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Magicians' Biographies

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Abbot, Anthony
Pen name of Fulton Oursler.

Abbott, Annie May (1861-1915)
Billed as the "Little Georgia Magnet"

Abbott, David P. (1836-1934)
Magic inventor, wrote Behind the Scenes With the Mediums (1907), considered to be one of the best exposures of the methods used by fraudulent psychics

Abbott, Percy (1886-1960)
Co-founder Abbott's Magic Co.

Absolon, Blanka (b.1944)
Female magician who performs classical magic

Adair, Ian (b.1943)
Author and inventor of more than 3,000 effects

Adams, E. Clinton (?-?)
American magician on the Lyceum and Chautauqua circuits.

Adams, Ernest Henry (?-?)
Amateur British magician who cofounded the Magic Circle with Neil Weaver and Herbert J. Collings.
Adams, Graham (1893-1974)
Popular British card magician from Manchester. Wrote articles on Erdnase for Pentagram.

Adams, S.S. (1869- 1933)
Founder of S.S. Adams Co., manufacturer of practical jokes and pocket tricks

Adelphia, Del (?-1917)
American magician who gained fame as the "Cowboy Magician" in the late 1800's. Known for his flowing long hair and elaborate Buffalo Bill-type costumes, he was most popular in the Eastern US. Following his death, his brother Jack sold his signature trick, the Vanishing Bird Cage, to Harry Blackstone Sr.

Adrian, Monsieur (?-?)
French magician, ventriloquist and plate spinner, popular in the mid-1800s. Part of a performing family that included son Adrian deLille and daughter Louise deLille.

Ady, Thomas (?-?)
17th century author whose treatise on magic as a performing art form (A Candle In the Dark) contained much material similar to Reginald Scot's Discoverie of Witchcraft.

Agoston, Chevalier (1821-1876) (birthday Nov. 5)
German performer, real name Carl August Bohm, who specialized in ghost shows. Most unlucky in his life; died of starvation.

Aich, Jewel (b.1950) (birthday April 10)
Leading celebrity magician in Bangladesh. Billed as "The World's Most Artistic Illusionist", he features thrilling illusions such as the Buzz Saw and the Giant Disecto.

Ainslie, Arthur (1871-1940)
British-born magician, real name Arthur Wellesley Odell Pain. AKA F.M. Archer. Author of Water Wizardry. Specialized in magic for children.

Alachini (1895-1970) (birthday Aug. 28)
Polish magician and watchmaker (real name Bronislaw Szymanski). Though he specialized in performing illusions, he also devised intricate effects for magic manufacturers Willmann and Bartl.

Aladdin, Johnny (1919-?)
American illusionist and hypnotist (real name John "Jack" Randall). As a pro, he was further schooled in manipulation skills by Tenkai. Through Tenkai he met his first wife and stage partner Taki. Toured extensively in the Far East with Taki, then also with second wife and assistant Lani. Frequently performed Las Vegas and Magic Castle shows.

Alan, Alan
British-born magician and escape artist as well as magic dealer. Invented the Burning Rope escape effect. Real name Alan Rabinowitz.

Alan, Don (1926-1999)
Host of the 1960's TV program Don Alan's Magic Ranch. Popularized the Invisible Deck in appearances on The Tonight Show.

Albenice, John (1913-1957)
American club magician and author who specialized in magic with reels. Invented Serpent Silk, and wrote Reel Magic.

Alberti (?-?)
French magician, late 1800's, said to have invented Ambitious Card.

Alberto, Harold (1882-1964)
Australian comedy magician who was the true "sad clown", ending his own life in 1964. His famous running gag was the "More water!" Growing Plant routine. Was technical advisor to Hollywood movie studios during the 1930's and 1940's.

Albini, Herbert (1860-1922)
Polish-born stage magician (real name Abraham Laski) whose trademark was opening a new deck of cards for each effect. By the end of his act the stage was covered with discarded decks. Also invented the Albini Egg Bag.

Albo, Dr. Robert (b. 1932) (birthday May 8)
American surgeon, pro sports team physician, magician and magic historian who amassed one of the most important collections of magicians' apparatus. He authored an eight-volume set of books exhibiting the collection; the book set is very expensive because it was extremely well-done, with hundreds of full-color photographs.

Albright, Clayton (1916-1983)
American magician, musician and renowned magic collector. Highly regarded for his in-depth knowledge of the history of magic apparatus, he was also famous for his unique sense of humor. One of the first magicians to portray Ronald McDonald in live appearances. Nephew of Howard Albright.

Albright, Howard (?-1947)
American magician and author of Super-Psychic Mental Effects, Advanced Card Magic, and Forbidden Wisdom.

