Ron Wilson Has Died

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Richard Kaufman
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Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 18th, 2010, 3:21 pm

Just got this from Alan Watson:

Broken Wand - Ron Wilson the Uncanny Scot

I am sorry to report the Ron Wilson the Uncanny Scot died last night of a heart attack in Los Angeles California

Ron was born in Scotland in 1926. Wilson's interest in magic was strengthened after watching Dante when he came to Dundee to perform. By the age of nine, he had given his first show at a hotel in Ireland during a family vacation trip.

At nineteen, after army service, he joined the Dundee Magic Circle where he became a close friend of Harry Carnegie and Johnny Geddis. Wilson played small towns one night stands and tried working in his father's business but finally decided to seek his fortune in Canada around 1952. He went to Windsor, Ontario, across a river from the Detroit where he became acquainted with Karrell Fox and Milt Kort. Wilson did a CBC-TV shot in Toronto and played club dates in the surrounding area of Detroit and Toledo.

He left the cold Canadian winters to move to sunnier California where The Magic Castle became a cornerstone of his career. This led him into performing at celebrity parties in Beverly Hills homes. He also started working cruise ships.

He estimates that he has played roles or done inserts, in about television shows including "Fantasy Island", "Rhoda" and "Ironside." Sometimes he would be a technical consultant or do the hands for actors as a gambler dealing poker hands and executing false cuts and push-throughs.

Wilson performed all over the world including Russia, China, Africa, Japan, India, Sweden, Hong Kong, and Las Vegas.
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Steve Bryant
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Steve Bryant » December 18th, 2010, 3:37 pm

This makes me more sad than most such notices, as I idolized Ron Wilson. He recently sent me a second, signed copy of his new book, and I couldn't have been happier. Do yourself a favor and procure a copy if you haven't already, as well of course of the wonderful book of his magic that Richard wrote.

Paul Green
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Paul Green » December 18th, 2010, 3:58 pm

We will all miss our dear friend and inspiration.


Paul Green

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Pete Biro
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Pete Biro » December 18th, 2010, 4:14 pm

Ron was a legendary character at the Castle and founder of the Friday lunch table 29... he will be missed.

I'm so glad he finished his latest book and had the pleasure of seeing those buy it enjoy it.

R.I.P. olde buddy.... :(
Stay tooned.

houdini's ghost
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby houdini's ghost » December 18th, 2010, 4:24 pm

About five or six years ago--maybe more, the time has flown--the doctors told Ron he needed open heart surgery. Might have been a quadruple bypass. Ron told them, "I've had a wonderful life, my wife is dead, and I don't care if I die tomorrow. I don't want to go through the discomfort of an operation."
He continued to thrive.
He also always ate whatever he liked. He hated vegetables, so, for the most part he avoided them in his diet.
He seemed to be a peaceful, happy, man.
Thoughtful, creative.
And he was a great performer.
I will always expect to see him at Friday lunch. He'll be there.

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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Scotto » December 18th, 2010, 5:43 pm

I was honored to have several dinners and just nights hanging out with Ron. His stories were wonderful and he always had an insight that that let you see things from a different point of view. Here is a toast to you with the Dewars and water.

R.I.P. my friend


This email is a natural product. The slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and beauty, and in no way are to be considered flaws or defects.

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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Y\'s-guy » December 18th, 2010, 5:51 pm

I couldn't find any words when I found this sad news. I still can't find them. I already finished translating Japanese edition of "The Uncanny Scot" book that will be publish next spring in Japan. Whenever I send my questions on his works, he really kindly answered every single my questions. As far as I read his emails, he seems really young! He was one of my idols. R.I.P. my idol and Im proud that I can work with him.


