Magicians' Biographies - Letter A

Read about the incredible "Strong Woman", the Cowboy Magician, the father of the modern circus and more!

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Alexander the man Who Knows
Abbott, Annie
The fascinating "Little Georgia Magnet" inspired scores of similar show biz acts of seemingly superhuman strength
Read the biography of Annie Abbott - see images!
Abbott, David
Eccentric magic inventor had an elaborate magic theater in his home, filled with ingenious built-in trickery and the secret techniques used by fake mediums
Read the biography of David Abbott - see images!
Abbott, Percy
Co-founder of Abbott's Magic Co.
Read the biography of Percy Abbott - see images!
Absolons, The
Family of Czechoslovakian illusionists (Karel, Blanka, Petr, Lucie, Monika)
Read the biography of The Absolons - see images!
Abson, Keith
20th Century Australian caravan magician
Read the biography of Keith Abson!
Ackermann, Georg
German stage magician and father of Trikson
Read the biography of Georg Ackermann!
Ackermann, Ursula
Mid-20th Century German female stage magician
Read the biography of Ursula Ackermann!
Adair, Ian
Author and inventor of more than 3,000 effects
Read the biography of Ian Adair - see images!
Adams, E. Clinton
Early 20th century American magician who performed closeup effects as his stage act
Read the biography of E. Clinton Adams!
Adams, Ernest Henry
Cofounder of the Magic Circle with Neil Weaver and Herbert J. Collings
Read the biography of Ernest Henry Adams!
Adams, Graham
Popular British card magician and expert on Erdnase
Read the biography of Graham Adams!
Adams, S.S.
Founder of S.S. Adams Co., famous manufacturer of practical jokes and pocket tricks
Read the biography of Sam Adams - see images!
Adelphia, Del
The "Cowboy Magician"
Read the biography of Del Adelphia - see images!
Adrian, Mons.
Wildly successful French magician, ventriloquist and plate spinner
Read the biography of Mons Adrian!
Ady, Thomas
17th century author connected to the Salem Witch trials
Read the biography of Thomas Ady - see images!
French magician and founder of the ASAP, owner of a major book collection
Read the biography of Agosta-Meynier - see images!
Agoston, Chevalier
German magician and inventor who had his own floating theater
Read the biography of Chevalier Agoston - see images!
Aich, Jewel
Bangladesh magician billed as "The World's Most Artistic Illusionist"- and player of the Bansari
Read the biography of Jewel Aich - see images!
Ainslie, Arthur
British magician and author aka "F.M. Archer"
Read the biography of Arthur Ainslie!
Akopjan, Arutjun
Popular 20th Century Russian stage illusionist
Read the biography of Arutjun Akopjan- see images!
Polish stage illusionist and watchmaker
Read the biography of Alachini!
Aladdin, Johnny
American illusionist, hypnotist and television actor
Read the biography of Johnny Aladdin- see images!
Alan, Alan
Magician and escape artist who invented the Burning Rope escape
Read the biography of Alan Alan- see images and video!
Alan, Don
Host of the 1960's TV program Don Alan's Magic Ranch
Read the biography of Don Alan- see images and video!
Alba, Professor Jr.
Spanish magician, mentalist and stage hypnotist- the son of the original
Read the biography of Professor Alba Jr.- see images!
Alba, Professor Sr.
Spanish magician, mentalist and stage hypnotist- the original
Read the biography of Professor Alba Sr.- see images!
Swiss magician aka "Albany"
Read the biography of Albany- see images!
Swiss magician and mentalist in pre-WWII Berlin and Paris
Read the biography of Albany- see images!
Albenice, John
American club magician and author who specialized in magic with reels
Read the biography of John Albenice- see images!
French 19th century magician and author
Read the biography of Alber- see images!
19th century French magician who may have invented Ambitious Card
Read the biography of Alberti!
20th century Belgian magician and mentalist aka "Pickman"
Read the biography of Pickman!
Alberti, Giuseppe
18th century Italian scientist and author
Read the biography of Giuseppe Alberti!
Alberto, Harold
Australian comedy magician, a true "sad clown"
Read the biography of Harold Alberto- see images!
Albini, Herbert
Polish-born stage illusionist who inspired Horace Goldin
Read the biography of Herbert Albini- see images!
Albini, Lieutenant
The original "Albini"
Read the biography of Lieutenant Albini!
Albo, Dr. Robert
American magician and magic historian who amassed one of the most important collections of magical apparatus and wrote an important set of reference books
Read the biography of Dr. Robert Albo- see images!
Albright, Clayton
American magician, musician and renowned magic collector
Read the biography of Clayton Albright!
