Thursday, July 02, 2015

Gummo Marx (1893-1977)

This is one of a blog grouping for the Marx Brothers: see also ChicoGroucho, Zeppo and Harpo.

Birth name: Milton Marx
Birthdate: Monday, October 23rd, 1893
Location: New York City, USA

Died: Thursday, April 21st, 1977
Location: Palm Springs, California, USA
Cause of death: Cerebral haemmorhage

Best known for: Being a member of the Marx Brothers before the act made it into films (around 1909-17), forming part of the collective on the vaudeville circuit before retiring from acting in World War One.

Gummo in 1912, aged 19, when he was
a member of the Marx Brothers
vaudeville act.
Gummo never appeared in any movies - Marx Brothers or not - so didn't have a showbiz career to speak of in the filmic form. He left the Marx Brothers act during World War One and enlisted, but wasn't sent overseas as the Armistice was signed soon after, in 1918, when he was 25. After that Gummo entered the raincoat industry, as well as selling dresses and cloth, and later set up a theatrical agency with his brother Zeppo which represented the Marx Brothers trio act. When the partnership with Zeppo ended, Gummo struck out alone and represented Groucho in Hollywood.

While never appearing on screen, Gummo did help develop the NBC comedy series The Life of Riley, featuring Jackie Gleason, which debuted in October 1949 and was an adaptation of the 1944 radio show.

Gummo was a well-respected businessman who died at his home from a cerebral haemmorhage on April 21st, 1977, aged 83. His death was never reported to his brother Groucho, who was himself very ill at this point, and himself died four months later. Gummo was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

The only time all five Marx Brothers appeared together was
on the Tonight Show in February 1957.
From left, Harpo, Zeppo, Chico, Groucho and Gummo.
An oddity: The lack of Gummo Marx footage means there's little to show, except this brief visit to Gummo's crypt at Forest Lawn.

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