historical figures who are magicians

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.
Anthony Brahams
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Re: historical figures who are magicians

Postby Anthony Brahams » September 28th, 2005, 5:02 am

Stopped my last posting too soon Of course such as The Big Sleep and Ashphalt Jungle must be included. Comment re Fred MacMurray reminded me of The Mask of Demetrios (1944) where I always find it strange thet Sidney Greenstreet is NOT a "baddie'.
Anthony

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Ryan Matney
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Re: historical figures who are magicians

Postby Ryan Matney » September 28th, 2005, 11:42 am

Double Indemnity is sort of a bridge in the noir style between the movies shot on sets and the movies shot on locations that got even darker and more cynical after the war.

Movie buffs usually refer to Orson Welles "Touch of Evil' or 'Kiss me Deadly' as the last true noir. Depends on what you consider noir. B&W, etc.

We way off topic now. :-)
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Re: historical figures who are magicians

Postby Paul Amerson » October 11th, 2005, 10:11 am

Former Secretary of State James A Baker,III was featured in a Genii magazine from the 1970's if memory serves me. He was serving as a U.S. Ambassador somewhere at the time the article was written.
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Re: historical figures who are magicians

Postby Richard Hatch » October 11th, 2005, 2:18 pm

Originally posted by Paul Amerson:
Former Secretary of State James A Baker,III was featured in a Genii magazine from the 1970's if memory serves me. He was serving as a U.S. Ambassador somewhere at the time the article was written.
I'm guessing this is a misidentification of former Secretary of State James A Baker III with former foreign service officer James W Baker, author of numerous books on magic for children. An article by the latter entitled "Diplomacy with a magic Touch" may be found in the June 1977 GENII. I once performed close up magic for the former secretary of state, and while his reactions were satisfyingly diplomatic, he gave no indication of having any personal knowledge of our craft.

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Pete Biro
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Re: historical figures who are magicians

Postby Pete Biro » October 11th, 2005, 3:34 pm

I think General Schwarkopf was or IS into magic. George Bush Sr., according to a friend of mine, was often seen in Al Cohen's magic shop in Washington.
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Re: historical figures who are magicians

Postby Guest » October 11th, 2005, 5:39 pm

Originally posted by pchosse:
British essayist, critic, and author, Edmund Wilson. In a collection of his essays, actually on the back of the dustjacket, there is a picture of him with cards in hand, apparently preparing to "Diagonally Shift" a card. Inside, a short story about magic...
That's probably the photo you can see here.

Edmund Wilson was an American, in fact, born in Red Bank, New Jersey.

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Re: historical figures who are magicians

Postby Guest » October 11th, 2005, 5:53 pm

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:

I've also seen (in person) Muhammed Ali vanish a silk in a thumbtip and then expose the thumbtip. One too many whacks in the head if you ask me.
Harvey Mackay described a session with Ali in which Ali performed the Balducci Levitation.

Muhammad has been doing these tricks for years. He's quite good at it.

"Watch my feet," he said. He took three steps, turned his back on me, and made himself appear to float three inches off the ground.

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Re: historical figures who are magicians

Postby Guest » October 11th, 2005, 7:51 pm

Originally posted by James in Toronto:
Originally posted by pchosse:
[b] British essayist, critic, and author, Edmund Wilson. In a collection of his essays, actually on the back of the dustjacket, there is a picture of him with cards in hand, apparently preparing to "Diagonally Shift" a card. Inside, a short story about magic...
That's probably the photo you can see here.

Edmund Wilson was an American, in fact, born in Red Bank, New Jersey. [/b]
Thanks, James! That is the photo I remember. And thank you for the correction re:nationality. I have no idea why I thought Wilson was british - just stuck in my head that way for some reason. I'll remember Red Bank forever, now...

Best, PSC

Anthony Brahams
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Re: historical figures who are magicians

Postby Anthony Brahams » October 12th, 2005, 1:34 am

Red Bank was also the birthplace of Count Basie. I am not going off topic because another jazzman, Sammy Rimington (Brtish trad. clarinettist) is very good at card magic, I read. The late Ronnie Scott, club owner, tenor sax. player and racontuer, also had a repertoire of card effects.
Anthony

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Re: historical figures who are magicians

Postby David Alexander » October 12th, 2005, 10:59 am

"Georgeous" George Wagner, the showman/wrestler was an expert with a deck of cards, or so Ray Muse used to tell me. George was the first of the "over the top" showmen who influenced at least two generations of performers. He was as famous as anyone could be after WW II until the late 50s, early 60s. He died in 1963.

Richard Lane
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Re: historical figures who are magicians

Postby Richard Lane » October 12th, 2005, 5:32 pm

I have a clip of Gorgeous George performing some card tricks on a TV show, to the dismay of the host who keeps trying to move on to other matters. He wasn't particularly graceful with the deck, maybe his large fingers, but was very charismatic and entertaining.

I liked him right away and had no idea who he was until I Googled. Quite a character.

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Re: historical figures who are magicians

Postby David Alexander » October 12th, 2005, 11:44 pm

George's flamboyance influenced a great many performers, none the least being Liberace whose career George preceeded by several years. Audiences ate up his antics in the ring....and the guy who called all the action on early televised wrestling? Dick Lane.

Dick was a great guy who was beloved by Southern California TV viewers. Many of the wrestling "holds" had names that Dick made up on the spot as part of his running commentary.

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Re: historical figures who are magicians

Postby Guest » October 21st, 2005, 3:00 am

Antoine de Saint-Exupery, french pilot and author of "Le Petit Prince", had quite a passion for card tricks.

Louis-Phillipe de Orleans was an amateur-escamoteur with a day-job as King of France from 1830 to 1848.

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David
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Re: historical figures who are magicians

Postby David » October 28th, 2005, 7:52 am

Sen. Hillery Clinton (D.NY) had an uncle who was a skilled card man and a bartender at the Ivanhoe in Chicago.

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Re: historical figures who are magicians

Postby Guest » October 28th, 2005, 9:26 am

Claude Shannon was a juggler. (Granted, it isn't magic, but considering the man's historical stature, I'll take it)


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