Herbert Manfred Marx (February 25, 1901 – November 29, 1979) is best known as Zeppo Marx, the name he used when he performed with his brothers, The Marx Brothers.
There are different theories to where Zeppo got his stage name: Groucho once said that the name was derived from the Zeppelin, a new invention at the time of his birth. However, it is more commonly suggested that the name derived from that of another vaudeville performer, a chimpanzee named Mr. Zippo, whom Herbert resembled. It is possible that both are true and that some punning was involved. (Another story tells of the time the Marxes were pretending to be gentlemen farmers in the Chicago suburbs in order to avoid conscription into World War I. The brothers would refer to each other by "hayseed" names like Zeke and Zep; Zep became Zeppo.)
Zeppo 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...
Created by dipity on Feb 7, 2008
Last updated: 06/10/11 at 11:32 AM
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Zeppo Marx died in Palm Springs, California, Riverside County
Duck Soup is a 1933 Marx Brothers' anarchic comedy film written by Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, Arthur Sheekman, and Nat Perrin and directed by Leo McCarey. It starred what were then billed as the "Four Marx Brothers" (Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo) and also featured Margaret Dumont, Raquel Torres, and Louis Calhern. It was the last Marx Brothers film to feature Zeppo.McCarey came up with the title for the film. This was in keeping with the "animal" theme of the brothers' previous three films, Animal Crackers, Monkey Business and Horse Feathers. "Duck soup" is a slang phrase meaning something easy to do. When Groucho was asked for an explanation, he quipped, "Take two turkeys, one goose, four cabbages, but no duck, and mix them together. After one taste, you'll duck soup for the rest of your life."The wealthy Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont) insists that Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx) be appointed Prime Minister of the small, bankrupt country of Freedonia before she will provide much...,
Horse Feathers (1932) was the fourth Marx Brothers film. It stars the four Marx Brothers, Groucho, Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo, as well as Thelma Todd as Connie Bailey, and was written by Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, S. J. Perelman, and Will B. Johnstone. Kalmar and Ruby also wrote some of the original music for the film. Several of the film's gags were taken from the Marx Brothers' stage comedy from the 1920s, Fun in Hi Skule.
The film revolves around, among other things, college football and a game between the fictional Darwin and Huxley Colleges. (Huxley was a defender of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.) Many of the jokes about the amateur status of collegiate football players and how eligibility rules are stretched by collegiate athletic departments remain remarkably current. Groucho plays Quincy Adams Wagstaff, the president of Huxley College, and Zeppo is his son Frank, who convinces his father to recruit professional football players to boost the Huxley team's chance of...,
Monkey Business (1931) is the third of the Marx Brothers' movies and the first not to be an adaptation of one of their Broadway shows.
The film stars the four brothers: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, and Zeppo Marx, and screen comedienne Thelma Todd. It is directed by Norman Z. McLeod with screenplay by S. J. Perelman and Will B. Johnstone. The story takes place in large part on an ocean liner crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
While stowing away on a ship to America, the boys get involuntarily pressed into service as toughs for a pair of feuding gangsters while trying desperately to evade the ship's crew. After arriving stateside, one of the gangsters kidnaps the other's daughter - and it's up to our unlikely heroes to save the day.Two famous scenes include all four brothers trying to sneak through a passenger checkpoint by pretending to be Maurice Chevalier (Harpo's turn is especially ingenious), and Harpo's outright wonderful attempt to hide from the authorities by posing as a...,
Animal Crackers is a 1930 comedy film, and one of the Marx Brothers' most beloved and oft-quoted movies.The film stars the four brothers, Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, and Zeppo Marx, as well as Lillian Roth and Margaret Dumont. It was directed by Victor Heerman and adapted from a successful 1928 Broadway play by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, also starring the Marx Brothers and Margaret Dumont. (See Animal Crackers).The part of Hives the butler was played by Robert Greig, a character actor who appeared in over 100 films (many in the role of a butler). He also appeared with the Marx Brothers in Horse Feathers. A 15-second clip of the Marx Brothers, filmed on the set of Animal Crackers during the Captain Spaulding scene in Multicolor, was recently discovered (see link section.)The plot concerns Groucho, as explorer Captain Geoffrey T. Spaulding, attending a party in his honor at the estate of society matron Mrs. Rittenhouse, and investigating the theft of a valuable...,
The Cocoanuts (1929) was the first feature-length Marx Brothers film, produced by Paramount Pictures. The musical comedy stars the four Marx Brothers, Oscar Shaw, Mary Eaton and the person sometimes referred to as the "fifth brother", Margaret Dumont. Produced by Walter Wanger and directed by Robert Florey and Joseph Santley, it was adapted to the screen by Morrie Ryskind from the George S. Kaufman Broadway play. As one of the earliest examples of a transfer of a stage musical to the new medium, The Cocoanuts highlights the imperfect production methods of early sound films.
Five of the movie's tunes were scored by Irving Berlin (by then a famous composer), including "When My Dreams Come True", sung by Oscar Shaw and Mary Eaton.
The plot of The Cocoanuts is set in a resort hotel during the big Florida development boom of the 1920s. Groucho runs the place, assisted by "straight man" Zeppo. Chico and Harpo arrive with empty luggage, which they plan to fill by robbing and conning the...
Humor Risk (1921) was the first (but never released) Marx Brothers film, and is listed by the Internet Movie Database as lost. It may have been destroyed by Groucho, who is said to have burnt the negative after a particularly bad premiere screening. It is also said that the print was accidentally thrown away when left in the screening box overnight.
All four Marx Brothers are known to have been in this short film. It was the last film directed by Dick Smith (1886-1937), and the first film written by Jo Swerling, who later co-wrote films such as It's a Wonderful Life, Gone with the Wind, and others.
Information about the film's premise is sparse. Its title was "apparently a spoof of the then-popular drama Humoresque, one of the biggest film hits of 1920." In addition, "the brothers were working separately rather than as a team" and did not incorporate their trademark comic personalities that they would later become famous for. Harpo played the hero, a detective named Watson who ...,
Zeppo Marx was born