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Profile of hugmagic
I agree as it is a mute point to discuss the greatest as generation gaps occur. I have been fortunate to see many very, very good ones. What one has in creative areas in one way; another has in presentation. Blackstone Jr. could sell snow to an Eskimo. Calvert has an older charm that is unmatchable. Henning was extremely infectious and personable. Bob Kramer was comanding and controled the stage. Mark Wilson was an absolute leader in illusions for television. Copperfield helped promote the mega illusions.

I am looking forward to the Invisible Lodge Conclave so I can see Lee Grabiel work. In fact, I guess I am slated to be on the same show with him.

I guess the greatest illusionist is the one that iginites the spark that puts us into this businss and entertains us all.
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Profile of RSD
I think this question can be best answered by those who have the perspective. The illusionist that had the biigest impact on me was Doug Henning. When I was younger he was the only performer on Canadian TV at the time. Now I think DC is the best becuase he is an overall showmen, and retells illusions with new stories. AS a historian, the obvious answer here is Blackstone Jr.
Marshall Thornside
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Profile of Marshall Thornside
Ok. So I got a video of Jack Gwynne that Beth his granddaughter had. She had his 8mm transfered to video. Besides himself there was Blackstone, Thurston,
Dante, and a boat load of illusionists. Jack and my
father go way back and he never knew that these videos of Dante and Blackstone existed. For him he was thrilled becuase he's the only one to ever work with both. And so one day we were watching the entire
video. I don't believe there is such a thing as a magician that could beat out each out from the same generation. Their styles are soo different. From what
I saw I enjoyed both and each had a flare about themselves and their style of magic. And I think my
father would say the same. We all partake what we can use in that generations show for our personal touch. My father took a meld of Blackstone, Dante, Okito etc etc and rolled into a big show. And he was success for it. So I'd have to say all the illusionist who broke through a barrier and made something of themselves that will talked about for years to come is a great illusionst for their time and thereafter!
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Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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Profile of Pete Biro
Those that I have seen:

Blackstone (Sr.)
Henning (in our time) Woke up the world to magic
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Dennis Loomis
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1943 - 2013
2113 Posts

Profile of Dennis Loomis
Wow, I just found this thread and was FLABERGTASTED that someone mentioned my name. Thanks, Vic Brisbin. You made my day.

All of the names mentioned so far were great performers. I agree that it's impossible to evaluate the big names from the past, especially the ones that performed before there were movie cameras to record the performances.

I was a boyhead friend of Doug Henning, so it's hard to be objective. But, he entertained me about as well as anyone. I have great respect for the work of Richiardi, Blackstone Jr, David Copperfield, and Jack Gwynne. I regret that I never saw Fred Kaps present any illusions. (Jay Marshall told he that he did some.)

One great name that I don't think has been mentioned yet: Walter Blaney. Just the Stepladder Suspension earns him a permanent spot in Magic's Hall of Fame.

Dennis Loomis
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Profile of Cao314159
My first exposure to magic was Blackstone Sr., so I would have to say him for inspiring me. Other than that, I have only seen Copperfield!
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Profile of Jazz
Guys this has to be the most subjective topic ever posted here. Well of course I could take the easier road and put Houdini and David Copperfield, as my past and present great ones.

But I´ll differ a little and will go with Blackstone Sr. and Doug Henning.

Special Mention for The Pendragons. From Europe, Hans Klok and Luis de Matos.

And for Penn and Teller but not as pure illsuionists, but everything else they´re up to.
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Profile of Roland
We struggled to make a list of "The Greatest" magicians using their impact on the future of magic as the basis for comparison. What do you think about these names... https://www.carnivalofillusion.com/best-......time.php
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Profile of Gerald
Harry Willard made a great impression on me when I was a young fellow.
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Profile of rogue999
David Coppefield hands down
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Lancashire, England
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Profile of David_N
Without a doubt the greatest illusion show I have ever seen live was David Copperfield when he was performing at Manchester, England. At the conclusion of the show everyone leapt to their feet to give a standing ovation.

A name I haven't noticed here yet is Franz Harary. He has released DVDs of his full evening shows performed in India and China and they are truly epic in scale. Franz is a master showman and knows how to entertain a large audience.

Another name I would like to add is Dani Lary. Based in France, he has a distinctive style and specialises in creating artistic vignettes which frequently contain several effects. Find him on YouTube.
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