Jon Racherbaumer
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » December 18th, 2010, 6:08 pm

Except when their vital presences exit the Here and Now, the magicians we affectionately revere, respect and know, and their physical absences in our lives are scarcely noticed when we are away from them and going about our business... Nevertheless, we continually reanimate them in the memories we replay, and they remain vitally alive in the films, videos, audio recordings, and books we experience in week-to-week ways. Also, when we are away from them, we hope and expect to eventually see them again in a shareable Here and Now.

Alas, I will not see Charles Reynolds, David Alexander, and Ron Wilson again.

How strange...

Just last night I was reading Tales of An Uncanny Scot and remembering. Two weeks ago I ran across a silhouette that David Alexander had cut for me, along with some photographs snapped at a lecture he gave here a few years ago on the History of Silhouette Cutting. A month ago I sat perusing the great poster book that Charlie Reynolds put out, remembering our last, brief conversation together.

All three gentlemen have now left us. All three have left legacies and I lament the unfinished business and knowledge that these men never got around to memorializing. But I'm deeply grateful for having known them and for having their gifts to magicdom always available.

A pall may have momentarily settled,
but all snow eventually melts...


Jim Riser
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Jim Riser » December 18th, 2010, 8:29 pm

This has been a rough fall for magic. Another great is gone. Over the years I was able to appreciate Ron Wilson's work probably 10 times. His calm and gentlemanly manner when performing were wonderful. His absence is a great loss to magic. I am fortunate to have experienced his work. This is another sad day.

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Dustin Stinett » December 18th, 2010, 8:40 pm

Ron Wilson was the first professional magician I saw perform in person. My brother snuck me into a theater where he worked and I stood in back and got see how magic was supposed to be done. It is a memory I will carry with me forever.

Thanks Ron. Rest well.


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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Terry » December 18th, 2010, 8:47 pm

It seems we are losing most if not all of our connection to the past of magic and the Castle.

R.I.P. Mr. Wilson.

John Scanlan
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby John Scanlan » December 18th, 2010, 9:13 pm

During my time on the BOD I sat between Billy & Ron. Between the two I could never keep a straight face. Ron fast became a dear friend. I am devastated. Aloha my friend.

John Scanlan

Glenn Bishop
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Glenn Bishop » December 18th, 2010, 10:29 pm

Ron was the person that booked me to perform at the magic castle. I enjoyed meeting him he was a true gentleman and a grand master of magic.

I will miss him.

David Oliver
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby David Oliver » December 18th, 2010, 11:27 pm

This is getting to be too much already; Bobby Baxter, Presto, Polaris, Charles Reynolds, Bob Elliott, Frank Brents, Walter Childs and now, Ron Wilson. Whoever's booking this gig, I know it's a hell of a line-up, but you can stop now, please!

Before I performed on my first cruise gig, Ron Wilson was one of the people who offered great advice and experience. I had met him only a couple of times at that point, yet he was willing to share his experiences over the phone with the "kid from Boston." Eventually, when I was booked on that first cruise, I was booked for three months straight (before the days of the internet and cell phones). Other than walk around deck between shows, there wasn't much to do after a few weeks. I would have enjoyed bringing my entire magic library with me to catch up. However, there was only enough room in my luggage to bring one book with me. I brought "The Uncanny Scot." That was all I needed.

Thanks for the advice, for always being the gentleman, and for the constant inspiration. You will be missed, Mr. Wilson.
- DO

Jonathan Townsend
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Jonathan Townsend » December 18th, 2010, 11:38 pm

Perhaps it's a good time to learn to be more aware of who we have among us to appreciate and make sure they know we enjoy what they've given us? A reason to call those who are still in our phonebooks as we cross out a few numbers that used to be answered by folks who are not with us anymore.

The Magic Apple
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby The Magic Apple » December 18th, 2010, 11:48 pm

I had the honor of hosting a book signing with him and was granted permission to release and effect with him! A True Gentleman and REAL professional.
Follow us: @The_Magic_Apple

Tom Gilbert
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Tom Gilbert » December 19th, 2010, 12:23 am

I got to meet Ron back in '91 at one of Hank Lee's Cape Cod conventions. Incredible performer and real nice guy. He seemed to enjoy signing my book.

