Arthur Marx

Arthur Marx

Arthur Marx (born July 21, 1921, New York, New York), is an author, a former ranked amateur tennis player, and son of entertainer Groucho Marx and his first wife, Ruth Johnson.

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 legendary film careers.

Tennis career

Marx made a name for himself on the tennis court and 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 Cincinnati Masters, Marx reached the singles final in 1940 before falling to the legendary Bobby Riggs. To reach the final, Marx knocked off future International Tennis Hall of Fame enshrinee 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 9-11, 2–6, 6–4, 8–6, 1–6.

Life after tennis

After his brief career as a tournament tennis player and four years in the United States Coast Guard during World War II, sixteen 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, Broadway plays and TV scripts for such hit shows as "All in the Family" and "Alice". He and his collaborator, Robert Fisher were head writers for "Alice" and wrote forty episodes of the show.

With Fisher, he co-authored "The Impossible Years" which ran for three seasons on Broadway and starred Alan King; "Minnie's Boys", the musical hit about the Marx Brothers' vaudeville years that starred Shelley Winters; "My Daughter's Rated X" which won the Straw Hat award for the best new comedy on the summer stock circuit; and "" 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.

By himself, Marx has authored twelve books, including "The Ordeal of Willie Brown" (1951), "Not as a Crocodile" (1958), "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 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". He has also written several books featuring different takes on his relationship with his father, including "Life with Groucho" (1954), "Son of Groucho" (1972), "My Life With Groucho" (1992), and "Arthur Marx’s Groucho: A Photographic Journey" (2001).

At the moment Marx is writing a play that is somewhat autobiographical, about the difficulties of growing up and starting a career in Hollywood when you have a living legend for a father.

Marx lives in Southern California with his wife, Lois, an interior decorator and painter, and two Yorkshire terriers.

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