Albright, Howard
American magician, author and clay pottery artist
Read the biography of Howard Albright!
American magician who invented the Aldini Bowl Production
Read the biography of Aldini- see images!
European whiteface clown who used electricity in his late 19th century act
Read the biography of Aldow- see images!
Alrich, Charles T.
American magician and quick-change artist. Father of actor Gale Gordon.
Read the biography of Charles Aldrich- see images!
American magician and psychic performer, famous as "The Man Who Knows"
Read the biography of Alexander- see images!
Alexander the Conqueror
German magician Alexander Heimburger, first magician to perform at the White House
Read the biography of Alexander Heimburger- see images!
Alfredson, James B.
American magician, author and magic historian
Read the biography of James Alfredson!
Ali, Hadji
Egyptian magician famous for his spectacular vaudeville regurgitation act
Read the biography of Hadji Ali- see images!
Ali Bey
British illusionist who performed as an Arab character
Read the biography of David Lemmy!
Ali Bongo
British comedy magician and author
Read the biography of Ali Bongo- see image!
Society magician and expert on card cheats and gambling methods
Read the biography of Allan- see image!
Allen, Ken
American performer, magic dealer and inventor of Chinatown Quarter
Read the biography of Ken Allen!
Allen, Lyman
American magic dealer and inventor of Blok-Cord
Read the biography of Lyman Allen!
Allen, Stan
American magician and publisher of MAGIC magazine.
Read the biography of Stan Allen!
Allerton, Bert
American nightclub magician who used the Vanishing Bird Cage as a closeup trick
Read the biography of Bert Allerton- see image!
Allison, Van K.
American magician and editor of The Conjuring Record
Read the biography of Van Allison!
(1895-1967) Russian illusionist who performed in character as an Oriental Indian.
Alma, Mysterious
(1880-1956) Australian illusionist who performed over 2,000 shows for the USO during WWII. Father of Will Alma.
Alma, Will
(1904-1993) Australian illusionist, son of The Mysterious Alma and renowned magic collector
German illusionist
Read the biography of Alvata- see image!
Alvaro, Professor N.P.
(1882-1943) India-born classical illusionist who often toured Europe and the Far East
(1885-1975) French illusionist (real name Alfred Auzet) and owner of the Grand Palais des Illusions, the Paris magic theater which he opened in 1928
Amac, Bill
(1890-1961) British magician who invented the Find the Lady illusion.
Amadria, Elsa
French female magician- or fictional illustration on an advertising poster
Read the biography of Elsa Amadria- see image!
(?-?) British magician (real name William F. Tunnah) who specialized in kids' shows. Wrote Santa's Workshop
(?-?) Eighteenth century French magician who is credited with combining magic with the art of shadowgraphy, paving the way for other magician/shadowgraphers like Max Holden
(1890-1974) Houdini's advance man, planting secret listening devices in the audience. Also one of the first cruise ship magicians.
Ammar, Michael
(b. 1956) (birthday June 25) American close up magic expert, especially with Cups & Balls and Topit. Performer, author and lecturer with many television appearances. Married to Hannah, daughter of Frances Willard and Glenn Falkenstein.
Amwell, Lord
(1876-1966) (birthday Oct. 8) British magician and member of Parliament who invented the Bluff Pass. Was also a member of the Ghost Club.
(1858-1933) French magician (real name Emile Duval) whose career began in 1889 and continued until his death 44 years later. Performed typical stage illusions, mainly with his own travelling Cirque Féerique Anderson from 1905 until 1933. Served as director of the Cabinet Fantastique in Paris for several years.
Anderson, Alice Hannah
(1847-1875) Daughter of John Henry Anderson and one of his stage assistants in the 1860s. Used stage name of "Flora". By 1870, she was touring with her own show, billed as "Jennie Anderson". Drowned in a boating accident in New Zealand while on tour in 1875.
Anderson, Angeline
(1849-1921) Second wife of John Henry Anderson Jr. Real name Angeline Trumeller. Started out as one of John Henry Anderson's stage assistants, billed as "Leona Anderson".
Anderson, Doug
One of four actors to portray the Bonomo Magic Clown on TV
Read the biography of Doug Anderson- see image!
Anderson, Gene
(b. 1941) (birthday May 21) American magician best known for his version of the Torn and Restored Newspaper trick.
Anderson, Hannah
(?-?) Wife of John Henry Anderson, mother of Alice Hannah, Columbia, Helena Elizabeth, John Jr. and Oscar.
Anderson, Harry
(b. 1952) American magician and actor with a specialty in "con artist"-type magic. Best known for his roles as Harry the Hat on Cheers and as Judge Stone on Night Court.
