Sunday, 17 April 2011


My obituary of Arthur Marx, son of Groucho, will be in Monday's Guardian, but it's online now and you can link to it here. I hadn't realised he was such a good tennis player; it seems obvious that having achieved something on his own, he felt perfectly comfortable moving in his father's world, even if he approached it from a different angle. Looking at his credits, it seemed he was a natural at a kind of old fashioned comedy that worked well on television, but his his Marx Brothers stage plays are a different sort of thing. I only wish I'd seen The Impossible Years; anyone who writes A material for Alan King is OK with me.


Joe Locker said...

Not only was Arthur Marx a fine tennis player, but it is because of him that Groucho issued his famous statement "I wouldn't belong to a club that would have me as a member" - leading to today's Groucho Club. Where/when Arthur grew up Los Angeles, Southern California was the major tennis area of the USA (Kramer, Gonzalez, Schroeder, etc.) and the best coaching available was at the LA Tennis & Swimming Club, which at the time had a restricted policy against Jews. When Arthur, as a promising youngster was rejected for this reason, Groucho wrote to them, and they responded with embarassment, offering membership to Arthur and Groucho himself. That's when he wrote back with his famous statement - after first requesting that his son be allowed to enter the pool up to his waist, because he was half-Jewish.

Michael Carlson said...

Wisht I'd heard that BEFORE I wrote the obit...thanks!