Comedian, Entertainer. One of the legendary Marx Brothers along with Groucho, Harpo, Zeppo, and Gummo. Leonard "Chico" Marx was the pianist with a phony Italian accent. He starred in 13 movies with brothers Groucho, Harpo and sometimes Zeppo. Born in New York City as the second-oldest son of Minnie and Sam Marx (the oldest, Manfred, died an infant), Leonard grew up on the streets. He learned various accents and gambling, which became a serious, lifelong addiction. The boy Leonard took piano lessons, later using his skills at "shooting" the keys in the movies. Inheriting his mother's confidence, Chico was extraordinarily successful with women all of his life, much to the frustration of his first wife, Betty, and his only child, daughter Maxine. He held various jobs, including playing piano at brothels, until he joined his brothers' comedy team in the 1910s. Chico helped arrange the deal for the brothers' 1924 Broadway hit "I'll Say She Is." Later, after five Marx films at Paramount, he fixed arrangements for MGM's 1935 classic "A Night at the Opera." By this time, Chico was defined as the dumb, happy ivory tinkler, providing the bridge between Groucho and Harpo, who rarely had scenes with each other. (He also forgot his lines and strayed from the set to gamble and chase women.) The brothers disbanded after 1941's "The Big Store" but reunited twice because the forever-in-debt Chico needed money. He led his own traveling orchestra, "Chico Marx and His Ravellis," and appeared on TV several times including "The Incredible Jewel Robbery" in 1959, the last appearance with his two brothers. Chico married his second wife, Mary Dee, in 1959, and died of heart trouble two years later in his small Los Angeles bungalow. His funeral was highlighted by a eulogy from a rabbi who didn't know him, and his will left $10,000 to his widow.
Bio by: LincolnFan