Aldini (1917-1989) (birthday Oct. 12)
American magician (real name Alex Weiner) and author. Managed and owned magic shops from the late 1950's into the 1970's. Wrote Rough Stuff, Roughingly Yours. Invented Aldini Bowl Production.

Aldrich, Charles T. (1870-1953)
American magician and quick-change artist who was on the bill for the 1912 First Royal Command Variety Performance.

Alexander (1880-1954)
Claude Conlin. Famous poster "The Man Who Knows". Read more, see images here.

Alfie
British cruise ship magician who helped popularize "street magic" in the 1970's, paving the way for the style of magic performed on TV today.

Alfredson, James B. (b.1937)
American magician, author and magic historian. Editor of Magicol from 1973-88. Cowrote A Bibliography of Conjuring Periodicals in English 1791-1983, and Newmann: The Pioneer Mentalist, a biography of C.A. George Newmann.

Ali (1887-1942)
Egyptian magician famous for his regurgitation act, in which he could swallow and then spout colored pebbles, great quantities of water and fire. A vaudeville performer in the 1920's and 1930's, a short film was made featuring his act. When he died, his widow attempted to seel his body to the Johns Hopkins Medical Center as a fitting subject for examination, an offer that was politely refused. Also known as Hadgi-Ali.

Ali Bey (1905-1975) (birthday Jan. 7)
British illusionist (real name David Charles Lemmy) who performed as an Arab.

Ali Bongo (b.1929)
Comedy magician and author. Direct descendant of the 13th century Scottish leader portrayed by Mel Gibson in Braveheart.

Allan (1909-?)
Austrian society magician (real name Albin Neumann) and an expert on card cheats and gambling methods. Author of a number of books (in German) on crooked gambling methods.

Allen, Ken (?-?)
American performer, magic dealer and inventor of Jumping Gems, Chinatown Quarter effects as well as the Soo-Zee fanning powder application tool.

Allen, Lyman (?-?)
American magic dealer. Inventor of Blok-Cord.

Allen, Stan (b. 1950) (birthday April 6)
American magician known for his comedy routines with a rabbit puppet. Currently the publisher of MAGIC magazine.

Allerton, Bert (1889-1958) (birthday Jan. 1)
American club magician, known for his close up skills and for his presentation of a vanishing bird cage. Real name Albert Allen Gustafson.

Alma, The Mysterious (1880-1956)
Australian illusionist who performed over 2,000 shows for the USO during WWII. Father of Will Alma.

Alma, Will (1904-1993)
Illusionist, son of The Mysterious Alma and renowned magic collector

Alonzo, Ed
American comedy illusionist known for his lighthearted approach and his suspenders. See his website.

Alvaro, Professor N.P. (1882-1943)
India-born classical illusionist who often toured Europe and the Far East.

Alyett (1885-1975)
French illusionist (real name Alfred Auzet) and owner of the Grand Palais des Illusions, the Paris magic theater which he opened in 1928.

Amac, Bill (1890-1961)
British magician, real name Robert William Macfarland, who invented the Find the Lady illusion.

Amalfi
British magician (real name William F. Tunnah) who specialized in kids' shows. Wrote Santa's Workshop.

Ambroise
Eighteenth century French magician who is credited with combining magic with the art of shadowgraphy, paving the way for other magician/shadowgraphers like Max Holden.

Amedeo (1890-1974)
Italian-born magician; real name Amedeo Vacca. During Houdini's last three seasons, Amedeo was his advance man. Also one of the first cruise ship magicians.

Ammar, Michael (b.1956) (birthday June 25)
American close up magic expert, especially with Cups & Balls and Topit. Performer, author and lecturer with many television appearances. Married to Hannah, daughter of Frances Willard and Glenn Falkenstein.

Amwell, Lord (1876-1966) (birthday Oct. 8)
British magician, real name Frederick Montague, who invented the Bluff Pass in the late 1920s. Was also a member of Parliament.

Anderson, Alice Hannah (1847-1875)
Daughter of John Henry Anderson and one of his stage assistants in the 1860s. Used stage name of "Flora". By 1870, she was touring with her own show, billed as "Jennie Anderson". Drowned in a boating accident in New Zealand while on tour in 1875.

Anderson, Angeline (1849-1921)
Second wife of John Henry Anderson Jr. Real name Angeline Trumeller. Started out as one of John Henry Anderson's stage assistants, billed as "Leona Anderson".

Anderson, Gene (b.1941) (birthday May 21)
American magician best known for his version of the Torn and Restored Newspaper.

Anderson, Hannah (?-?)
Wife of John Henry Anderson, mother of Alice Hannah, Columbia, Helena Elizabeth, John Jr. and Oscar.

Anderson, Harry (b. 1952)
American magician and actor with a penchant for "con artist"-type magic. Best known for his roles as Harry the Hat on Cheers and as Judge Stone on Night Court.

