Groucho Marx: Master Of Quick Wit and Comedy Genius
One of the stars of Vaudeville and the early film era, part of Groucho Marx's schtick was his appearance: he smoked a cigar, sported bushy eyebrows and his distinct (often painted-on with greasepaint) mustache with pride, and had a stooped-over walk. He was known for his one-liners, which were often double entendres, and his high-pitched voice.
Julius Henry Marx, who would become Groucho Marx, was born in Manhattan on October 2, 1890. His mother, Minnie Marx, had immigrated from northern Germany and his father came from France. Marx’s maternal uncle was Al Schoenberg, who had changed his name to Al Shean when he started performing on vaudeville. On some occasions, Shean wrote material for Groucho and his brothers. Minnie Marx, Groucho’s mother wanted her children to be on the stage, just like their uncle. When she pushed Chico (her oldest son Leonard) into learning to play piano, she discovered Groucho had a talent for singing; later, one of the things Groucho would be known for was singing “Lydia the Tattooed Lady” in the Marx brothers’ film, At the Circus.