Magicians' Biographies - Letter L

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(1872-1911)(birthday February 24) German-born illusionist (real name Sigmund Neuberger) noted for his elaborate stage settings and spectacular showmanship. He began his career as an imitator of Ching Ling Foo, but he eventually became one of the highest-paid performers in vaudeville. His excellent quick-change routine as well as dramatic illusions such as his own Lion's Bride (Lady to Lion) made him very popular. He also had an extraordinary devotion to his dog, Beauty, a small mixed breed given to him by Harry Houdini. He was killed in Scotland during a performance at the Edinburgh Theater (now the Edinburg Festival Theater) when the stage props caught fire from an overturned lantern. Buried in Piersfield Cemetery, Edinburgh, Scotland. The ghost of Lafayette is said to haunt the theater where he died.
La Follette, George
(1886-1960) (birthday December 8) American magician and quick change artist. For more than 20 years also performed as "Rush Ling Toy", keeping his real identity secret.
Lambert, Leslie
British broadcaster of mystery stories aka "A.J. Alan"
Read the biography of Leslie Lambert!
Lane, Frank
(?-?) American magician on the Lyceum and Chautauqua circuits, circa 1925. He also played the piano with his feet while standing on his head.
LaPĂ´tre, Alexander
(?-?) French magician in the late 1800s who specialized in hypnotism and "demonstrations both artistic and scientific". He was also a founding member of the Association Syndicale des Artistes Prestigitaeurs, in 1903.
Larsen, Milt
(1931-?) American comedy magician who co-founded the Magic Castle in California as well as the Society for the Preservation of Variety Arts.
Larsen, William W.
(1905-1953) American lawyer and magician who founded Genii magazine. He also purchased and operated Thayer Magic Co. from 1942 to 1947. Father of William Jr., uncle of Milt, husband of Geraldine.
Larsen, William W. Jr.
(1928-?) American television producer and magician who co-founded the Magic Castle in California and, with mother Geraldine, edited Genii magazine for many years. Husband of Irene.
Larson, Charles
(1870-1950) American magic enthusiast who amassed one of the largest collections of magical apparatus. He exhibited his more than 20,000 pieces of equipment in his private Museum of Magic, located in Manhattan and open only to fellow magicians by appointment. In 1938, he founded a private magic club called the Inner Circle of Magicians. By 1944, he had become ill, and sold part of his collection to Lou Tannen, keeping the most valuable pieces along with his extensive book collection. A few years later, in 1949, he sold those pieces and books to George McManus.
Laube, Mac
(?-?) European actor who played the part of "Bosco" for a time in the LeRoy-Talma-Bosco act.
Lauder, Peggy
(?-?) German female magician who gained great success with her unusual act- she would perform an amazingly skilled manipulation act while blindfolded. Prior to her own success, she toured the U.S. vaudeville circuit with her uncle and stage partner, magician John Olms.
Laurant, Eugene
(1875-1944) One of the most successful American magicians of the early 20th century.
Lavand, René
(b.?) Argentina-born magician (real name Renato Lavandeira) well-known for his incredible skill with cards. His ability not only with second deals, but even with dealing fifths, sixths and sevenths, is even more amazing in that he only has one arm, his left. He performed on American television (notably the Ed Sullivan Show) in the late 1950's and early 1960's, and has continued to tour and perform through to today. In 1997, he was featured on the TV program World's Greatest Magic III. He also authored a book on magic in 1989, English title Slow Motion Magic.
Leaney, Gil
(?-?) British illusion builder and apparatus maker whose magical customers included Dante, Harbin, Lyle and others.
Leat, Harry
(1974-1949) British magician and magic dealer known for his outspoken views, which he expressed and distributed free in his Leat's Leaflets. His favorite rants were against the exposure of magic secrets, and the mistreatment of animals.
LeBarge, John A.
(?-?) American variety performer on the Redpath Chautauqua circuit in the early 1900s. Performed magic as a secondary act to his main show of music and impersonations as "The LaBarge Musical Company".
LeBas, Albert
(1928-1972) Considered Ireland's leading magician, he was most noted for his presentation of Miser's Dream
Ledair, Jack
(1885-1958) British magician, author and music hall performer.
Leech, Al
(?-1974) Magician and author, most noted for highly inventive card magic.
