Susan Fleming was beautiful she started off as a Ziegfeld Girl, which launched her into a film career that took off like a shooting star (pun totally intended). She was known as “Girl with the Million Dollar Legs” long before Betty Grable was on the scene, due to a movie where she played W.C. Fields daughter with the title “Million Dollar Legs,” 1932. The studio even insured her legs as a publicity stunt
Susan Fleming during her Ziegfeld days
for the million to drum up interest for the film. But, surprisingly she hated being an actress, she found it horribly monotonous.
The unhappy actress was seated next to Harpo Marx at a dinner party, and she was captivated from the start. She pursued him relentlessly; she was not going to let him get away, proposing to him numerous times over four years until he finally said yes. Poor guy had nowhere to hide! The exquisite Fleming happily gave up acting to raise the couples four adoptive children, act as Marx’s valet, pursue the Harp and other musical instruments, make frames for her husband’s paintings and painting her works of art. They were a couple that did everything as a team.
When asked by George Burns in 1948 how many children he planned to adopt Harpo answered: “I’d like to adopt as many children as I have windows in my house. So when I leave for work, I want a kid in every window, waving goodbye.” They were a close family of 6.
After the last Marx movie was filmed they moved to Palm Springs, California. Where they both pursued their
Harpo Marx and Susan Fleming
interests and became civically involved. On their 28th wedding anniversary, September 28th, 1964 Harpo Marx left his beautiful bride and died at the age of 75.
Susan outlived her husband by 40 years, living as an activist and artist until her death in 2002 at the age of 92.