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Zeppo Marx
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Zeppo Marx

Herbert Marx (February 25, 1901-November 29, 1979) is best known as Zeppo Marx, the name he used when he performed with his brothers, The Marx Brothers.

Groucho once said that the stage name Zeppo was derived from the Zeppelin, a new invention at the time of his birth. However, it is more commonly suggested that the name derived from that of another vaudeville performer named Mr. Zippo. It is possible that both are true and that some punning was involved.

Zeppo appeared in the first five Marx Brothers movies, as a straight man and romantic lead, before leaving the team. He had sufficient comic abilities to have stood in for Groucho when the brothers performed on stage, and he was reputed to be very funny offstage; but he never invented a comic persona of his own that could stand up against those of his older brothers, even though the role he used to fill would continue to exist in the brothers' remaining films.

Offstage, Zeppo had great mechanical skills and was largely responsible for keeping the Marx family car running. Zeppo later owned a company which machined parts for the war effort during World War II. He also founded a large theatrical agency with his brother Gummo Marx.

On April 12, 1927, Zeppo married Marion Benda. The couple would adopt one child, Timothy, in 1944. They would later divorce on May 12, 1954. On September 18, 1959, Zeppo married Barbara Blakely. Zeppo and Blakely would divorce in 1973. (Blakely would later marry singer Frank Sinatra).

He died of lung cancer.