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Magicians' Biographies - Letter W

Read about the magician with the longest running TV show,
the Oscar Meyer magician,
the shipwrecked magician, and more!

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William Wood Poster
(?-?) American magician on the Lyceum and Chautauqua circuits.
Wait, Logan
(1906-?)(birthday May 28) American magician on the Lyceum and Chautauqua circuits who discovered that a common cleaning agent made a great substitute for milk in tricks like the Milk Pitcher, as the substance looked exactly like milk, but didn't curdle, smell or stain the equipment. He called it Oom, backwards for "moo". Sometimes partnered with Ben Franklin IV on the circuits. Wrote Not Primogenial with Roger Montandon. Later became a successful motor manufacturer with his Wait Manufacturing Company in Oklahoma. One of his employees, Roger Montandon, ran a magic shop, Montandon Magic Co., from the Wait Company offices, and marketed Oom forLogan Wait.
Walden, Dana
American Chautauqua magician who specialized in Chapeaugraphy
Read the biography of Dana Walden- see images!
Walker, Val A
(1890-1969) English magician (real name Valentine Augustus Walker) billed as the "Wizard of the Navy". Also appeared early in his career as "Val Anson". Credited as the designer of the Radium Girl illusion. He is also said to have been the designer of the John Bull Straitjacket, which was created for Houdini just prior to Houdini's death in 1926.
Read the biography of Val Walker- see images!
(1892-1969) American magician on the Lyceum circuit. Real name William Wallace Lee. His manager, Henry Hudson Davis, also managed show tours for MacDonald Birch, S.S. Henry, Herman Homar, Marquis and Mel-Roy. Served in US Navy in WW I, then traveled with the Orpheum Circuit until sound movies overwhelmed vaudeville.  One-man magic show, using his wife Beatrice as his assistant.  Played schools, colleges, birthday parties into the Sixties.  Author of self-published book , Math Miracles.
Walter, Miss
(?-?) Belgian female magician (real name Emilie Grandsart). Daughter of Jules Grandesart (Grandesart Cortois). Wife and partner of William Clement, the two performed and operated the travelling Théâtre Grandsart-Courtois.
Wandas, Charles
(1875-1912) Stage magician who performed with his wife, Elizabeth, as "The Wandas". Son Louis and daughter, Suzy Wandas. Real name Charles-Louis Van Dyk.
Wandas, Elizabeth
(1875-1954) Female stage illusionist who performed first with her husband, Charles, and later with her son Louis and daughter, Suzy Wandas. Real name Elizabeth Steelandt Van Dyk.
Wandas, Louis
(?-?) Stage magician, a member of the Wandas family. Mother Elizabeth, father Charles, sister Suzy. A World War I injury ended his performing career.
Wandas, Suzy
(1896-1986) Belgian born (Jean Van Dyk) successful female stage illusionist, most known for her amazing manipulation skills. The daughter of two magicians, Suzy was inspired to excel at magic after seeing the famous female magician, Talma. By age 14, Suzy had her own segment in the family magic act. When her father died, the act was changed to The Three Wandas (Elizabeth, Louis and Suzy) and played that way until Louis was permanently disabled in World War I. The act then became The Wandas Sisters, with Suzy performing with her mother. In 1936, after Elizabeth's retirement form the stage, Suzy took her solo act on tour throughout Europe and the U.S. Speaking five languages fluently, Suzy became an international success with her manipulation act. She continued to enjoy great success until her retirement in 1959, when she married Dr. Zina Bennett and settled into a quiet life in Detroit.
Wassman, Mrs.
(?-?) Wife of magician Robert Wassmann, she assisted him onstage and also performed magical illusions of her own. The Wassmanns specialized in escape illusions.
Wassman, Robert
(?-?) American magician from the Chicago area on the Redpath Chautauqua circuit around 1916. Escape illusions, including the Substitution Trunk, were his specialty. He was assisted by his wife, who also performed escapes. Promoted as being elected "Eminent Wizard" of the World's Master Magicians. He was still performing in the 1950s, with his later shows for small audiences; his specialty became kid show magic and puppets.
Watry, Cesare
(?-?) Italian magician performing around the turn of the 20th century in Europe. His specialties were manipulation and hypnotism. He was an early influence on manipulator Fran-Klint.
Watson, Monk
(1894-1981)(birthday March 23) American comedy magician (real name Donald Watson) who started his career at 8 years old. During his time in vaudeville, he often worked on the bill with Jack Benny and was an early supporter of the young Bob Hope. Buried in Lakeside Cemetery in Colon, Michigan.
Weaver, Neil
(?-?) Amateur British magician who cofounded the Magic Circle with Herbert J. Collings and Ernest Henry Adams. Neil Weaver earned his living selling shoes. The son of an amateur conjurer.
Weiss, Erich
see Houdini
Weiss, Theodore
see Hardeen
White, Joseph
(1925-2001)(birthday January 1) American magician noted for his small 4'4" size (he was a midget). Marketed tiny magic cards sets. Performed as the Oscar Meyer character "Little Oscar". Began his career as a sideshow magician, then worked for Ringling Bros. Circus before starting his career as "Micro, World's Smallest Magician".
Wilden, Mons. H
(?-?) Magician who appeared on a program at the London Pavilion on November 22, 1885. He performed "The Marvelous Illusion of the Disappearing Lady", and was followed on the bill by magician G.W. Hunter.
