Arthur Marx, who wrote screenplays for film and television and a best-selling book about his father, "Life With Groucho," died on Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 89.
His death was confirmed by his son Steve.
As a child Mr. Marx spent several years on the road with Groucho Marx and the rest of the Marx Brothers' vaudeville act — Chico, Harpo, Gummo and later Zeppo — before enjoying a celebrity-filled youth in Los Angeles as the brothers rose to stardom.
His own show-business career was varied and long, writing Hollywood screenplays and scripts for some of television's most popular sitcoms.
But his father's life and career provided Mr. Marx with perhaps his richest source of material. "Life With Groucho," published in 1954, captivated readers with its sharp but affectionate portrait of Groucho — who peppered the narrative with kibitzing footnotes — and its shrewd account of the show-business milieu in which he thrived. A sequel, "Son of Groucho," was published in 1972.
Mr. Marx and Robert Fisher, a former writer for Groucho, also wrote the book for a 1970 Broadway musical about the Marx Brothers, "Minnie's Boys," with Shelley Winters in the lead role of Minnie Marx, and "Groucho: A Life in Revue," which was produced Off Broadway in 1986.
Taken together, Arthur Marx's two books about his father offered a bittersweet picture of life in the Marx home. He described himself as desperate both to escape from his father's shadow and to please him, an impossible task. The comic genius who kept millions in stitches was, in his private life, miserly and emotionally distant.