Open main menu

Arthur Julius Marx (July 21, 1921 – April 14, 2011) was an American author, a nationally ranked amateur tennis player, and son of entertainer Groucho Marx, and his first wife, Ruth Johnson.[2] He was named after Groucho's brother Arthur "Harpo" Marx.

Arthur Marx
Arthur Julius Marx

(1921-07-21)July 21, 1921
DiedApril 14, 2011(2011-04-14) (aged 89)[1]
OccupationTennis player, writer
Irene Kahn
(m. 1943–1960)

Lois Gilbert
(m. 1963)
Parent(s)Groucho Marx
Ruth Johnson
RelativesMiriam Marx (sister)
Melinda Marx (paternal half-sister)

Marx spent his early years accompanying his father around vaudeville circuits in the United States and abroad. When he was 10, the family moved to Southern California, where the Marx Brothers continued their film careers.[3]


Tennis careerEdit

Marx was a nationally ranked tennis player before he was 18. While he was attending the University of Southern California, he won the National Freshman Intercollegiate Tennis title at Montclair, New Jersey.

At the Tri-State Tennis Tournament, the event that evolved into today's Cincinnati Masters, Marx reached the singles final in 1941 before falling to Bobby Riggs. To reach the final, Marx knocked off future International Tennis Hall of Fame member John Doeg in the round of 16, Frank Froehling in the quarterfinals, and Gardner Larned in the semifinals. Riggs had blown through his competition to reach the final, and Marx gave him his toughest test of the tournament, stretching the future Hall of Famer to five sets before falling, 11–9, 6–2, 4–6, 6–8, 6–1.

Literary, radio, and TV careerEdit

After his time as a tournament tennis player and four years in the United States Coast Guard during World War II, 16 months of which were spent in the South Pacific, he worked as an advertising copywriter, a radio gag man for Milton Berle, and a writer of Hollywood movies (including four for Bob Hope), Broadway plays and TV scripts for such hit shows as My Three Sons, All in the Family, and Alice. He and his collaborator, Robert Fisher, were head writers for Alice and wrote 40 episodes of that show. They also wrote for the short-lived situation comedy The Good Guys and four episodes of the ill-fated Life with Lucy. Marx was also co-creator of the TV series Mickey starring Mickey Rooney.

Marx wrote both fiction (often humorous) and non-fiction (often show-biz related) pieces for magazines throughout his career. Along with Fisher, he co-authored the play The Impossible Years, which ran for three seasons on Broadway and starred Alan King, and Minnie's Boys, a musical about the Marx Brothers' vaudeville years that starred Shelley Winters. They also wrote My Daughter's Rated X, which won the Straw Hat award for best new comedy on the summer stock circuit, and Groucho: A Life in Revue, which won great critical acclaim and was nominated for a New York Outer Critics Circle award for best play and London's Laurence Olivier Award for Comedy Production of the Year. Other plays included The Chic Life and Hello, My Name Is.... Marx was planning a revival of "Minnie's Boys" to be co-authored by Michael R. Crider shortly before Marx's death in 2011.

Marx also wrote over a dozen books, including The Ordeal of Willie Brown (1951) a humorous fictionalization of his tennis years, and Not as a Crocodile (1958) a collection of family oriented humor essays. His books also included Goldwyn: A Biography of the Man Behind the Myth (1976), Red Skelton (1979), The Nine Lives of Mickey Rooney (1988), The Secret Life of Bob Hope and the tennis-themed murder mystery Set to Kill (both 1993). His next novel, Tulip (2004) was a thriller-mystery and it was followed in 2008 by Lust For Death, a roman à clef about a Bob Hope-like character named Jack Faith. His 1974 book on Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis entitled Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime (Especially Himself) was adapted into the 2002 made-for-television movie Martin and Lewis.

Marx also wrote several books featuring different takes on his relationship with his father, including Life with Groucho (1954), Son of Groucho (1972), a reworking and update of the 1954 volume renamed My Life With Groucho (1992), and Arthur Marx’s Groucho: A Photographic Journey (2001). Marx wrote the foreword to Michael R. Crider's 2007 tome, "The Guy's Guide to Dating, Getting Hitched and the First Year of Marriage", a humorous look at relationships.


  1. ^ Finke, Nikki (April 14, 2011). "R.I.P. Arthur Marx". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  2. ^ Grimes, William (April 14, 2011). "Arthur Marx, Who Wrote About Groucho, Dies at 89". The New York Times. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  3. ^ Vogel, Michelle (2005). Children of Hollywood: accounts of growing up as the sons and daughters of stars. McFarland. pp. 25–36. ISBN 978-0-7864-2046-9.

External linksEdit