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Gummo Marx (Milton)


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Gummo Marx

Born: Oct 23, 1892
Died: April 21, 1977

Gummo Marx was the fifth son of Minnie and Sam Marx. While the census of 1900 gives 1892 as his birth year, on his death certificate and his grave the year 1893 is given.

Gummo married widowed Helen von Tilzer (nee Theaman) in 1929 and adopted her daughter Kay from her previous marriage. Together they had a son, Robert

He is the Marx Brother that is almost forgotten by the fans. The reason for this is that Gummo had stopped performing with the boys before they became stars on Broadway. He and Groucho were the original performers in the family, both appearing in an act known as "The Three Nightingales". Actually Gummo was the first of the boys to be on the stage. He appeared with his Uncle Julius in a ventriloquism act.

When Gummo joined the army he was replaced on stage by Zeppo. After the war Gummo went into business selling dresses and cloth and continued at it until he was lured back to show business. Not as a performer but as a partner in a talent agency. He managed his brothers for years and made a good name for himself as an agent.

Gummo held a patent for a box he invented. In "The Marx Brothers Scrapbook" he describes it: "I invented a [laundry] box that has only four side instead of eight. In the normal laundry box you'd put the laundry in one-half and cover it with the other. This one saved a lot of paper and the laundry would slide into it." He also tells of the product failing because of rising cardboard prices. Gummo wasn't the only inventor in the family, Zeppo also held three patents.

gummo patent

Packaging Rack, #1,320,335 (view full document)

Important dates in the life of Gummo Marx:

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