Harpo Marx

Actor, Comedian, Harpist
This mute, blond-wigged naif Marx Brother evolved from a girl-chasing faun to a sweet innocent. The most fey and absurdist of the brothers, Harpo's art was closer to 19th century French mime than to American vaudeville ... Read more »
Born: 11/20/1888 in New York City, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (13)

Going Hollywood: The War Years 1987 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

DuPont Show of the Month 1957 - 1961 (TV Show)

Actor

The June Allyson Show 1959 - 1961 (TV Show)

Actor

The Story of Mankind 1957 (Movie)

Issac Newton (Actor)

Love Happy 1948 (Movie)

(Actor)

Stage Door Canteen 1942 (Movie)

(Actor)

Room Service 1937 (Movie)

(Actor)

A Day at the Races 1936 (Movie)

Stuffy (Actor)

A Night at the Opera 1934 (Movie)

(Actor)

Duck Soup 1933 (Movie)

(Actor)

Horse Feathers 1931 (Movie)

Pinky (Actor)

Monkey Business 1930 (Movie)

(Actor)

The DuPont Show of the Week (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

This mute, blond-wigged naif Marx Brother evolved from a girl-chasing faun to a sweet innocent. The most fey and absurdist of the brothers, Harpo's art was closer to 19th century French mime than to American vaudeville. He worked as a bellboy while learning the harp which became his trademark. He and older brother Chico formed a comedy duo around the turn of the century, and by the early 1910s he was in vaudeville with Chico, Groucho and Gummo in acts like "Fun in Hi Skool" (1911) and "Welcome Home" (1914), both penned by their uncle Al Shean.

Relationships

Susan Fleming

Wife
married from 1936 until his death

Samuel Marx

Father
born in Asace-Lorraine in 1860 died in 1933

Minnie Marx

Mother
born in Germany

Chico Marx

Brother
born 1887 died 1961

Groucho Marx

Brother
born 1890 died 1977

Gummo Marx

Brother
born 1892 died 1977

Manfred Marx

Brother
died in infancy

Zeppo Marx

Brother
born 1901 died 1979

Al Shean

Uncle
brother of Minnie Marx born 1868 died 1949 half of vaudeville team Gallagher and Shean

Milestones

1963

Retired due to heart problems

1957

Last film, "The Story of Mankind"

1940

Spoke onstage for first time in "The Man Who Came to Dinner"

1934

Toured the Soviet Union

1929

Talking film debut, in "The Cocoanuts"

1925

Film debut, in "Too Many Kisses"

1923

Broadway debut, in "I'll Say She Is"

1920

Toured on Ketih-Albee vaudeville circuit with brothers

1910

Joined Groucho, Gummo and Chico in "The Four Nightingales" act

1904

Formed comedy team with brother Chico

Bonus Trivia

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"While Groucho and Chico were concerned with the elaborate flip-flops of their plots, Harpo was having fun. He was always wise to their maneuvers, and would often offer an assist or miraculously inspired suggestion to help the monkey business along. But invariably at some point in the scramble, Harpo and the pace would slow down and he would withdraw to the comfort of his harp. Then he would play sweet music. Love and bliss would shine in his eyes. And the pathos of being a cheerful misfit and a buffoon to maniacs would be revealed. There was no common sense in the character. It was a whimsey, a hare-brained caricature. But it sweetly suggested life's derangements and something of its haunting mystery."--Bosley Crowther in THE NEW YORK TIMES, September 29, 1964

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