Al Shean

Active - 1934 - 1944  |   Born - May 12, 1868   |   Died - Aug 12, 1949   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Musical, Romance, Adventure

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German-born vaudeville entertainer Al Shean entered show business folklore as one-half of the comedy team of Gallagher and Shean. Few people can remember the team's jokes or routines, but many can recite from memory the duo's signature song, "Absolutely, Mr. Gallagher? Postively, Mr. Shean." Of more significance to the film world, Shean was the younger brother of Minnie Marx, who in turn was the mother of the Marx Brothers. When the merry Marxes were struggling in vaudeville in the World War I years, it was Uncle Al Shean who wrote several of the team's best and most popular sketches; he also decided that Harpo Marx would be a more effective comedian if he didn't try to speak on stage. The Marx Brothers returned the favor by seeing to it that the aging, impecunious Al Shean was cast in substantial character roles in such MGM films as San Francisco (1936), The Great Waltz (1938), and Ziegfeld Girl (1941).

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