Anderson, Helena Elizabeth
(1846-1918) Daughter of John Henry Anderson and one of his stage assistants in the 1860s. Used stage names of "Eliza", "Lizzie", "Lena" and "Helen". In 1877, she married Alfred Miles Holmes, and joined his show until they retired in 1902.
Anderson, Isabella Jean
(1854-1944) Niece of John Henry Anderson, and one of his stage assistants in the 1860s. Used stage names of "Ada Anderson" and "Bella Anderson".
Anderson, John Henry
(1814-1874) One of the best magic showmen in history, he billed himself as "The Wizard of the North"
Anderson, Louise
(?-?) Daughter of John Henry Anderson, she partnered with him in one of the earliest two-person mentalism acts (mid-1800's) in which, blindfolded, she would describe articles handed to her father by members of the audience
Anderson, Louise Maude
(?-?) First wife of Philip Anderson, she also acted as his stage assistant.
Anderson, Philip Prentice
(1844-1920) English-born magician who was the illegitimate son of John Henry Anderson. From 1858 until 1867, he toured with his father's illusion show. In 1867, he went out on his own, billed as "Signor Rubini" and touring Europe and the United States. Having little success, he abandoned his own show, working for about a year on Heller's show as one of his assistants. Just before his father's death, he took over the character of "Prof. Anderson, The Wizard of the North", mostly touring outside the United States. By 1900, he retired from show business and moved to Australia, where he became a dentist, then later moved to England where he died. His wives were also involved in his shows. His first wife was Louise Maude Anderson. His second wife, Blanche Louise Daniels, was billed as "Blanche De La Cour" or "Mlle. Blanche".
Andra, Rolf
(1907-1998) German magician who invented Andra's Extra Sensory Perception trick
Andre, Bob
(?-?) American magician best known for his invention of Anti Gravico.
Andrews, Grace
American female magician billed as "The Mystery Girl"
Read the biography of Grace Andrews!
Andrews, Val
(1926-2006) British magician and prolific author of magic biographies as well as Sherlock Holmes novels
Andrus, Jerry
(1920-2007) American magic inventor and author, most known for his Linking Pins and optical illusions.
Andruzzi, Tony
(1925-?) American-born multi-dimensional magic performer. Born Antonio C. Andruzzi, changed his name to Tom Palmer and developed a successful comedy magic act, which he performed from the early 1950's. In the 1970s, he changed his professional name back to Tony Andruzzi and developed a specialty in bizarre magic, writing and performing under the name Masklyn ye Mage or Daemon Ecks. Married from 1947 to 1964 to Gloria "Vampira" Jacobsen. Devised the Vampira Character for his wife as well as illusions for Doug Henning. Holds the record for the most TAOM awards won (seven).
Angel, Criss
(b. 1967) (birthday December 19) American-born magic superstar, rising to international fame in the early 2000s. Real name Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos. Currently residing in Las Vegas, where he headlines his own stage spectacular, "Believe", at the Luxor Hotel
Annemann, Theodore
(1907-1942) (birthday February 22) Best known for his contributions to the art of mentalism, Ted Annemann was an extraordinary card magician as well. Born Theodore John Squires, Annemann was an extremely talented performer, but a very troubled person. His almost unbearable bouts of stage fright gave him an ironic advantage when performing mentalism. Sometimes he would be so upset that he would shake and break out into a sweat; his audiences thought that this was "proof" that he was putting forth incredible mental effort! Annemann was preparing an exhibition of the Bullet Catch when life became too much for him, and he committed suicide. Annemann is still very influential in magic, and copies of his long-running publication, The Jinx, are very collectible.
Ansbach, Salo
(?-?) American magician on the Lyceum and Chautauqua circuits
Anthony, Henry
(?-?) British magician who billed himself as "The Swankiest Swank of All the Swanks". For a short time, his assistant was a young Carl Rosini. Anthony would "hypnotize" Rosini, supposedly turning Rosini into an incredibly talented magician; Rosini would then proceed to do his magic act. The partnership ended when Anthony stole Rosini's possessions and fled.
Anverdi, Tony
(1925-1995) (birthday August 20) Holland-born magician and inventor known for clever effects operated electronically, especially liquid effects. Originally a baker.
Vaudeville magician billed as one of the "Hungarian Necromancers"
Read the biography of Bellag- see image!
Applon, August
(?-1917) German magician (real name August Verner) who was one of the many Houdini imitators performing in Europe during the first decade of the 20th century.
(?-?) American magician, part Native American, who performed on the Lyceum circuit, mainly in the 1920s. Married to Emily Reno, daughter of Ed Reno
Armand, Prof.
