Home   >   Movie Stars   >   D   >   Margaret Dumont
Margaret Dumont
  • Biography

Margaret Dumont

Margaret Dumont was an American comic actor remembered mostly for being the straight man to Groucho Marx in seven of the Marx Brothers movies. Groucho called her practically the fifth Marx brother. (There were in fact five Marx brothers, but only a maximum of four ever performed together.)

Dumont played wealthy aristocratic widows whom Groucho alternately insulted and romanced for their money. They include Mrs Rittenhouse in Animal Crackers, Mrs Claypool in A Night at the Opera, Mrs Gloria Teasdale in Duck Soup, Martha Phelps in The Big Store, Mrs Susan Dewkesbury in At the Circus, and Emily Upjohn in A Day at the Races. Groucho once said a lot of people believed they were married in real life, but they were not.

Over the course of her lifetime she played in 40 movies, not including some minor silent work. Her first feature film was the Marx Brothers movie The Cocoanuts in 1929 in which she played Mrs Potter, the same role she played in the stage version from which the film was adapted. Her last movie was What a Way to Go! in 1964.

She also played the same type with W.C. Fields (in Never Give a Sucker an Even Break), Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Jack Benny and Danny Kaye. She also played some dramatic parts.

Her offstage personality has been said to be pretty much like the characters she played – a rich regal woman who never quite understood the joke.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Margaret Dumont Facts

Birth Name Daisy Juliette Baker
BirthdayOctober 20, 1882
BirthplaceBrooklyn, New York, USA
Date of deathMarch 6, 1965 (age 82)

Selected Filmography

Not available.