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Magic Newswire
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Magic Newswire » December 19th, 2010, 1:02 am

It has been much more than a rough week. It has been a rough 12 months. There is a far too large pile of broken wands on the magic landscape this year. I know that it is inevitable, but it seems that we get more than our fair share at this time of the year. That was part of the reason that I posted the Houdini story. I needed a distraction from all this loss. My best wishes to Ron's loved ones!

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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Terrence » December 19th, 2010, 8:11 am


Remembering Ron and thinking of him at Table 29. Cheers to a great magician and warmest of spirits.

Michael Close
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Michael Close » December 19th, 2010, 10:04 am

I saw Ron in his prime at the Castle several times when I was a young man. His close-up act was a gorgeous thing. It would be worth your time to search the back issues of Genii for a trick of his called The Highland Hop. I fooled a lot of people with that trick way back when.

Diamond Jim Tyler
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Diamond Jim Tyler » December 19th, 2010, 10:48 am

Ron will be missed. What a great guy and magician. He was my contact when working the Castle my first few times. I 'll always have fond memories meeting him for the first time at the Castle and listening to his stories. One of my favorite magic books is still The Uncanny Scot. My condolences to his loved ones.
Diamond Jim Tyler

Tom Gilbert
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Tom Gilbert » December 19th, 2010, 1:12 pm

Highland Hop is explained on the DVD that comes with Ron's new book. Explained by Ron and R. Paul Wilson. The book is a very fun read.

Andrew Martin Portala
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Andrew Martin Portala » December 19th, 2010, 1:56 pm

Wow another great magician has disappeared. Never saw him performed or met him. But I love his book,"The Uncanny Scot."
I have performed his Second Sight many times. A great piece of magic. In honored of Mr. Wilson here is Kreskin performing it.

West McDonough
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby West McDonough » December 19th, 2010, 5:47 pm

Ron was an unfaltering bright light for me at the Castle I can't imagine the place without him.

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Donal Chayce
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Donal Chayce » December 20th, 2010, 4:18 am

I am truly stunned by this shocking, sad news.

Ron was one of the most gracious and generous magicians I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. After a brief series of email exchanges he entrusted me with one of his signature routines. I'm so glad that I was able to work it up and show it to him (and get his critique and coaching) earlier this year.

This bit of verse by Robert Burns comes to mind:

When Death's dark stream I ferry o'er,
A time that surely shall come;
In Heaven itself I'll ask no more
Than just a Highland welcome.

It's too sad to think of the upcoming "Scottish Week" at the Magic Castle taking place without The Uncanny Scot.

Rest in peace, kind sir. I'll raise a glass of Glenmorangie in your honor and another in your memory.
The MacGician®

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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Howard » December 20th, 2010, 5:56 am

I remember meeting Ron in 1970 and I was very impressed with his warmth and friendliness. I was honored when Ron asked me if I had a photo of him myself and the Professor for he wanted to put that in his latest book.

The list is getting shorter and shorter but even if this is so, no one can ever take away the memories.

I will miss you Ron.

Howard Hamburg

Jerry Harrell
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Jerry Harrell » December 20th, 2010, 9:05 am

Another huge loss to the magic community! Condolences to his many friends and family.