Le Grand David
Theatrical character who stars in a full evening show that has a permanent home in the specially-designed Cabot Street Theatre in Beverly, Massachusetts. The founder of the troupe, Dr. Cesareo Pelaez, played the role of "Marco the Magi" until his death in 2012.
Leipzig, Nate
(1873-1939)(birthday May 31) Swedish-born magician (real name Nathan Leipziger) who gained fame for his close-up act performed on stage. Since the audience really could not see what was going on, a committee was invited onstage; the show's success depended on the audience enjoying the magic vicariously through the reactions of the committee. It is a tribute to Leipzig's talent that he was able to make a success of this unique kind of performance. He is best remembered, however, as a "magician's magician", a favorite performer at private engagements.
(1876-1951)(birthday August 5) American magician known as the Great Leon, his huge illusion show was known for its fast pace and spectacle, and especially for his signature illusion "Fire and Water", in which a female assistant was wrapped in paper and set on fire, only to reappear in a water-filled tank on the opposite side of the stage. Born Leon Harry Levy, he also performed an Oriental act early in his career as "Chunda Hula" and later, "Kadan Sami". His son, Leon Leon, and his grandson, Les Arnold, were also professional magicians.
Leon Leon
(1903-1998) (birthday January 27) American magician, real name Leon Marcus Levy. Son of The Great Leon. Worked as onstage assistant and partner to his father as "The Leons" until 1929, when he went into the motion picture business as a sound technician. He continued to enjoy magic as a hobby,
LePaul, Paul
(1900-1958)(birthday August 2) American magician (real name Paul Braden) who is considered by some to have been the greatest stage card manipulator in magic history.
LeRoy, Gene
(?-?) English actor who played the part of "Bosco" for a time in the LeRoy-Talma-Bosco act. Nephew of Servais LeRoy.
LeRoy, Servais
(1865-1953)(birthday May 4) Belgian-born magician who was not only a highly successful performer, but also a genius who invented such illusions as Asrah, Modern Cabinet, Palanquin and Costume Trunk. He performed with Imro Fox and Frederick Eugene Powell as "The Triple Alliance", but his most famous partnership was with his wife Talma (born Mary Ford) and Bosco, billed as "LeRoy-Talma-Bosco", the Comedians de Mephisto. Talma specialized in coin sleights, while Bosco was the comedy relief. From 1911 through 1913, Le Roy paused his professional stage career to invent and built illusions for other stage magicians, including the Duck Pan, still widely used today. He continued his stage career again, performing until 1930, when he suffered severe injuries in a car accident. This great magician ended his professional career with a disastrous performance in 1940, a poorly planned "comeback" in which he was not rehearsed, with material and costuming that was painfully out of date.
Lesley, Ted
(b. 1937) German magician, creator of The Working Performer's Marked Deck, a deck marking system.
Lester, Leslie
(1906-1968) British magician noted for his manipulation skill.
Levante, Les
(1892-1978) Australian born magician (real name Leslie Cole), he is noted as the creator of the Impaling illusion.
Lewis, Eric
(1908-?) British-born illusion builder and owner of Magikraft Studios. He built apparatus for the Milson-Worth Company, and did special work for the Albo collection. Though he developed many magic effects, his best known is the Diminishing Silk Production
Lewis, Martin
(b. 1946) British magician, son of Eric Lewis. Creator of a number of original effects, including Sidewalk Shuffle
Lewis, Shari
(1933-1998)(birthday January 17) American ventriloquist and magician known for her work in children's television. Her sock puppet, Lamb Chop, is arguably the most recognized vent figure in magic history. Her father, Dr. Abraham Hurwitz, was the Official Magician of New York City.
L'Homme Masque
(1835-1913) Peruvian magician (real name Jose Antenar de Gago) who performed primarily in France. His name, meaning "The Masked Man" came from the trademark mask he wore not only during performances, but any time he was in public. He was also known as Marquise d'Orighuela. His wife, "Zirka", performed with him until their retirement to a winery in Bordeaux in 1905.
Li Chang
(1916-?) Spanish magician (real name Juan Forns Jordana) who performed an Oriental themed act, first as "Ling Fu" in the early 1940s, then as "Li Chang" starting in 1946. Sometimes billed as "The Yellow Devil".
Liebenow, Erhard
(b. 1937) German-born magician whose specialty is magic with poker chips.
