Mother's side of the family was in show business, and included vaudeville star Al Shean.
Began his own showbiz career in 1900 when he joined Gus Edwards' kiddie review. Was soon working in other vaudeville shows, including ones with his brothers and other family members.
The Marx Brothers were formed by 1920; and they gained national attention with the zany I'll Say She Is revue, which ran 1923-25. They followed it with another hit, The Cocoanuts, which featured a score by Irving Berlin.
During the success of The Cocoanuts, Groucho and brothers starred in a silent comedy movie, Humorisk, that they produced themselves; it was never released.
Lost $240,000 on Black Tuesday (the October 29, 1929, stock-market crash). He later joked that "I would have lost more, but that was all the money I had."
Received the Most Outstanding Personality Emmy Award in 1951.
A lifelong Democrat, Marx was the subject of a 1950s probe by the FBI that wondered if he was affiliated with the Communist Party. (He wasn't.)
Made a triumphant return to the stage in 1972 with the sold-out An Evening with Groucho at Carnegie Hall.
Received an honorary Academy Award in 1973 "in recognition of his brilliant creativity and for the unequaled achievements of the Marx Brothers in the art of motion picture comedy."
His will instructed that anyone challenging it would receive $1 with the rest going to the Jewish Federation Council of Los Angeles.
Ashes are interred at Eden Memorial Park cemetery in Mission Hills, Cal.
1951, Emmy — Most Outstanding Personality: Nominee