Marx, Groucho

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Name
Marx, Groucho Gender: M
Julius Henry Marx
born on 2 October 1890 at 08:35 (= 08:35 AM )
Place New York, New York, 40n43, 74w0
Timezone EST h5w (is standard time)
Data source
From memory
Rodden Rating A
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 09°18' s_mo.18.gif s_gemcol.18.gif 01°32 Asc.s_scocol.18.gif 10°10'



Groucho Marx

Biography

American comedian, actor and radio personality, a writer and playwright, the winner of radio's Peabody Award, 1948 and TV Emmy Award for his game show "You Bet Your Life." Master of the tongue-in-cheek irreverent sidecrack, Marx was the author of "Beds," 1930, "Many Happy Returns, An Unofficial Guide to Your Income Tax Problems," 1942, "Groucho and Me," 1959 and "Memoirs of a Mangy Lover," 1963.

Groucho was the third of five sons born to Samuel and Minna Palmer Schoenberg Marx. Sam Marx, a tailor, also known as "Misfit Sam," was as unsuccessful at his trade as his nickname implied and likewise in providing a steady income for his family. Mother "Minnie" had a brother who had lucrative career in vaudeville, as well as her son Groucho with an excellent voice. Reasoning from the example of her brother that show business offered steady work, she encouraged her son to answer an ad for $4 a week as a male singer in a vaudeville act. Thrilled with his first job in show biz, he was hired by Robin Larong, who employed him as a member of the vaudeville act "The Larong Trio." After performing in Cripple Creek, Colorado for a two week engagement, Larong and the third member of the Trio disappeared with Groucho's pay, leaving the adolescent alone and destitute. Minnie had to wire train fare back to New York.

Determined to put her sons on the stage, Minnie, after much trial and error, organized a singing group called "The Four Nightingales," composed of her four sons, nicknamed Chico, Harpo, Zeppo and Groucho. Lax musical training coupled with the transient nature of the teenage male voice resulted in a loosely structured musical comedy act. Touring from Texas to Broadway with an act entitled "Fun In Hi Skule," they parodied the classroom antics of secondary education. Additional acts such as "On The Mezzanine" and "Home Again" won applause from Chicago to London. By 1924, vaudeville was on the wane and the Four Nightingales had developed their talents beyond the confines of their art. A producer admired their work and decided to build a musical around them with leftover scenery in his theater. With Groucho collaborating with playwright Will Johnstone, a show entitled "I'll Say She Is" opened on 5/19/1924 at the Casino Theater in New York to enthusiastic audiences. Broadway critic Alexander Woolcott wrote a rave review. With comedic talent that defied expression, Woolcott asked his readers to take the show's hilarity on faith from "one who, at the conclusion, had to be picked up out of the aisle and placed gently back in his seat."

"I'll Say She Is" was followed by "The Cocoanuts," a satire on the Florida land boom, opening on 12/08/1925 at the Lyric Theater in New York. "Animal Crackers," their third straight Broadway hit, opened on 10/23/1928, with Groucho creating his famous character Captain Spaulding. With the arrival of sound pictures these plays were made into films on Long Island's Paramount Studio while the Marx Brothers were simultaneously appearing on Broadway.

Weary of the daily grind of Broadway, Groucho moved to Hollywood in 1931 to continue his screen career including "Monkey Business,"1931, "Horsefeathers," 1932, "A Night At the Opera," "A Day At The Races," 1937, "Room Service," 1938 "A Night In Casablanca," 1948 and "Love Happy," 1949. Among Groucho's many contributions to film comedy were his rapier wit, illogical chain of deductive reasoning and the visual pun. His standard persona of eyes rolled upward under wiggled brows with painted mustache and poised cigar created an classic comic insouciance. In addition to his comedy films he appeared alone in later films including "Copacabaña," 1947, "Double Dynamnite,"1951, "A Girl In Every Port," 1952 and "The Story of Mankind," 1957.

In 1934 Groucho ventured into radio with his brother Chico on a show called "Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel." After the show lost its sponsor, Groucho appeared as a guest on many other entertainers' radio shows, securing his own spot in 1947 with the premiere radio broadcast of his signature show "You Bet your Life." In 1950 it was transferred to television where it remained for 11 years. The program's unique format showcasing Groucho's unparalleled humor won a Peabody Award for radio and an Emmy for TV. Success in television continued with the series "Tell It To Groucho" in 1962."