Lightner, Joe
(?-?) American magician on the Lyceum and Chautauqua circuits.
(1891-1922) French magician (real name Paul-Lucien Linard) who specialized in spectacular and truly dangerous escapes. Had a very public professional rivalry with Houdini.
Linardini, Mme.
(?-?) Wife of French escapeologist Linardini. Performed her own spectacular escapes, including "Torment at the Hands of the Indians", a very theatrical presentation (complete with costumed "Indians") where she was blindfolded, bound head-to-toe with rope, and hung from a support over a burning campfire, only to escape unharmed. After her husband died at the young age of 31, she continued to perform their show for a number of years by herself.
(?-?) Polish magician whose wife was killed in 1820 as they performed the Bullet Catch.
Lippincott, Jack
(?-?) American magician who invented the Lippincott Box, a small padlocked box from which a previously-vanished coin is produced. Was a professor of psychology.
Little, Bob
(1931-2022) Well-known American magician and magic dealer, noted for his exuberant personality, unusual wares, and catch phrase, "It's wild, man, wild!"
(?-?) American magician on the Lyceum and Chautauqua circuits.
Lohrey, Carl S.
(?-?) American magician and magic dealer out of Dayton, Ohio. Invented the Mismade Flag in 1925.
Long Tack Sam
(1885-1961) Chinese magician and acrobat whose greatest success was in the United States. He was most noted for his production of a goldfish bowl while performing a backward somersault.
Loo, DeYip
(?-?) Asian American magician and illusion builder. Started as a valet to Blackstone Sr., and later appeared variously as "Chan Loo, The Magical Mandrin," "Chan Lu", "Timothy O'Rourke," "Ching Lee" and "Louie". Most noted for his redesign and perfection of the Light Bulb Cabinet.
Lorayne ,Harry
(b. 1930)(birthday May 4) American magician and mentalist most known for his expertise in mnemonics, or memorization through association.
Lorraine, Sid
(1905-1989)(birthday April 24) British-born Canadian magician, author and originator of a number of magic effects (Snakes Alive, Thumb Fun) and moves, including the Slop Shuffle
Lowe, Fred
(?-1972) British magician and magic dealer of quality effects. He is credited with creating the Christened Reverse, the precursor to Fred the Card trick.
Lowini, E.
(?-?) German magician (real name Edmund Laustern) who was performing in Paris in the early 1900s.
(1897-1968) Born E. Loyd Enochs, he was a talented magician, author and creator of a popular version of the Multiplying Candles
Lucile, Mme.
(?-?) Stage name of the female mindreader who appeared in Benevol's shows. She was billed as "The Prodigious Visionary- All the World Wants To Question Her".
Lund, Robert
(1925-1995)(birthday May 4) American magician, author and collector who operated the American Museum of Magic in Marshall, Michigan, regarded as the largest museum of magic in the world. He was buried in Lakeside Cemetery in Colon, Michigan.
Lupo, Vito
(b. 1962) American magician who began his career appearing with Richiardi Jr. His mime/magic act won first place for stage magic at FISM; he was the first U.S. contestant to win the award.
Lustig, David J.
(1893-1977) Best known as technical advisor to Dunninger, he devised many of the "brain buster" tests Dunninger used on radio and TV. He also wrote a number of books under the name "LaVellma".
Lyle, Cecil
(1892-1955) British-born magician who developed an impressive illusion show as The Great Lyle and His Mystery Box Revue. Best known for his Magical Milliner act, he introduced the Hat Tear and the Vanishing Gramophone (later known as the Vanishing Radio).
Lynn, Dr. H.S.
(1840-1900)(birthday October 17) British-born magician (real name Hugh Simmons) who specialized in spirit magic. His featured illusion, Palengenesia, involved taking a human body apart, limb by limb, and then putting it back together. Legend has it that he performed this illusion at a theater in Milwaukee, where a young Houdini saw the trick and decided to become a magician.
Lyon, Irving M.
(1904-1964) Belgian-born magician and comedian who performed as "Zuzan", a comical Indian character.
Lyons, Dr. L. Vosburgh
(1892-1976) Magician, physician and author noted for his invention of several magical puzzler effects.
Lyons, P. Howard
(1927-1976) Canadian-born magician best known for his magazine Ibidem, a sporadically-published journal of card magic. The magazine was illustrated by his wife, Pat Patterson Lyons.