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Princess Yvonne

Female Magician and Mentalist

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Princess Yvonne on the Hardeen show
  • ?-1989
  • Real Name: Mary Ellen Norris
  • Birthday: ?
  • Birthplace: United States
  • Buried: ?

"Princess Yvonne" was the wife and magical partner of Doc Irving in their two-person mindreading act that played the major vaudeville theaters starting in the early 1920's.

Billed as "Princess Yvonne the Oriental Enigma", Mary Ellen was fearless when it came to promoting their show. She wrote a weekly newspaper column to establish herself as a "mystic", and she would "predict" upcoming news events. During their shows, she would offer a reward of $200 to a person if she was not successful in telepathically receiving his or her name.

The show became a true family affair when their baby daughter Yvonne Loretta joined the act at age 3 in 1933. Apparently she had learned her parents' code simply by watching them. By age 8, Yvonne Loretta was billed as "The World's Youngest Mental Marvel" when the show had an extended run at Atlantic City's Million Dollar Pier.

By the time Yvonne Loretta was 18 years old, she was also a trained opera singer and left the act to pursue a career in that field. It was 1948, and vaudeville had faded, leaving her parents to make most of their income by selling dream books after their shows.

Doc Irving also became the manager of the Hardeen show for several seasons. 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.

After Doc died in 1978, Mary Ellen went to live with her daughter. She died in 1989.


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