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Raised Eyebrows - My Years Inside Groucho's House (Expanded Edition) Paperback – August 13, 2015

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: BearManor Media (August 13, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593936524
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593936525
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #365,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steve Stoliar has been a professional writer for more than twenty-five years, providing material for Dick Cavett as well as penning episodes of such television series as "Murder, She Wrote," "Simon & Simon," "The New WKRP in Cincinnati" and "Sliders." He has been a consultant on a number of books and documentaries about Groucho and his various siblings. He has also written and produced documentaries on such diverse personages as John Lennon, The Marx Brothers, Elvis Presley, Shemp Howard and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Additionally, he has provided voices for various animated specials including "Frosty Returns," "The Oz Kids" and "Snoopy's Reunion." Born in St. Louis, he now makes his home in Studio City, California. In 1996, Mr. Stoliar first published his memoir, "Raised Eyebrows: My Years Inside Groucho's House." The book was reissued with a new Afterword in 2011.



"Raised Eyebrows" 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, SJ 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. "Raised Eyebrows" is filled with never-before-seen photos from the author's collection and never-before-heard anecdotes, with an introduction by DICK CAVETT.

The author has written a new Afterword chapter 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 America's premiere caricaturist, 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."

"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."

"In this delightful report, Mr. Stoliar brings the real Groucho alive with wit, tears and all."

"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."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Greg Van Beek on December 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
Raised Eyebrows was written from a unique perspective. Author Steve Stoliar was a fan of The Marx Brothers, and Groucho in particular, from childhood on. His dream was merely to see his idol in person, perhaps receive an autograph, or, if he was exceptionally lucky, have a brief meeting with the great man. Through an amazing set of circumstances, he accomplished all of that, and so much more!

I'm sure all of us have had dreams of meeting, and perhaps spending time with, a 'celebrity' you are a fan of, be it a singer, actor/actress, sports figure, etc. But how many of us have found ourselves working for that celebrity, and right in their home? Such is the case of Steve Stoliar, who served as Groucho Marx's secretary / archivist from 1974 until Groucho's passing in 1977.
Through his bird's eye view of life in the Marx household, he was able to rub elbows not only with Groucho, but with his legendary friends like Mae West, Bob Hope, George Jessel, George Burns, as well as the other surviving Marx Bros. Zeppo & Gummo, all of which are detailed in amazing clarity in this book.

By 1974, Groucho was 84 years old and in failing health, far past his prime as a performer. Yet, as Steve documents, his singular wit and comedic timing was still intact, making for some very amusing situations when the master would let loose those famous 'Grouchoisms'. But life wasn't all rosy during Groucho's last years, as Steve describes the oft-times turbulent relationship between Groucho and his "personal manager" Erin Fleming.

Raised Eyebrows is a highly recommended read if you have an interest in Groucho Marx, his brothers, classic films, or show business in general.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By CookieBaker on December 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
Are you interested in Groucho Marx? Are you fascinated with show business personalities when offstage? Do you like stories that are sometimes funny, sometimes sad and sometimes lurid? If so, these are only three of many reasons to buy Raised Eyebrows, Steve Stoliar's vivid and improbable account of his working as secretary/archivist in the Marx Hillcrest Drive "house on the hill" for the last few years of the master comedian Groucho Marx's life. Originally published in 1996, it attracted virtually unanimous praise by those who had followed the happenings while they were going on along with those who were in the middle of what became a vortex of clashing temperaments. This new edition, graced by a Milton Friedman cover, has an added "rest of the story" chapter including an account of a conversation with the Marx child who has always until now hugged the shadows, Groucho's daughter Melinda. This chapter also brings to a close the story of the controversial Erin Fleming, after the earlier part of the book chillingly documents her descent into madness. For the general reader interested in the Marx Brothers and comedians in general, it is a compelling read which should lead you to dig deeper into the subject. For the Groucho fan, even one as old and jaded as the person writing this (I've been standing watch for about 40 years), it is everything that could be desired. I could say more, but why spoil the suspense? This purchase will repay itself many times over. So, BUY THIS BOOK! Pimp it to your friends. It's as good as the old DeSoto (look it up) slogan: "Tell 'em Groucho sent you". Both the original and the republication calls for dancing in the streets. Written by David Snyder, husband of the account owner Christine A. Snyder.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Grabman on December 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
I'm so glad a 2nd, expanded edition is available now of this book about Groucho Marx's final years. I read the original one and just loved it. Groucho was such a remarkable man, and Steve's experiences with him--in Groucho's own home yet!--were wonderful. How often does one get to meet his idol, much less work for him in his home? Amazing! Steve's narration of his association with The Legend is very well written and a real page turner. There were many ups and downs in Groucho's life during that time, and Steve tells us all about them. Great book!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jake Aurelian / Ripper the Clown on June 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I find it dumbfounding and absolutely bewildering that anyone--I repeat, anyone--could give this book a low review; Raised Eyebrows is, unquestionably, the best book written about Groucho--and trust me, I've read them all ... and nothing even remotely compares to the loving tribute found in Raised Eyebrows. This book isn't the standard historical overview of Groucho's career, but a personal account of this pop culture icon and Hollywood legend during the latter period of his life ... a rarity in and of itself coupled with the fact that this book is magically and humorously written. Steve's flowing narrative takes the reader back to a different era--one that many of us, such as myself, never experienced--and not only allows the reader to feel and understand that period of time, but also allows the reader to feel as if they are right there in Groucho's home with Steve, helping him inscribe photos (that Groucho personally signed, by the way!) ... experiencing parties amongst Groucho's Hollywood friends ... or feeling sad and retrospective while leaving Groucho's home one last time.

I happened upon the hardcover edition of Raised Eyebrows several years ago; I've read this book approximately once per year, and it's always fresh, always insightful, always comforting, like I'm visiting an old friend. Every time I read Raised Eyebrows, it's like I'm reading it for the first time. When I learned a paperback with an extra chapter was available, I had to buy the new edition for that extra chapter alone ... because I knew it would be--like the rest of the book--gold. The Afterward allows the reader to catch-up with the author and the proverbial cast of characters ... providing updates and closing the book in a bittersweet style with a visit to Groucho's old residence.
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