Zeppo MARX

Family tree of Zeppo MARX


AmericanBorn Herbert Manfred MARX

American film star, musician, theatrical agent and businessman

Born on February 25, 1901 in New York City, New York, USA , United States

Died on November 30, 1979 in Palm Springs, California, USA

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There are different theories to where Zeppo got his stage name: Groucho said in his Carnegie Hall concert in 1972 that the name was derived from the Zeppelin airship. Zeppo's ex-wife Barbara Sinatra repeats this in her 2011 book, Lady Blue Eyes: My Life with Frank. His brother Harpo offers a different account in his 1961 autobiography, Harpo Speaks!, claiming (p. 130) that there was a popular trained chimpanzee named Mr. Zippo, and that "Herbie" was tagged with the name "Zippo" because he liked to do chinups and acrobatics, as the chimp did in its act. The youngest brother objected to this nickname, and it was altered to "Zeppo."

Marx appeared in the first five Marx Brothers movies, as a straight man and romantic lead, before leaving the team. According to a 1925 newspaper article, he also made a solo appearance in the Adolphe Menjou comedy A Kiss in the Dark, but no copy of the film is known to exist, and it is not clear if he actually appeared in the finished film.


In Lady Blue Eyes, Barbara Sinatra claims that Marx was considered too young to perform with his brothers, and it wasn't until Gummo joined the Army that Marx was asked to join the act as a last minute stand-in at a show in Texas. Marx was supposed to go out that night with a Jewish friend of his. They were supposed to take out two Irish girls, but Marx had to cancel to board the train to Texas. His friend went ahead and went on the date, and was shot a few hours later when he was attacked by an Irish gang that didn't approve of a Jew dating an Irish girl.

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Geographical origins

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