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Harpo Marx

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Harpo (Adolph) Marx (November 23, 1888 - Sepember 28, 1964) is a Silent actor

Adolph Arthur Marx, better known to the world as Harpo Marx, was born on November 23, 1888, to Samuel “Frenchie” Marx and his wife, Minnie Schoenberg Marx. The second oldest child, Harpo had an easy-going disposition, much like his father. The Marx’s home was unusual in several respects. Minnie and Frenchie’s roles were somewhat reversed, with Frenchie working out of the home as an unsuccessful tailor, and Minnie working outside, working as promoter for her brother, the famous vaudeville comedian Al Shean(“Absolutely, Mr. Gallagher” “Positively, Mr. Shean”). They were poor, with numerous family members liable to drop in for dinner, taxing Frenchie’s creativity with his cooking to the limit—but the family was loving, and Harpo grew up feeling loved.Edit

Leaving school in the second grade, Harpo grew up on the streets until his mother, Minnie, forced him to join a vaudeville singing group.  After several years of scraping by in vaudeville alongside his brothers, one night (when Minnie was away) the boys broke out of singing into comedy and became a hit, eventually moving first to Broadway and then Hollywood.

During his vaudeville years, Minnie acquired a used harp for him to use, hoping to add class to the act.  Harpo taught himself to play the instrument, in later years confounding professional musicians with his oddball style of playing - and entertaining millions.

In later life, he married actress Susan Fleming, and they adopted their four children - Billy, Alex, Jimmy and Minnie.

In 1961, Harpo published his autobiography, “Harpo Speaks.”. On September 28, 1964, after having experienced 3 prior heart attacks, Harpo died following open heart surgery. Source: Harpo Marx biography   

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