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The tragic true story behind Marvelous Mrs Maisel's Lenny Bruce

Lenny Bruce is one of the only real-life characters in Marvelous Mrs Maisel

Emmy Griffiths

Although most of the popular show Marvelous Mrs Maisel is fictional, there is one recurring character who has been plucked right out of history. Lenny Bruce, a hugely successful yet controversial comic, first meets Midge in prison and the pair swiftly become friends in the series. While Lenny gives her a hand with her stand-up career, she in turn is there to support him as his television career begins to take off. So how much of Lenny's life, as depicted in the show, is actually true?

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Lenny Bruce is played by Luke Kirby

While, of course, Lenny couldn't have met the fictional Miriam Maisel, he was indeed a hugely successful comic who was known for being controversial about his subject matter; discussing everything from religion to drugs. He was also, as the show depicts, arrested several times thanks to his act, as he was charged with obscenity. He was also arrested on drug charges and for impersonating a priest at different points of his life, as well as being banned from the UK after performing there once.

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Lenny passed away aged 40

In 1964, Lenny was arrested for an appearance at Café Au Go Go in NYC, had a six-month trial and was eventually sentenced to four months in a workhouse, which was then appealed. His obscenity conviction was eventually overturned posthumously.In Marvelous Mrs Maisel season three, Midge and Lenny's relationship almost goes to the next level after spending an evening together, but Midge decides not to pursue her feelings for him.

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Lenny then suggests that they get together again some time before he dies, to which Midge replies: "It's a date." Tragically, Lenny passed away aged 40 following an accidental overdose, but is still known today as one of the greatest comics of all time, reaching third place on the Rolling Stones 50 Best Stand-Up Comics of All Time.

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