Groucho Marx, the prolific vaudeville comedian-turned-world-famous film star, was born Julius Henry Marx on this day in 1890. Marx’s particular fast-talking wit has remained a resource and inspiration to the world of comedy since the first successful Marx Brothers stage show I’ll Say She Is in 1923. Subsequent hits The Cocoanuts (1929) and Animal Crackers (1930) were adapted into comedy film classics. Marx also worked successfully apart from his fraternal team, appearing solo in movies such as A Girl in Every Port (1952) and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957). He also hosted several radio programs, including You Bet Your Life, a quiz show that later aired on television for eleven years.
Factoid: During the filming of the Marx Brothers movie A Night in Casablanca (1946), Groucho Marx engaged in a written argument with the Warner Brothers legal department to prevent them from suing over the alleged infringement on the title Casablanca. The sardonic letters have since been published in “The Groucho Letters: Letters from and to Groucho Marx.”