coleman

Life Events

1900

Acted with Gus Edwards' kiddie troup

1904

Left school and toured with The Larong Trio

1910

Formed The Three Nightingales with mother and aunt

1915

Played the Palace in NYC for the first time; earned $1500 per week

1920

Booked onto Keith-Albee vaudeville circuit with brothers

1923

Broadway debut in "I'll Say She Is"

1929

Film debut in "The Cocoanuts"

1947

First film without brothers, "Copacabana"

1947

Hosted "You Bet Your Life" on radio

1950

Hosted "You Bet Your Life" on TV (NBC)

1962

Served as host of the CBS gameshow "Tell It to Groucho"

1968

Last film, "Skidoo"

1972

Played Carnegie Hall in "An Evening of Groucho"

1977

Grandson Andrew named conservator of estate after lengthy battle between Marx family and Erin Fleming

Photo Collections

A Night at the Opera - Publicity Stills
Here are a few publicity photos taken for MGM's A Night at the Opera (1935), starring the Marx Bros. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
At the Circus - Publicity Stills
Here is a group of Publicity Stills taken during the production of At the Circus (1939), starring the Marx Brothers.
A Day at the Races - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from A Day at the Races (1937). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Room Service - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are a few photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of RKO's Room Service (1938), featuring Groucho Marx and Ann Miller.
The Big Store - Publicity Stills
Here are several publicity stills taken for MGM's The Big Store (1941), starring Groucho, Harpo, and Chico Marx.
A Night at the Opera - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are a few photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's A Night at the Opera (1935), starring the Marx Bros. and directed by Sam Wood.
Duck Soup - Movie Posters
Here are a few original-release movie posters from Paramount's Duck Soup (1934), starring the 4 Marx Brothers.
A Day at the Races - Movie Posters
Here is a group of movie posters for A Day at the Races (1937), starring the Marx Brothers.
A Night at the Opera - Movie Posters
Here is a group of American release movie posters for A Night at the Opera (1935), starring the Marx Brothers.
A Day at the Races - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are several photos taken during production of A Day at the Races (1937), starring the Marx Brothers.
At the Circus - Movie Posters
Here are a variety of Movie Posters for the Marx Brothers' At the Circus (1939), both American release and International.
The Big Store - Movie Posters
Here is a group of American movie posters from The Big Store (1941), starring the Marx Brothers.
Room Service - Movie Posters
Here is a group of original release American movie posters for Room Service (1938), starring the Marx Brothers.

Videos

Movie Clip

Animal Crackers (1930) -- (Movie Clip) An Elephant In My Pajamas A segment of one of the more famous Groucho joke routines, as Captain Spaulding recounting his African adventures for hostess Margaret Dumont and pompous are connoisseur Chandler (Louis Sorin), Harpo and Chico entering as the professor and Signor Ravelli, in the Paramount adaptation of the Marx Brothers stage hit, Animal Crackers, 1930.
Animal Crackers (1930) -- (Movie Clip) Hello, I Must Be Going Just introduced by his secretary (and little brother) Zeppo Marx, Groucho takes the stage as Captain Spaulding, African explorer invited to dazzle the guests of society matron Mrs. Rittenhouse (Margaret Dumont), with the first song from the Marx Brothers' Broadway hit, by Harry Ruby and Bert Kalmar, in Animal Crackers, 1930.
Horse Feathers (1932) -- (Movie Clip) Anything Further Father? Maybe the best casting ever of Zeppo Marx, as a wayward college man and son of his older brother, the new president Wagstaff (Groucho Marx), conferring after induction ceremonies in Horse Feathers, 1932.
Horse Feathers (1932) -- (Movie Clip) I'm Against It! Just sworn in as the new college president, Wagstaff (Groucho Marx) states his position, with Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby's "I"m Against It," early in Horse Feathers, 1932.
Horse Feathers (1932) -- (Movie Clip) Everyone Says I Love You A singular moment in Marx Brothers movies, Groucho as Professor Wagstaff serenading Connie (Thelma Todd), who's trying to steal the football signals, in a canoe, with screen and song writers Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby's Everyone Says I Love You, in Horse Feathers, 1932.
Horse Feathers (1932) -- (Movie Clip) Swordfish "Swordfish" is the password as new college president Wagstaff (Groucho) comes to the speakeasy seeking student-athletes, meeting Baravelli (Chico) and Pinky (Harpo) in the Marx Brothers' Horse Feathers, 1932.
Double Dynamite (1951) -- (Movie Clip) He Graduated Magna Cum Nothing! Frank Sinatra (as bank teller Johnny) and pal Emil (Groucho Marx) are talking through walls with his neighbor, fianceè and co-worker “Mibs” (Jane Russell), who thinks he’s been embezzling, hoping to intercept the fur he sent her, and annoyed that she’s dating a rival for revenge, in Double Dynamite, 1951.
Double Dynamite (1951) -- (Movie Clip) On $42.50 A Week Opening introduces Jane Russell as bank teller Mildred and Don McGuire as Bob, the annoying son of the big boss, then Frank Sinatra as fellow teller (and her fianceè) Johnny, getting nowhere seeking a raise from the manager (Harry Hayden), in RKO’s Double Dynamite, 1951, also starring Groucho Marx.
Double Dynamite (1951) -- (Movie Clip) Live Dangerously! Engaged bank tellers Johnny and “Mibs” (Frank Sinatra, Jane Russell) at lunch, just before Christmas, after he’s failed to get the raise he thinks they need to get married, and the first scene for Groucho Marx, who shared top billing, as waiter Emil, in Double Dynamite, 1951.
Double Dynamite (1951) -- (Movie Clip) I Don't Wear Shirts At Christmas-time in Los Angeles, broke bank teller Johnny (Frank Sinatra) has just rescued Nestor Paiva (whom we’ll learn is Hot Horse Harris, a big time bookie) from muggers, and he insists on compensation, Lou Nova as Santa, Joe Devlin the muscle, in Double Dynamite, 1951, also starring Jane Russell and Groucho Marx.
Night at the Opera, A (1935) -- (Movie Clip) Party of the First Part Driftwood (Groucho Marx) and Fiorello (Chico Marx) conduct business relating to an opera singer's contract in a famous scene from A Night at the Opera 1935, the screenplay credited to George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind.
Room Service (1938) -- (Movie Clip) Just Before He Was Shot Opening with Groucho as a Broadway producer, Alexander Asro his waiter, Cliff Dunstan, his brother-in-law, Lucille Ball on the phone, in the only Marx Brothers film made at RKO, and the only one not written for them, but based on a Broadway hit by Allen Boretz and John Murray, Room Service, 1938.