Willard, Harry
(1895-1970) (birthday December 12) Amercian magician, second son of Jim Willard, who took over his father's "Willard the Wizard" travelling tent show in 1914. In 1911, at age 16, he had tired of travelling as his father's assistant, and briefly joined the Crist Bros. circus as a sideshow magician. That life proved too hard, and he was back with his father's show within a year. On his return, his father allowed Harry to begin replacing him, until Harry took over the Willard role completely in 1915. Said to be the most theatrically talented magician in the family, Harry was the most successful and famous of the Willards. Harry married twice. His first wife, Charlotte, gave him two children, Howard and Elizabeth. After Charlotte died in 1927, Harry married Joy in 1929, and had five children: Eugene Powell (named for the Dean of American magicians), Madeleine, Frances, Gloria Ann and Emil. Frances went on to become one of America's foremost mentalists, teamed with her husband, Glenn Faulkenstein. Frances' daughters Margo and Hannah are also accomplished female magicians.
Willard, Jim
(1875-1936) Irish magician (real name James Michael Maroney) billed as "Willard the Wizard", the first in a dynasty of Willards. After moving to the United States in 1895, he worked his own travelling tent show mainly in the southern part of the country until turning the show over the Willard to his son Harry in 1914. In 1915, he purchased a stock of printed posters from a bankrupt magician and briefly appeared as "Frederik the Great" before returning to the Willard show as manager. Jim's wife, Lucy, performed in his show as "Nellie Davenport", as seen in the circa 1900 poster.
Willard, Robert
(1887-1914) American magician and eldest son of Jim Willard, the original "Willard the Wizard". Took the "Willard the Wizard" tent show through the Midwest and was set to take over the main show from his father when he committed suicide in 1914. At the time, he was in jail on suspicion of murdering his wife and infant.
Willard, Tommy
(1903-1936) (birthday July 6) American magician and youngest son of Jim Willard, the original "Willard the Wizard". Sometimes travelled out with his own branch of the "Willard the Wizard" tent show, he also spent several months during 1935 substituting for Mel-Roy in the "Mel-Roy" show.
Williams, Dick
(b. 1927) American magician who holds the Guinness Book record for hosting the longest-running magic TV program, Magicland, on WMC-TV in Memphis, TN. Also authored Lights, Camera, Magic, a guide to performing magic on TV. Visit the Magicland Official Site here.
Wilson, Mr.
(?-?) British magician who was performing in London in 1829. His partner was Mr. Charles. Not only was he a magician, but also an acrobat, performing a turn on the tightrope during the show. The variety magic act was billed as "Novel and astounding illusions, combinations, metamorphosees, thaumaturgics and philosphical recreations".
Wilson, Mark official website
(b. 1929)(birthday April 11) American magician who was host of The Magic Land of Alakazam" on national TV from 1960 to 1965. Each week, he would perform a new illusion, usually built around the sponsor (Kellogg's) products. Assisted by his wife, "The Lovely Nani Darnell". Got his start working at Douglas Magicland in Dallas, Texas. Was the first magician to take advantage of a degree in marketing, creating a successful line of Mark Wilson products, as well as a Mark Wilson act performed by hired magicians at theme parks across America. Was technical advisor on many TV programs, including Bill Bixby's "The Magician". Co-authored The Mark Wilson Course In Magic with Walter Gibson, a wonderful instruction book that is still popular today.
Wilson, Wilfred C.
(?-?) American magician on the Lyceum and Chautauqua circuits. Co-authored Wolves of God, and Other Fey Stories in 1921, with Algernon Blackwood.
Wilson, William
(1888-1963) English-born magician billed as "Will DeSeive" who performed many of effects of his own invention. Moving to Pennsylvania in the early 1900s, Wilson worked as an executive in the steel industry. He opened a magic shop, called the Wilson Studio of Magic, locate in Sewickley, Pennsylvania.
Wishner, Sam
(?-?) American magician and early television personality as "Zovello", a magic clown. From 1949 to 1951, he appeared on his own weekly children's program on NBC-TV. With his hand puppet partner "Laughy", Zovello entertained a live gallery of about a dozen children, plus the viewing audience at home, with short segments of magic, comedy and games. Viewers were strongly and urgently prompted to order his magic tricks and gimmicks "Today! Don't wait! I can only offer these this week!". The sales pitches were so blatant that he was replaced by another performer in 1951. Two of the shows are included on a DVD called "Classic Game Shows", currently available. In 1936, Zovello had also marketed his "Zovelloscopes", tiny individually packaged flip books- you flipped the pages to see Zovello perform a magic trick. The set of Zovelloscopes is very rare and collectible.
Witt, Wittus
(b. 1949) German magician, author, publisher and famous collector of magic items, especially magic sets. Wittus Witt has appeared on more than 200 TV shows including his own series, which ran for four years. In 2000 he took over Germany's largest selling magic magazine, "Magische Welt", which was founded in 1952 by famous magic dealer W. Geissler-Werry. He is also the host of several magic theatre festivals in Germany and puts up exhibitions about the art of magic in museums all over Europe.
Wood, William
(1862-1908) 19th century American ventriloquist and magician. Started his career as an assistant to Harry Kellar. Frequently featured his wife, Edna, in a spectacular levitation routine in his magic show. While traveling on the Gulf of Mexico, Wood died in a shipwreck. Four of his eight vent figures floated ashore and are currently on exhibit at the Vent Haven Museum in Kentucky.
Wyman, Jack
(1816-1881)(birthday January 19) American traveling magician who impressed a young Henry Ridgely Evans. Born in Albany, NY, real name John W. Wyman Jr. Ventriloquist, magician and mindreader. Assisted by George Wood, who later assisted Frederick Eugene Powell. Authored several books on magic.