75 (passed away Sep. 28th, 1964)
Nov. 23rd, 1888
New York City, New York, USA
5' 5 1/2"
Harpo Marx's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles1957 - The Story of Mankind
1949 - Love Happy
1946 - A Night in Casablanca
1941 - The Big Store
1940 - Go West
1939 - At The Circus
1938 - Room Service
1937 - A Day at the Races
1935 - A Night at the Opera
1933 - Duck Soup
1932 - Horse Feathers
1931 - Monkey Business
1930 - Animal Crackers
Guest TV Roles
With the big, poofy, curly red hair, a top hat, and a horn, the lovable mute was the favorite of the Marx Brothers. Though chasing woman was a favorite routine of his in the movies, Harpo was a devoted father and husband. He adopted the mute routine in vaudeville and carried it over to the films. Harpo was an accomplished self-taught harpist whose musical numbers would many times bring tears to the eyes of the audience of an otherwise hilarious movie.
- Brother of 'Groucho Marx' (qv), 'Chico Marx' (qv), 'Zeppo Marx' (qv), and 'Gummo Marx' (qv).
- Harpo was vacationing in the French Riviera and was engaged in nude sunbathing when he was surprised by an elderly man and woman. He wrapped his towel around his middle and stood up and introduced himself. The husband introduced himself as George Bernard Shaw, the famous writer and philosopher. Without warning Shaw snatched the towel away and then said, "And this is Mrs. Shaw!" It was the start of a lifelong friendship.
- 'Groucho Marx' (qv) gave this reason for Harpo's silence: Once, while playing a theater in Winnipeg, Manitoba, during a vaudeville tour, 'The Marx Brothers' (qv) had a disagreement with the theater's manager regarding their pay. At the end of 'The Marx Brothers' (qv)' engagement there, the manager paid them the amount they had demanded...in several large sacks containing the proper amount in the form of pennies, nickels, and dimes. Since the brothers' train was departing in ten minutes, the brothers had no choice except to lug the sacks onto the train with them. As the train departed, Harpo shouted to the manager, "I hope your theater burns to the ground." And that night, it did. Groucho always said that Harpo's voice was like the axe hanging on the backstage wall of every theater: To be used only in case of emergencies.
- Son of 'Sam Marx' (qv) and Minnie Palmer.
- Harpo officially became a mime after a theater critic once noted that Harpo was brilliant until his character spoke. From then on, Harpo never spoke while in character.
- He and Chico were usually mistaken as twins when they were young.
- He was portrayed by actor 'Daniel Fortus' (qv) in the Broadway musical "Minnie's Boys," which ran at the Imperial Theatre for 80 Performances from Mar 26 to May 30, 1970.
- When he trained himself in the harp, he later learned that he did it the wrong way. However, when he became famous, many musicians came to him to learn his method of harp playing.
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