CHICO MARX Biography - Other artists & entretainers


Biography » other artists entretainers » chico marx


Name: Leonard Marx                                                                       
Born: March 22, 1887 New York, New York                                                 
Died October 11, 1961 Hollywood, California                                             
Leonard Marx, known as Chico, (March 22, 1887 - October 11, 1961) was one of the         
Marx Brothers.                                                                           
He was originally nicknamed Chicko due to his reputation as a ladies man, or a "chicken 
chaser" in the popular slang of the day. A typesetter accidentally dropped the "k"       
in his name and it became Chico. It was still pronounced "Chick-o" although             
those who were unaware of its origin tended to pronounce it "Cheek-o". Radio             
recordings from the 1940s exist where announcers and fellow actors mispronounce         
the nickname, but Chico apparently felt it was unnecessary to correct them. As           
late as the 1950s, even Groucho used the "wrong" pronunciation for comedic               
effect. A guest on You Bet Your Life told the quizmaster she came from Chico,           
California and Groucho responded that he had a brother named "Cheek-oh." (Chico         
can sometimes be spotted in cutaways to the studio audience, out of character           
and costume.)                                                                           
Marx used an Italian accent for his on-stage character; stereotyped ethnic               
characters were common with Vaudeville comedians, and all the Marx brothers             
sometimes performed "dialect characters" early in their careers, but Chico was           
the only one to continue this into their films.