On October 20, 1882, future actress Margaret Dumont was born in Brooklyn, New York. A Broadway regular by the 1920s, Dumont found lasting fame once she started appearing with the Marx Brothers. Tall and regal in bearing, her character provided the perfect foil to the wisecracking Groucho Marx in a series of films including A Night at theOpera and Duck Soup. Her character’s seemingly obliviousness to insult led to the widespread belief, encouraged by Groucho himself, that Dumont was a humorless person who never got the joke. a belief she contradicted in a 1942 interview. “I’m not a stooge,” she said. “I’m a straight lady. There’s an art to playing straight. You must build up your man but never top him and never steal the laughs from him. Straight Lady: The Life and Times of Margaret Dumont, "The Fifth Marx Brother" d focuses on the Dumont and her role in the production of the comedy teams' most successful films. Several books have been written about the Marx Brothers as a comedy family and about their individual lives, but there haven’t been any books written about Margaret Dumont. This book will appeal to motion picture enthusiasts, Marx Brothers’ fans, and film historians.
Chris Enss and Howard Kazanjian have written a number of award-winning books including The Young Duke: The Early Life of John Wayne and Cowboys, Creatures and Classics: The Story of Republic Pictures.