(?-?) French magician, late 1800's, who worked with his wife mainly in Paris. Brief career.
Archer, F.M.
Pen name of Arthur Ainslie
Read the biography of Arthur Ainslie!
Armitage, Frank
(?-?) American comedy magician, character impersonator, ventriloquist and musician on the Redpath Chautauqua circuit in the 1920s. His show was called "The Laughter Barrage"
Armstrong, Ellen E.
First African American female magician who toured with her own show
Read the biography of Ellen Armstrong!
Armstrong, George
(?-?) British performer, author and magic book publisher. Former editor of Magic Wand and The Wizard publications. Owner of Magic Wand Publishing Co.
Armstrong, Prof. John Hartford
(1876-1939) African American magician from Spartanburg, South Carolina who toured for over 50 years with his own show, playing almost exclusively to black audiences. Referred to by other black entertainers as "The King of the Colored Conjurers", Armstrong wanted to educate his audiences as well as entertain them. He would use his magical effects to tell inspiring stories of the brave feats of historic African American heroes like Frederick Douglass' escape from slavery. A strong believer in black pride, Armstrong proudly advertised his racial heritage on his posters, promoting his show as "The Celebrated Armstrongs- Famous Colored Magicians- The Crowned Heads of Mystery". An excellent account of his life story is found in the book, Conjure Times: Black Magicians in America by Jim Haskins and Kathleen Benson.
Armstrong, Lily Mills
(?-?) African American female magician, she was the second wife of Prof. John Armstrong. She performed an impressive two-person mindreading act with her husband, playing the part of the blindfolded psychic. She also played the organ as accompaniment to the magic routines during the show.
Armstrong, Mabel
(?-1914) African American female magician, she was the first wife of Prof. John Armstrong and the mother of Ellen Armstrong. She assisted with the magic routines and also performed a two-person mindreading act with her husband.
American nightclub magician who performed "Fantasy In Smoke"
Read the biography of Arno- see images!
Arnold, Alex
(b. ?) American magician, performing stage magic with her father, Les Arnold. Great-granddaughter of The Great Leon.
Arnold, Les
(b. 1945) American magician, performing stage magic since the mid-1960s. Also an illusion builder for Mark Wilson and David Copperfield. Grandson of The Great Leon. Father of "Dazzle" Arnold.
Arrowsmith, George
(1887-1978) British magician, author and clergyman, founder of The Pentacle Club.
Ascanio, Arturo De
(?-1997) Spanish-born magician (full name D. Arturo de Ascanio Navas) known for inventing the Ascanio Spread in card magic, and also known for his Color Changing Knife routines.
Asia, Faye
(?-?) Stage mindreading act owned and promoted by Robert Nelson and Nelson Enterprises. Mentioned in the introduction to the later company catalogs.
Astley, Philip
(1742-1814) British magician who is also considered to be the father of the modern circus, as he built a large performance theater in London expressly for the presentation of grand illusion shows and circus arts productions. He featured the Bullet Catch act. Astley also had a special coin minted to promote himself.
Atkins, Jeffrey
(b. ?) British magician who is noted for his recreations of spectacular illusions of the great names in magic. One of only two Englishmen to be elected president of the I.B.M.
Atkins, Tommy
(1927-2000) American female magician and ventriloquist, with her puppet "Oogie". Real name: Ruth Buckley. A star of television's first broadcast station (WRGB in Schenectady, NY) with her "Story Lady" children's program in 1948, she had a successful career in corporate and amusement park magic. Most memorably, she was the Lady Marshall at Storytown (later the Great Escape) in Lake George, N.Y. for more than 30 summer seasons. She also co-founded All Magic Day, a long-running Albany NY- area convention.
(b. 1931) American-born (James Crabe) illusionist who has made numerous TV appearances; also known for his skill with billiard ball manipulation. Also a cinematographer.
Auzinger, Max
German magician who performed as "Ben Ali Bey" and developed the Black Art act
Read the biography of Max Auzinger- see images!
Auzinger, Leopoldine
Female magician and daughter of Max Auzinger
Read the biography of Leopoldine Auzinger!
Avelino, Jose
(1859-1939) Portuguese magician, late 1800's, who worked mainly in Europe, and frequently in Paris, with a grand illusion show. Though his poster illustrates billiard ball manipulation, he was not known to perform any sleight of hand during his program.
Avis, Jack
(1921-?) British-born magician and inventor of close up effects. Credited with creating the Siva Count, named after his stage character "Siva".
Axiom, Ali
(?-?) Stage mindreader, and Nelson Enterprises' first recorded customer for their mentalism products.