Frank Quiroz
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Frank Quiroz » December 20th, 2010, 4:40 pm

2 years ago for my wedding anniversary, my wife and I were leaving a restaurant named Yamashiro and made a wrong turn into the lot of this place called "The Magic Castle". I kinda knew what it was but didn't pay any mind to it. 2 months ago I was shopping with my 2 year old and saw a deck of bicycle cards, decided to buy it and learn a trick or 2 for fun. I was browsing YouTube to see if I could learn a thing or 2 for free and remembered this place called" The Magic Castle ". I typed it in the keywords and the first video on the list was "the uncanny newspaper" and just under it "the Uncanny bottles". I watched both of these videos and I couldn't say I was ever entertained by magic as much as I was then, ever. I wanted to know who this guy was, I wanted to see him perform live. Little did I know, the video was over 20 years old and this guy was over 80 years old. So I did some research on Ron Wilson and saw that he had a book published in 1987. "I've got to have this book!" I said to myself, oh wow! The only copy I could find was over $300.00! I settled for his recent book and wow. What a great life! To shorten things I eventually bought the 1987 book and am glad I did. Last Friday night I was performing the uncanny newspaper for my mom and had no idea that he had just passed, in fact I told my mom "he's pretty old, I want to see him in person and even get his autograph in my book before he passes, too bad, now it will never happen I'm inspired to become a professional magician because of him. All should use this thread to celebrate his life! R.I.P. Ron Wilson you've made a great impact!
Frank Quiroz

Shawn Farquhar
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Shawn Farquhar » December 21st, 2010, 3:35 am

I had the honour and pleasure of having Ron as my agent for cruise ships for over a decade. He was an honest man who did right by my family. He not only booked my calendar but offered me sage advice that helped me stay on ships pretty much year round and for more money than he had ever obtained for others. Our conversations were always long and full of stories. I was so thrilled when he agreed to write his latest book. I devoured it in an evening. It was only last week when I spoke to him last. In fact we talked three times that week and I had the opportunity to thank him again for all he has done for me and my family. I have lost a friend, mentor and hero and the world of magic has lost another legend. It took me a long time to add to this thread but it is heartwarming to see he touched so many people ... even ones he never knew.

My thoughts are with Heather and her family during this terrible time ...
Shawn Farquhar

"if you can't laugh at yourself, you're just not getting the joke."

Doug Clark
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Doug Clark » December 21st, 2010, 6:35 pm

I just found out today about Ron's passing. I never had the chance to meet him, although I have enjoyed his book, The Uncanny Scot, for years. I purchased his new volume in early October and also corresponded with him a couple of times. He graciously agreed to sign three Geniis, a Linking Ring, and his first book for me. I sent them to him prior to Thanksgiving and received them back on November 29. On December 1, I finished his newest book, Tales of the Uncanny Scot, thoroughly enjoying every page of it. He was very kind and generous to me and I miss the opportunity of never getting to meet and thank him in person. This is a true loss to the magic community.

Heather Manzon
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Heather Manzon » December 22nd, 2010, 12:21 pm

My heart is broken knowing I'll never see him, talk to him or hug him again. Dad loved his family, he loved his friends and he was passionate about magic his entire life.

Joe, Laura and I are touched and truly grateful for your kind words and wonderful memories of my dad. We are especially grateful to Joe, Ingrid, Steve, Stephanie and Alfonso. Your love and friendship has helped us through these heartbreaking days.

Thank-you all for being a part of my dad's life.

Marien Hopman
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Re: Ron Wilson Has Died

Postby Marien Hopman » December 23rd, 2010, 3:01 pm

When I was a kid (1965 age 17) Ron used to be at the monthly meetings of the Windsor Magic Circle. We then met at the Elmwood Casino (which was really a high end night club) in Windsor Ontario Canada. Being a kid then and meeting Ron Wilson and seeing him do his stuff, well here is was a "Real Magician". He looked like a magician with his silver hair and mousthace. Ron was always a gentleman. At that time Ron worked for a Customs Brokerage house here in Windsor. While Ron was at the Magic Castle and in those years when it was more difficult to get in, I was always going to call and write that one of the twins from Canada was in the area and wanted to see the castle. I am sure that Ron would have sponsored me. I still have some VHS tape of Ron doing some T.V. work for Dale Harney out of Calgary B.C. who had a weekly show called the Magic Palace. Ron we will all miss
the uncanny Scot but never forget your Magic.
Marien Hopman
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