After a decade of semi-retirement, Marx began appearing in one-night solo concert performances. The show, a pastiche of jokes, stories and song classics such as "Lydia the Tattooed Lady" was joyously received nationwide, culminating in a sold-out performance in New York's Carnegie Hall entitled "An Evening with Groucho" in 1972. Groucho's outstanding comeback created a sensation that revived an international interest in his films, and the Cannes Film Festival made him a Commander of the French Order of Arts and Letters in May, 1972.

By the time that Groucho broke up with his brothers, his wit continued but not his humor; he became a crabby miser, shamefully manipulative of his wives and kids.

Marx made three marriages, the first to Ruth Johnson from 2/04/1920 to 7/15/1942. His second wife was Catherine Mavis Gorcey from 7/21/1945 to 5/15/1951 and the third was Eden Hartford from 7/17/1954 to 12/03/1969. He had three children, Arthur and Miriam from his first marriage and Melinda from his second. His last live-in-caretaker was 30-year-old Erin Fleming when he was 80. Toward the end of his life he had dreadful battles over his property in a sad diminishing of capacity.

Groucho Marx died of pneumonia on 8/19/1977 at 7:25 PM in Los Angeles, CA.

Link to Wikipedia biography

Relationships

  • sibling relationship with Marx, Chico (born 22 March 1887)
  • sibling relationship with Marx, Harpo (born 23 November 1888)

Events

  • Relationship : Marriage 4 February 1920 (First marriage Ruth Johnson)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 19 May 1924 (First Broadway appearance)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 8 December 1925 (Second Broadway show "Cocoanuts")
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Gain social status 23 October 1928 (Noted Broadway show "Animal Crackers")
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1930 (First book released)
  • Family : Change in family responsibilities 1931 (Moved to Hollywood)
  • Work : New Career 1931 (First film appearance "Monkey Appearance")
  • Work : New Career 1934 (Ventured into radio)
  • Relationship : Divorce dates 15 July 1942 (From Ruth, 22 yrs.)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Relationship : Marriage 21 July 1945 (Second marriage Catherine Gorcey)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : New Job 1947 (Had own radio show)
  • Work : Prize 1948 (Radio's Peabody Award)
  • Work : Begin Major Project 1950 (11 yr. show "You Bet Your Life" begins)
  • Relationship : Divorce dates 15 May 1951 (From Catherine, five yrs.)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Relationship : Marriage 17 July 1954 (Third marriage Eden Hartford, 40 yrs. younger)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Begin Major Project 1962 (Beginning of program "Tell it to Groucho")
  • Relationship : Divorce dates 3 December 1969 (From Eden, 15 yrs.)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1972 (Carnegie Hall "An Evening with Groucho")
  • Death by Disease 19 August 1977 at 12:00 noon in Los Angeles, CA (Pneumonia, age 86)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Charles Harvey quotes S. Michaud from Arthur Marx some years ago, given in AQ Autumn 1979.

(Formerly the date was given as 1895, 4:46 AM, AFA 4/1961. Current Biography and Americana Encyclopedia give 1890.)

Biography: Stefan Kanfer, "Groucho: The Life and Times of Julius Henry Marx," Knopf, 2000.

Categories

  • Traits : Personality : Humorous, Witty (Tongue-in-cheek)
  • Traits : Personality : Unique
  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Stroke (1977)
  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Surgery (Hip)
  • Family : Childhood : Order of birth (Third of five boys)
  • Family : Childhood : Sibling circumstances (Brothers noted)
  • Family : Relationship : Mate - Age difference more than 15 yrs (To Eden, 40 yrs. younger)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Divorces (Three)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Three)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (One son and two daughters)
  • Lifestyle : Work : Work in team/ Tandem (Work with brothers)
  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs (Age 86)
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Actor/ Actress
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Comedy (Broadway, film, TV and radio)
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Live Stage (Broadway)
  • Vocation : Entertainment : TV host/ Personality ("You Bet Your Life")
  • Vocation : Travel : Pilot/ commercial (First Officer)
  • Vocation : Travel : Pilot/ military
  • Vocation : Writers : Autobiographer
  • Vocation : Writers : Humor (Irreverent)
  • Vocation : Writers : Playwright/ script
  • Notable : Awards : Emmy
  • Notable : Awards : Vocational award (Peabody Award)
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession
  • Notable : Book Collection : American Book

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