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Marx Brothers

The Marx brothers were comedians of vaudeville, stage plays, and film. The brothers were Groucho (Julius Henry Marx, 1890-1977), Chico (Leonard Marx, 1887-1961), Harpo (Adolph Arthur Marx, November 23, 1888 - September 28, 1964), Zeppo (Herbert Marx, 1901-1979) and Gummo (Milton Marx, 1892-1977).


(left to right) Chico, Zeppo, Groucho, Harpo

The brothers' act had started when their mother, Minnie Marx[?], put young Groucho on stage singing soprano at the Gus Edwards School. In 1908, Groucho was joined by two of his brothers, Harpo and Gummo. The three brothers were billed as The Three Nightingales. By 1912, the other three Marx brothers had joined the act, now known as The Six Mascots. By this time the brothers had begun to incorporate their unique brand of comedy into their act and to develope their characters. Groucho began to wear his trademark greasepaint moustache and walk stooped over, Harpo began to wear a red fright wig, carry a small bicycle horn and never spoke, and Chico started to talk in a fake Italian accent. By 1924, the brothers' vaudeville act had become successful enough to take them to England and Broadway, where they made it big with I'll Say She Is and The Cocoanuts.

The brothers had been talented musically from an early age. Harpo, especially, who could play nearly any instrument he came into contact with, including the harp which he often played on film. Chico was a pianist, and Groucho played the guitar.

A running gag in their films is that Harpo could have nearly anything in his coat: for instance, in various points in Horse Feathers Harpo pulls out of his coat a wooden mallet, a coiled rope, a tie, a poster of a woman in her underwear, a cup of hot tea, and a candle burning at both ends.

The 1957 TV talk program Tonight! America After Dark hosted by Jack Lescoulie[?] may be the only public footage in which all five brothers appeared.

On January 16, 1977, The Marx Brothers were inducted into the Motion Picture Hall of Fame[?].

Films with at least four of the brothers:

Films with only Harpo, Chico, Groucho

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