• Art S.

Birthday of Groucho Marx, 1890

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On This Day in Jewish History: October 2, 1890

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#onthisday, 1890, Julius Henry Marx, known to the world as Groucho, was born. He would go on to be one of the most beloved comic artists in American history.

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Few comedians can match his success across multiple forms: Vaudeville and Broadway stages, movies, radio, television and memoir.

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On screen, he combined a sharp wit and an endearing cowardice. He could take down pompous heads of state, charm rich widowers and survive the indignities foisted on him by Chico and Harpo with a bemused smile.

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His comic style reached far beyond his verbal dexterity. In his wire-rimmed glasses and grease paint moustache and eye brows, he could play physical humor as well. Perhaps no comedian’s comic gestures—his bouncing leering eye-brows, the wise-guy lilt in his voice—have been impersonated as much as Groucho’s.

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As his film career waned, Groucho moved into radio, debuting his quiz show You Bet Your Life on ABC in 1947. Three years later, and now a fixture on NBC, the show moved to television where it remained until 1960.

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Week after week, Groucho hilariously interviewed contestants, the quiz portion of the show little more than an excuse for Groucho to display his remarkably quick wit and sly word play.

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Having been forced to leave school at the age of 14, Groucho led a life devoted to self-education and he took great pride in the publication of his books.

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A life-long democrat, Groucho was a member of the Committee for the First Amendment which in 1947 lent its support for the Hollywood artists being persecuted by the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

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Married three times, Groucho was father to three children—Arthur, a widely published author and playwright, Miriam and Melinda, an actress and singer.

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By the 1970s, Groucho Marx was a living legend, as he often answered his phone, and revered for a spirit of comedy that seemed as contemporary as it did when first projected on movie screens. He was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1974 and left the world a less amusing place in 1977.

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#judaism#jewish#jewishhistory#otdjh#comedian#icon#hollywood#tv#radio#pioneer#onthisday#culture

Text Source:

https://www.biography.com/performer/groucho-marx

Image Source:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/onetime-los-angeles-home-of-groucho-marx-lists-1496845656

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