Groucho Marx’s Son Dies at 89

Arthur Marx, Son of Groucho Passes Away – April 14, 2011

Arthur Marx’s passing is being announced quite expectedly as “Groucho Marx’s son dies.”

Arthur was very talented in his own right and did carve out a successful career for himself as a champion tennis player and author.

Arthur was the author of a dozen books and wrote about his famous father in four books, most recently the picture collection Arthur Marx’s Groucho: A Photographic Journey 2001 (Phoenix Marketing Service). Arthur first wrote about his father in Life With Groucho A Son’s Eye View 1954 (Simon and Schuster) and the much more candid autobiographical Son of Groucho 1972 (David McKay). The last book is especially revealing in discussing the difficulty Arthur encountered in finding his own career path and being the son of one of the most famous entertainers in the world. By Arthur’s account Groucho had a difficult time showing affection and drove all three of his wives away through one form of mental cruelty or another.

Arthur told one story where the only time he had ever seen his father cry was at the funeral of Groucho’s brother Harpo.  Arthur was named after Harpo (whose real name was Adolph, and then Americanized to Arthur during World War I.)   All of the Marx Brothers named their daughters after their mother Minnie; each of their names begins with the letter “M”.

Arthur’s career as a writer for television, movies and the stage was quite varied but mostly within the comedy field.  He had written for such shows as Alice, My Three Son’s and McHale’s Navy.  He was much more than the “son of Groucho.”

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