The Sideshow

Groucho Marx voted America’s favorite facial hair icon

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

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Comedian Groucho Marx was voted as having the best facial hair in an online survey. (Wikicommons)

A new survey confirms that America is a country full of "Marxists." But in this case, we're talking about facial hair, not political preferences.

According to results from the findmypast.com survey, Americans chose the late comedian Groucho Marx as having the best facial hair. Of course, the results were particularly noteworthy since Marx's mustache was a fake for most of his career.

Marx's trademark mustache was actually made of greasepaint, though he chose to grow a real mustache in later years rather than applying the makeup for performances.

Two of the three top finishers in the survey are fictional characters. The runners-up to Groucho Marx were the Dr. Seuss character the Lorax and the "Hunger Games" character Seneca Crane.

When it comes to the facial hair of everyday, real-life people, the survey found that North Americans overwhelmingly favor the mustache (72.8 percent) over any other kind of facial hair. Beards were a distant second (14.6 percent), followed by sideburns (6.8 percent) and "all of the above" (5.8 percent).

"Facial hair has moved in and out of fashion over the years and the historical record is full of shaggy characters," said D. Joshua Taylor, findmypast.com's lead genealogist.

Of course, you might want to stay away from the mustache, and any other facial hair for that matter, if you plan on running for public office.

Thomas Dewey was the last major party candidate for president of the United States to sport facial hair, losing the 1948 election to clean-shaven Harry S. Truman. A 1986 Boston Globe article even went so far as to argue that Dewey's mustache worked against him in the race.

With our condolences to Tom Selleck, the rest of the top 10 facial hair favorites:

4. Filmmaker and actor John Waters, known for his pencil-thin mustache

5. Ambrose Burnside, a Union Army general in the American Civil War whose facial hair style coined the word "sideburns"

6. Artist Salvador Dali

7. Funnyman Zach Galifianakis

8. Fictional anchorman Tom Tucker from "Family Guy"

9. Brian "Fear the Beard" Wilson, closing pitcher for the San Francisco Giants

10. Clark Gable, famed American actor

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