Groucho Marx : biography
Groucho was the subject of an urban legend about a supposed response to a contestant who had nine children which supposedly brought down the house. In response to Marx asking in disbelief why she had so many children, the contestant replied, "I love my husband." To this, Marx responded, "I love my cigar, too, but I take it out of my mouth once in a while." Groucho often asserted in interviews that this exchange never took place, but it remains one of the most often quoted "Groucho-isms" nonetheless.
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.
Mustache, eyebrows and walk
He did paint the old character mustache over his real one on a few rare performing occasions, including a TV sketch with Jackie Gleason on the latter’s variety show in the 1960s (in which they performed a variation on the song "Mister Gallagher and Mister Shean," co-written by Marx’s uncle Al Shean) and the 1968 Otto Preminger film Skidoo. In his late 70s at the time, Marx remarked on his appearance: "I looked like I was embalmed." He played a mob boss called "God" and, according to Marx, "both my performance and the film were God-awful!"
The exaggerated walk, with one hand on the small of his back and his torso bent almost 90 degrees at the waist was a parody of a fad from the 1880s and 1890s. Fashionable young men of the upper classes would affect a walk with their right hand held fast to the base of their spines, and with a slight lean forward at the waist and a very slight twist toward the right with the left shoulder, allowing the left hand to swing free with the gait. (Edmund Morris, in his biography The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, describes a young Roosevelt, newly elected to the State Assembly, walking into the House Chamber for the first time in this trendy, affected gait, somewhat to the amusement of the older and more rural members.) Groucho exaggerated this fad to a marked degree, and the comedy effect was enhanced by how out of date the fashion was by the 1940s and 1950s.
- Yours for the Asking (as sunbather, uncredited) (1936), released by Paramount Pictures
- The King and the Chorus Girl (1937), co-writer with Norman Krasna
- Instatanes (1943)
- Copacabana (1947), released by United Artists
- Mr. Music (as himself) (1950), released by Paramount Pictures
- Double Dynamite (as Emile J. Keck) (1951), released by RKO
- A Girl in Every Port (as Benjamin Linn) (1952), released by RKO
- Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957) (as George Schmidlap, uncredited), released by 20th Century Fox
- The Story of Mankind (1957) (Harpo and Chico also appeared, but in individual scenes)
- The Mikado (as Ko-Ko) Bell Telephone Hour television series (aired 29 April 1960)
- Skidoo (as God) (1968), released by Paramount
- Hollywood on Parade No. 11 (1933)
- Screen Snapshots Series 16, No. 3 (1936)
- Sunday Night at the Trocadero (1937)
- Screen Snapshots: The Great Al Jolson (1955)
- Showdown at Ulcer Gulch (1956) (voice)
- Screen Snapshots: Playtime in Hollywood (1956)
Groucho’s three marriages all ended in divorce. His first wife was chorus girl Ruth Johnson. He was 29 and she 19 at the time of their wedding. The couple had two children, Arthur Marx and Miriam Marx. His second wife was Kay Marvis (m. 1945–51), née Catherine Dittig,. former wife of Leo Gorcey. Groucho was 54 and Kay 21 at the time of their marriage. They had a daughter, Melinda Marx. His third wife was actress Eden Hartford., imdb.com. She was 24 when she married the 63-year-old Groucho.