Classic Hollywood #101 – Groucho Marx Was Born October 2, 1890

The 130th Anniversary of The Birth Of Groucho Marx

Groucho Marx in 1931 photo Eugene Robert Richee for Paramount

There are at least five comedians I wish were alive now to comment on the state of the world. If interviewed they could  put current events into perspective. They are George Carlin, Sam Kinison, Bill Hicks, Richard Pryor and Groucho Marx.

Each humorist was intelligent, sardonic and biting in their outlooks on life.

My all-time favorite was Groucho Marx.

Julius Henry “Groucho” Marx was born on October 2, 1890.

There are literally thousands of stories about Groucho and the Marx clan. Rather than rehash his life I’ll throw out one little known fact about Groucho from brother Harpo’s autobiography, Harpo Speaks! (1961, Bernard Gies Associates).

“Groucho made his debut on the stage, singing a solo in the olio at the Star Theatre between shows. (The olio was a potpourri in which everyone from fire-eaters and bell ringers to boy sopranos came on for a quick turn.)”

Harpo (1888-1964) does not name the exact year this occurred. It must have been around 1902 because it was after Harpo’s bar-mitzvah.

When Groucho died on August 19, 1977 at the age of 86, the news coverage was succinct. Groucho with numerous later life illnesses was expected  to die. Groucho’s death usurped the media for one day only. People today don’t realize that a much more notable and  contemporary celebrity died three days earlier – Elvis Presley.

2 thoughts on “Classic Hollywood #101 – Groucho Marx Was Born October 2, 1890

  1. Kevin

    After Groucho died, Zeppo was interviewed by the BBC. He said that of all the brothers, Groucho was the only one who would have been a success in show business because he wanted it. If the others hadn’t been pushed into show business by their mother, Zeppo added, they would have wound up in prison or dead.

    1. B.P. Post author

      I would love to hear / see that BBC interview. I’ve read every book written by him and about him and the brothers. Groucho was an extremely complicated and fascinating man.


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