Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Riding a wave of success on stage, in 1922, the Marx Brothers were about to embark on a tour of England. In preparation for the trip, they had to apply for passports. The images below are taken from their passport applications. The application process required someone to swear to the identity of the applicant. Harry Billings, of Milwaukee, attested on each form that he knew the brothers for five years, and gave his occupation as "Manager," so I assume he was the act's manager.

The application form also required a description of the applicant. From the handwriting, it looks like the boys filled in some of the blanks themselves, and Mr. Billings filled in the others.

We find Harpo describing his nose as "regular," and his chin as "firm." Groucho, always playing for laughs, described his nose as "Jewish," and his mouth as "pretty good."

Click to enlarge any of the images below.

Betty and Chico

Arthur, Ruth, and Groucho




  1. Just fascinating!

  2. i guess you could not find thins in Monkey Business