eppo was born Herbert Marx on
February 25, 1901. He was the youngest brother, and so was
not involved in the family's act for quite
some time. In 1918, Zeppo was working as a mechanic, which was his passion. But when
Gummo stepped out of the act, Minnie insisted that Zeppo join
his brothers so the act could continue as the Four Marx Brothers. Zeppo stepped into
what had been Gummo's role as the straight man.
Zeppo was not in the act when his brothers received their nicknames, so when he
joined, he was given one by his brothers. Because he was always practicing acrobatics, he was
named "Zippo", after a "Mr. Zippo", the star of a well-known chimpanzee act.
Feeling the name was unflattering, he insisted that it be "Zeppo".
Zeppo made five movies with his brothers. After Duck Soup was made and their contract with Paramount was fulfilled, Zeppo quit, mostly because he was unsatisfied with his meager roles. He became an agent and recruited Gummo as his partner. His first clients were The Marx Brothers. Zeppo survived all his brothers and died November 30, 1979 from cancer.