On May 1st, 1961, Harpo Marx made an unexpected appearance on “You Bet Your Life” to promote his autobiography Harpo Speaks. Unexpected, that is, even to his brother Groucho, prompting a low-key moment of sincere joy from the acerbic comic, who clearly doesn’t mind being upstaged by the one man capable of such a feat.
The Marx brothers were, of course, very close as a family, but Harpo was especially beloved by his brothers and had a reputation for being the kindest of the bunch in real life. Off stage he was apparently a quiet family man who spent most of his time at home with his kids (he and Gummo – their offscreen manager – were the only of the brothers who married only once).
According to Groucho’s son, Arthur (Harpo’s namesake, by the way), Harpo’s funeral was the one and only time he ever saw his father cry.