RAISED EYEBROWS: My Years Inside Groucho’s House is the bittersweet story of the last years in the life of Groucho Marx, told by a young Marx Brothers fan who was fortunate enough to work for Groucho as his personal secretary and archivist, right inside Marx’s Beverly Hills home. In addition to getting to know his hero, the author was able to spend quality time with Zeppo, Gummo, Mae West, George Burns, Bob Hope, Jack Lemmon, S.J. Perelman, Steve Allen, and scores of other luminaries of stage, screen, TV and literature. The downside of this dream-come-true was getting close to his idol as the curtain was coming down, and dealing with Erin Fleming – the mercurial woman in charge of Groucho’s personal and professional life. Filled with never-before-seen photos and anecdotes, with an introduction by Dick Cavett.
The author has written a new Afterword for this edition, detailing events and experiences that have taken place in the 15 years since the book was originally published, and there is a terrific new cover drawing by artist extraordinaire, Drew Friedman.
“A real page-turner that is by turns startling, shocking and as engrossing as a good novel. What a splendid book it is.” — DICK CAVETT
“It’s one of the best books about a show-business icon I’ve ever read…It makes Groucho live so much more than the conventional bios.” — WOODY ALLEN
“Raised Eyebrows is an intimate account of one of our national treasures – Groucho Marx. It’s written by a young man who was fortunate enough to live with and work for Groucho, and if he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, who would? It has a unique insider’s point of view and is a fascinating study of a man who was one of the kings of comedy.” – JACK LEMMON
“In this delightful report, Mr. Stoliar brings the real Groucho alive with wit, tears and all.” — STEVE ALLEN
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY REVIEW
“TV writer Stoliar, a lifelong Groucho Marx fan(atic), first came to the comedian’s attention while a student at UCLA, where he spearheaded an attempt to win the rerelease of the 1930 Marx Brothers’ film Animal Crackers. When the campaign succeeded, he was hired by Groucho’s companion, Erin Fleming, as a combination personal secretary and archivist; he began the job in 1974 and held it beyond Groucho’s death in 1977. The book is essentially an account of the declining years of a great talent who, even after two-or perhaps three-strokes still showed flashes of the wit that brought him stardom. Looming large in this reminiscence is Fleming, a mercurial woman who ran the household and its head, tried to alienate Groucho from his children and fired most of the nurses and servants who threatened to get close to him. That she may have drugged him on occasion or appropriated some of his money is, Stoliar suggests, at least a possibility. Eventually she was ousted and this branch of the Marx family was reunited. The memoir could be depressing were it not for the author’s upbeat tone and Groucho’s snappy repartee, which enlivens many pages.”