Arthur Marx, 89

Arthur Marx, screenwriter and son of Grouch Marx, has passed away at his home in Los Angeles yesterday. He was 89.

The only son of Groucho, Marx often accompanied his father and his uncles when they toured the vaudeville circuit as a child. After his father became an established movie star, Marx and his family moved to California in the early 1930s. He took to tennis and quickly became a nationally-ranked player before the age of 18. He won the National Freshman Intercollegiate Tennis title while attending the University of Southern California. During World War Two, he served four years in the Coast Guard which included a sixteen month stretch in the South Pacific theater.

On the advice of his father, Marx settled on a career as a writer rather than as an actor. His early Hollywood work includes an installment in Columbia’s long running Blondie comedy series, 1947’s Blondie In The Dough, and several of MGM’s popular Pete Smith’s shorts series. In the early 1960s, Marx partnered with one of his father’s former gag writers Robert Fisher to write several films for Bob Hope including A Global Affair (1964), I’ll Take Sweden (1965), Eight On The Lam (1967) and Cancel My Reservation (1967). The pair also wrote the successful Broadway comedy The Impossible Years and the 1970 play about his father’s and uncle’s early life in show business Minnie’s Boys. The duo also worked extensively in television on such series as McHale’s Navy, Petticoat Junction and Alice.

In addition to his film, television and stage writing, Marx authored several celebrity biographies. His often times tempestuous relationship with his father was the subject of two books – Life With Groucho (1954) and Son Of Groucho (1972). He also authored tomes on the lives of Bob Hope, Red Skelton, Mickey Rooney and the partnership of Dean Martin And Jerry Lewis.

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About Rich Drees 7024 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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