Holly guillotine Batman, is that who I think it is?

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby Guest » 12/31/06 04:38 PM

This just blew me away when I came across it.

Believe it or not, I recognized the name and had to then look at the picture and make sure it was really him. See if you too can tell by just the name when you go on the site. You probably have to be a fan of the 1960's Batman TV show to know, or appreciate it. Younger folks may not recognize him at all. Boy that makes me sound old to have to say that.

If you type magician in the search area, there are hundreds of others as well.

http://www.pictureaustralia.org/apps/pictureaustralia?action=PASearch&mode=advanced&term1=neil+hamilton&attribute1=any+field&loc1=&nr=27&op1=OR&term2=&attribute2=any+field&loc2=&op 2=AND&term3=&attribute3=any+field&loc3=&Start+Adv+Search.x=0&Start+Adv+Search.y=0

Enjoy, Mark Damon
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 12/31/06 05:03 PM

I used to have an original picture of him and Thurston. It threw me too when I read his name on the back of the photo.
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Postby Guest » 12/31/06 05:32 PM

Thanks for the reply Kevin. Do you remember, was the picture you had a candid shot of the two, or a promo shot of some sort?

I have since found a few references to him (but not many) in old Billboard, Diebox and Genii mags on the C.A.R.C.'s Alexander database. Nothing of any real substance though.

He sure had some slick publicity shots. I wonder if he toured in vaudeville? Im thinking so, but the magic career was probably sidetracked early on with his movie career. I know he was a silent picture star so he started in movies early.

Ill be interested to see what others can add about this obviously multi-talented guy.

Regards, Mark
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Postby Guest » 12/31/06 06:18 PM

Those of us who've read early issues of Genii were aware of Hamilton's interest in magic. The guillotine looks like an early Lester Lake, before he made it with the extended blades.

The man who is taking a card from him is almost certainly Floyd Thayer, possibly on the little stage at Thayer's shop in Los Angeles.
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Postby Guest » 12/31/06 06:30 PM

So...who was he on Batman? I don't recognize the face or name.
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Postby Guest » 12/31/06 07:29 PM

I didn't either until I did some more internet digging. See if you recognize him as Commissioner Gordon.
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 12/31/06 11:25 PM

Mark,

As I remember it, it was a group shot. It may have been a local magic meeting.
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Postby Matthew Field » 01/01/07 03:59 AM

Originally posted by John Wilson:
So...who was he on Batman? I don't recognize the face or name.
Police Commissioner Gordon.

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Postby Guest » 01/01/07 10:25 AM

Click here for Neil Hamilton's IMDB info.

I remember him also from two Outer Limits (the original series) episodes - "The invisibles", and "The Belaro Shield".

Huge acting career, and a magician to boot!
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Postby Guest » 01/01/07 11:32 AM

Thats a pretty impressive body of film and TV work!

Ironically, I assumed (as David did) it was Floyd Thayer in two of the photos with Neil Hamilton. I guess I took it for granted to see a picture with him in his element, having spent the better part of his lifetime making magic, but a relatively young Police Commissioner Gordon just stuck out for me. I thought others would be interested in seeing these photos as well, regardless if they had prior knowledge of his interest in magic. Other than Kevins mention of one, has anyone else seen a magic related picture of Neil Hamilton? How about in any P.C.A.M. literature?

The early Genii mentions of Hamilton are few to say the least. I searched and found two small references to him. Only one mention is even in the body of an article, the other being in the fine print of an advertisement. Good eye and memory to those who remembered his magic interest from those few early Genii issues.

The more I think about it, I was probably wrong when I said that these were publicity photos for Hamilton, obviously not re-touched yet if they were. They are more likely Thayers pictures, and the real focus meant to be the props and not Hamilton? Thayer may have used him, being a popular film star and magic enthusiast at the time for these shots of some of his wares? Just tossing it out there as an idea for discussion, it seems the most plausible?

If the photos of the stage are indeed at Brookledge, and the guillotine a Lester Lake, it dates them to the early 30s. That puts Floyd in his mid fifties and Hamilton in his early 30s, looks about right I guess?

Regards, Mark Damon
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Postby Guest » 01/01/07 04:26 PM

I have an orig. 8 X 10 of Hamilton doing a silk routine holding a change bag. I have another one of him with Bill Williston. He was a well known magician among show biz big wigs.
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Postby Guest » 01/01/07 07:13 PM

Thanks for the addition information Doug.

I must have had some sort of real brain lock or touch pad problems when originally searching Alexander, and I did it at least three or four different time!!! For some reason I couldnt, or didnt ever get to the bottom of the first page to continue on to the next page of Alexanders search results, and I never noticed the number of hits shown at the top of the page. I just found this out while now using my laptop with a mouse, instead of the touch pad. Boy do I feel dumb!!! And no it's not my first time using Alexander!!!

I have now obviously found all the Genii references to which David referred (thank you). I even located the picture of Thayer drawing a card from Hamilton in the Dec 1931 issue of the Sphinx. It was taken on Thayers stage.

Thanks again for the input of everyone, I will be a little more cautious with my future searches and posts!

Regards, Mark

P.S. I just noticed brain lock number two of mine, my topic title should have read Holy and not Holly. I give up!
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Postby Guest » 01/01/07 11:50 PM

Neil also attended meetings of the Los Angeles Society of Magicians, that a number of Hollywood movie people attended...Jimmy Stewart, Chester Morris, Edgar Bergen, Harold Lloyd, King Vidor and others.
I think this was brought up in other threads about Harold Lloyd and others.
I believe there are photos of him in the Thayer book, "Keep the Wheels Turning."
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Postby Guest » 01/20/07 03:56 PM

Neil Hamilton, aside from his later TV credits, was a featured star in motion pictures and serials, generally as a villain. Hew was the second male lead in the 1932 "TARZAN, THE APE MAN" and the 1934 sequel "TARZAN AND HIS MATE," in which he lusted after Maureen O'Sullivan but lost out to Johnny Weismuller both times.

Now that we know he was not only an ivory pirate but a magician, too, Jane's decision to stay with Tarzan may have become clearer...

Best always,

Mark Nelson
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