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Home>Magic Library>Biographies>I Biographies>Irving, Doc

Irving, Doc

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Doc Irving

Vaudeville Magician

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Doc Irving
  • 1900-1978
  • Real Name: M. Irving Papkin
  • Birthday: ?
  • Birthplace: Russia
  • Buried: ?

Doc Irving was a vaudeville magician specializing in a two-person mindreading act along with his wife, "Princess Yvonne".

When he was five years old, his family emigrated to New York City, where he became fascinated with magic. He learned some tricks, plus a basic mindreading code from Hal Usher at Coney Island.

By age 15, Irving was briefly employed as a stage assistant by Ching Ling Foo before going out on his own as "Hindu Rama, The Wonderous Boy Magician".

Appearing on vaudeville programs with other magicians who were working mindreading acts, Irving quickly learned the secret code systems that were most successful. He needed a partner though, and in 1921, he married Mary Ellen Norris, who proved to be both clever and inventive.

For years, the Irvings worked the vaudeville circuits to great success. In 1930, their daughter, Yvonne Loretta was born. Within a few years, she was part of the act, billed as "The World's Youngest Mental Marvel".

During the 1940's, vaudeville faded, and Yvonne Loretta left the act to pursue a career as an opera singer. Irving and his wife sold dream books after their shows to earn more money to keep them going.

In 1949, Doc Irving became the manager of the Hardeen show. For several seasons, they toured with hardeen, and "Princess Yvonne" was featured in a mindreading segment of the show.

The Irvings played smaller and smaller venues into the 1950's and 1960's, eventually specializing in school shows and large family events.

When performing his magic for children, Irving delighted them with his "magic words"- "Hahcha Mahcha" or "Moolah Boolah"!

Doc Irving died in 1978, having never retired from show business.


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