Sunday, September 23, 2012
WHERE ARE THEY NOW: ERIN FLEMING
Erin Fleming, born on August 13, 1941, was a Canadian actress who was best known as the companion and "secretary" to Groucho Marx in his final years.
She appeared in minor roles in five films between 1965 and 1976, during which time she became acquainted with Marx and moved into his house.
Fleming's influence on Marx was controversial. Many close to him admitted that she did much to revive his popularity; these efforts included a series of one-man shows, culminating in a sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall which was released on a best-selling record album and an honorary Academy Award he received in 1974. Also, some observers felt the apparent relationship with a young starlet boosted Groucho's ego, adding to his vitality. Others, including Marx's son, Arthur, described her in Svengali-esque terms, accusing her of exploiting an increasingly senile and frail Marx in pursuit of her own stardom.
In the years leading up to Marx's death in August 1977, his heirs filed several lawsuits against Fleming. One allegation leveled against Fleming was that she was determined to sell Marx's favorite car, a Cadillac, against his wishes. When Marx protested, it was said, Fleming threatened, "I will slap you from here to Pittsburgh." Many people close to Marx believed Fleming was abusive towards him. Arthur wanted temporary conservatorship of his father, and took Fleming to court. According to the book Raised Eyebrows by Groucho's secretary Steve Stoliar, Fleming had several personal problems; he stated in his book that she used drugs, had mood swings, and was given to inappropriate outbursts, both in public and in private.
The court battles dragged into the early 1980s, but judgments were eventually reached in favor of Arthur Marx, ordering Fleming to repay $472,000 to the Marx estate.
Fleming's mental health deteriorated in the 1990s. She was arrested once in the Los Angeles area on a weapons charge, and spent much of the decade in and out of commitments to various psychiatric facilities. She was also reportedly impoverished and homeless in her final years, living on the streets of Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Erin Fleming committed suicide in 2003 by shooting herself...
Posted by David Lobosco at 5:19 AM
Labels: Erin Fleming, Groucho Marx, The Marx Brothers
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Holy shit, that's sad. She was hot.ReplyDelete
Holy shit is right. Talk about a wreaking case of misogyny. May she now rest in peace.ReplyDelete
If only the psycho killers of today had even an ounce of her chivalry, the streets would be a safer place.ReplyDelete
What are you talking about? She was a money grubbing elder abuser.Delete
Exactly! Unbelievable that someone would refer to misogyny, regarding this money grabbing gold digger. It's so obvious.Delete
I really don't think we know enough about her to really judge their relationship in some ways she did spark his enthusiasm and interest in life again and the rest of it I don't know but I don't think we should be making sleeping comments about something we really don't know anything aboutDelete
Have you ever been to New Liskeard, Ont. Can. You'd shoot yourself too if you were born there.ReplyDelete
Sad story ,,, :(ReplyDelete
Just read Arthur Marx's book 'Life with Groucho' - great book, great Groucho, great tragic end to his life - King Learish !Delete
george fenneman-groucho's longtime announcer testified in favor of erin at the competency hearing-saying that groucho was not senile because he recently had asked george's help to use the bedside commode and while he placed his hands under groucho's armpits and was slowly moving him sideways towards the device-grouch looked up and said "fennemen,you always were a lousy dancer"ReplyDelete
sounds like groucho to me!Delete
that is a true Hollywood tragedy because Erin introduced an entire generation to Groucho's final chapter!! Mike SReplyDelete
Yep, for nothing but personal financial gain.Delete
If you read any of the books, yes it was a sad situation but Erin Fleming had many mental issues and sorry that Groucho had to be in the middle of her life.ReplyDelete
lol i don't careReplyDelete
Is she the actress who played the graduate from New York University in the Woody Alan movie "everything you wanted to know a out sex but were afraid to ask?"ReplyDelete
However, Erin Fleming did not actually attend NYU, although Woody did.Delete
The talk around Hollywood at the time that trial was going on was Groucho loved Erin and his kids were just after his money.ReplyDelete
Yes, she obviously had some problems, but who doesn't?
Lies and truth probably existed on both sides....but, I believe those who were the worst towards Groucho were his children. He had his wits about him as long as he was appearing in public, and that was pretty close to the end. Ms Fleming was giving much to his comfort and pleasure for years. JLReplyDelete
So is there any truthful explanations on grouchos relationship with her?ReplyDelete
I just got the book by Steve Stolliar, "Raised Eyebrows." He was there and didn't have an axe to grind. From what I can tell, it is objective. Erin Fleming was pissed, but all she could do was nitpick over unimportant details. She couldn't deny the main facts he presented.Delete
I loved her in an episode of Adam-12 from October 1973, where the lovable pair of cops pull her over. She plays a lady driving and hauling behind her, without a trailer, a pumpkin-shaped children's playhouse.ReplyDelete
I would love to see her life in a biopic.ReplyDelete
Erin Fleming was a nasty person: rude, selfish, at times crude, in one-on-one conversation with her, almost every third or fourth word was a four-letter word. Zero self-esteem and totally anhedonic.ReplyDelete
Well, she ultimately paid the price by shooting herself after spending years in and out of nuthouses when she wasn't living on the streets of Beverly Hills.Delete
I just saw an interview between both Groucho Marx and Erin Fleming on the Dick Cavett(?) show.ReplyDelete
WOW Groucho Marx looked like a creep. He appeared to glare at Fleming several times while she was talking.
Likewise, however, she tended to throw looks at him, too and appeared to try to guide his responses sometimes.
The whole dynamic was just weird and seething with latent hostility.
What kind of mental illness? I suffer from anxiety and panic disorder and anger outbursts at times. How did she end up homeless, where'd all that money go she made? You get royalties too when doing movie's. I don't know who really was money hungry the kids or Flemming. We ALL want money's for bills and nice things. George Fenniman was a cool guy, he really was a good friend of Groucho from what seeReplyDelete