Anderson, Helena Elizabeth (1846-1918)
Daughter of John Henry Anderson and one of his stage assistants in the 1860s. Used stage names of "Eliza", "Lizzie", "Lena" and "Helen". In 1877, she married Alfred Miles Holmes, and joined his show until they retired in 1902.

Anderson, Isabella Jean (1854-1944)
Niece of John Henry Anderson, and one of his stage assistants in the 1860s. Used stage names of "Ada Anderson" and "Bella Anderson".

Anderson, John Henry (1814-1874)
One of the best magic showmen in history, he billed himself as The Wizard of the North. 

Anderson, Louise (?-?)
Daughter of John Henry Anderson, she partnered with him in one of the earliest two-person mentalism acts (mid-1800's) in which, blindfolded, she would describe articles handed to her father by members of the audience.

Andre, Bob (?-?)
American magician best known for his invention of Anti Gravico.

Andrews, Val (1926-2006) (birthday February 15)
British magician, author of a number of excellent books on magicians, including Goodnight, Mr. Dante, a tribute to Dante, as well as biographies of Murray, Horace Goldin, Chung Ling Soo, Will Goldston and George Sanger. Performed as "Val Vox" from 1938 to 1948 (aged 12 to 22), and as "Vanson" from 1948 to 1951, when he began to write. Also known for the Val Evans Card Rise effect.

Andrus, Jerry (1920-2007)
American magic inventor and author, most known for his Linking Pins and optical illusions.

Andruzzi, Tony (1925-?)
See Tom Palmer.

Angelico, Sam (b.1955)
Australian-born comedy magician with a silent act. 1985 FISM First Prize winner.

Annemann, Theodore (1907-1942) (birthday February 22)
Best known for his contributions to the art of mentalism, Ted Annemann was an extraordinary card magician as well. Born Theodore John Squires, Annemann was an extremely talented performer, but a very troubled person. His almost unbearable bouts of stage fright gave him an ironic advantage when performing mentalism. Sometimes he would be so upset that he would shake and break out into a sweat; his audiences thought that this was "proof" that he was putting forth incredible mental effort! Annemann was preparing an exhibition of the Bullet Catch when life became too much for him, and he committed suicide. Annemann is still very influential in magic, and copies of his long-running publication, The Jinx, are very collectible.

Ansbach, Salo (?-?)
American magician on the Lyceum and Chautauqua circuits.

Anverdi, Tony (b.1925) (birthday August 20)
Holland-born magician and inventor known for clever effects operated electronically, especially liquid effects. Originally a baker.

Argus (?-?)
American magician, part Native American, real name Arthur Gilbert. Performed on the Lyceum circuit, mainly in the 1920s. Married to Emily Reno, daughter of Ed Reno

Armitage, Frank Guy (?-?)
American comedy magician, character impersonator, ventriloquist and musician on the Redpath Chautauqua circuit in the 1920s. His show was called "The Laughter Barrage". See one of his publicity pamphlets in entirety here.

Armstrong, George
British performer, author and magic book publisher. Former editor of Magic Wand and The Wizard publications. Owner of Magic Wand Publishing Co.

Arrowsmith, George (1887-1978)
British magician, author and clergyman, founder of The Pentacle Club.

Ascanio, Arturo De (?-1997)
Spanish-born magician (full name D. Arturo de Ascanio Navas) known for inventing the Ascanio Spread in card magic, and also known for his Color Changing Knife routines. See tribute here.

Astley, Philip (1742-1814)
British magician who is also considered to be the father of the modern circus, as he built a large performance theater in London expressly for the presentation of grand illusion shows and circus arts productions. He featured the Bullet Catch act. Astley also had a special coin minted to promote himself.

Atkins, Jeffrey
British magician who is noted for his recreations of spectacular illusions of the great names in magic. One of only two Englishmen to be elected president of the I.B.M.

Atkins, Tommy
American female magician and ventriloquist, with her puppet "Oogie". Real name: Ruth Buckley. Successful in corporate and amusement park magic, she also co-founded All Magic Day, a long-running Albany NY- area convention.

Aubrey (b.1931)
American-born (James Crabe) illusionist who has made numerous TV appearances; also known for his skill with billiard ball manipulation. Also a cinematographer.

Auzinger, Max (1839-1928) (birthday July 26)
German magician who performed as "Ben Ali Bey", an Oriental character, and developed the Black Art act. Perhaps inspired DeKolta's own black art act.

Avis, Jack (1921-?)
British-born magician and inventor of close up effects. Credited with creating the Siva Count, named after his stage character "Siva".

Enjoy the facts here, but please don't copy this information and post it on your own web site without getting our permission first. It took many hours of research to compile. If you are doing a paper or project for school, we will be happy to give you permission to use this material if you contact us first.

 

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