Trailer

Duck Soup - (Original Trailer) In Duck Soup (1933), their masterpiece and one of the greatest comedies of all time, The Marx Brothers take over the tiny nation of Freedonia.
Room Service - (Original Trailer) The Marx Brothers are three zany producers trying to extend their hotel credit until they can get a play mounted in Room Service (1938).
Girl In Every Port, A (1952) - (Original Trailer) Two sailors (Groucho Marx, William Bendix) invest in a racehorse in A Girl In Every Port (1952).
Big Store, The - (Original Trailer) A detective and his zany pals take over a failing department store in The Big Store (1941), starring The Marx Brothers and Margaret Dumont.
Go West (1940) - (Original Trailer) A zany trio head West in search of gold, and end up involved in a long-time feud in Go West (1940) starring The Marx Brothers.
Day at the Races, A - (Original Trailer) The Marx Brothers try to save a pretty girl's sanitarium in A Day at the Races (1937).
King and the Chorus Girl, The - (Original Trailer) Groucho Marx and Norman Krasna wrote the screenplay for the Joan Blondell comedy The King and the Chorus Girl (1937).
Night In Casablanca, A - (Original Trailer) Of all the movie stars in all the world, The Marx Brothers have to parody Humphrey Bogart in A Night In Casablanca (1946).
Animal Crackers - (Original Trailer) The Four Marx Brothers reduce a Long Island mansion to chaos in the film version of their Broadway hit, Animal Crackers (1930).
Monkey Business (1931) - (Original Trailer) The Four Marx Brothers stowaway on an ocean liner in route to America but never mind the plot, it's all Monkey Business (1931).
Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? - (Original Trailer) A lowly adman tries to better his lot by courting a glamorous Hollywood star in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957).
Night at the Opera, A - (Re-issue Trailer) Three zanies turn an operatic performance into chaos in their efforts to promote their protege's romance with the leading lady in A Night at the Opera (1935), one of the Marx Brothers most popular films.

Promo

Family

Samuel Marx
Father
Tailor. Born in Alsace-Lorraine in 1860; died in 1933.
Minnie Marx
Mother
Vaudevillian. Born in Germany.
Al Shean
Uncle
Vaudevillian. Brother of Minnie Marx; born 1868; died 1949; half of vaudeville team Gallagher and Shean.
Manfred Marx
Brother
Chico Marx
Brother
Actor, pianist, bandleader. Born 1887; died 1961.
Harpo Marx
Brother
Actor, harpist. Born 1888; died 1964.
Gummo Marx
Brother
Actor, agent, tailor. Born 1892; died 1977.
Zeppo Marx
Brother
Actor, agent. Born 1901; died 1979.
Miriam Marx
Daughter
By first wife.
Melinda Marx
Daughter
By second wife.
Andrew Marx
Grandson
Survived him.

Companions

Ruth Johnson
Wife
Married 1920; divorced 1942.
Kay Gorcey
Wife
Actor. Married 1945; divorced 1951; previously married to actor Leo Gorcey.
Eden Hartford
Wife
Model. Married 1954; divorced 1969.
Erin Fleming
Companion
Actress. Born 1939; together from 1970.

Bibliography

"Groucho: The Lie and Times of Julius Henry Marx"
Stefan Kanfer, Alfred A. Knopf (2000)
"The Grouchophile"
Groucho Marx (1977)
"The Secret Word Is Groucho"
Groucho Marx and Hector Arce (1977)
"The Marx Brothers Scrapbook"
Groucho Marx and Richard Anobile (1973)
"Son of Groucho"
Arthur Marx (1972)
"The Groucho Letters"
Groucho Marx (1967)
"Memoirs of a Mangy Lover"
Groucho Marx (1963)
"Groucho and Me"
(1959)
"Life with Groucho"
Arthur Marx (1954)
"Many Happy Returns: A Guide to Your Income Tax Problems"
Groucho Marx (1940)
"Beds"
Groucho Marx (1930)

Notes

Note should also be made of actress Margaret Dumont, "the female Marx Brother", who appeared in seven films with the brothers and certainly contributed more to their act than actual brothers Zeppo and Gummo.