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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Who is your hero? (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of adrianrbf
I'm not looking for "the greatest magician of all time", rather I would like to know: Who is your personal hero, and why? (This may include not-so-old magician, if you so wish.)
Dr. Delusion
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Eugene, Oregon.
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Profile of Dr. Delusion
Mine is Harry Blackstone Jr. Back in School I was very shy. I saw him on a HBO special along with Carl Ballentine and several others. He was simply Amazing, his magic, voice, jokes, everything. Growing up we never had much money, but that next Christmas Mom and Dad were able to buy me a huge beginners magic set. I practiced day and night and talked a buddy into becoming an assistant for me. We started out by performing for free at nursing homes. I was scared stiff at first, but eventually became more at ease in front of folks. 45 years later I still do get nervous before some of the shows, but I love it! Thank you Harry!
Andy Gemini
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Profile of Andy Gemini
Mine is Paul Daniels, as he had a regular TV show here in UK when I was growing up. Saw him live too - absolutely brilliant!
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Profile of TomB
My current favorite magician is Tommy Wonder. I love his theory and his calculated misdirection. I love that he explains each little move he did. I love how he improves tricks to make them better. I love his passion for perfection. I am grateful for his videos and written material that he has shared. Truly, a polished diamond that can help diamonds in the rough become shiny. He is greatly missed. Thanks Tommy!
Thomas Henry
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Hello Adrian,

That's an easy question for me to answer: Dunninger.

Back in 1965, I was a member of his audience committee on stage at the KRNT Theater in Des Moines, Iowa (USA). He had been brought in especially to highlight the gala public show sponsored by the IBM convention. I was aged 13 and had been interested in magic for some seven years by that point.

His presentation was magisterial, and I think everyone (very large audience, by the way) knew we were seeing the best that had ever come in mentalism. And a fair amount of us also knew that we were witnessing a link to the past, Dunninger being an essential part of the Houdini era. To answer the second part of your question, it's simply that for sixty minutes, he made thought reading seem absolutely real. And I got see him close-up on stage, and look out at the very audience he was commanding!

But, I'll also go on to say that for forty-some years thereafter I never thought I would see his equal again. And then I witnessed Banachek who to my mind is the direct continuation of that lineage.

Best wishes,

Thomas Henry
Omne ignotum pro magnifico.
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Buffalo, NY
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Profile of foolsnobody
Clarke "The Senator" Crandall. He was very kind to me when I, an unkempt hippie, was visiting the Magic Castle for the first time. He showed me where the library was, and introduced me to various well-known magicians, such as Bruce Cervon, Francis Carlyle, and Vernon. I got to witness his now legendary "X-Rated" midnight show. I consider him the Mark Twain of magic presentation, and his repartee in general was unbeatable. He was kind to me, and he didn't know me from Adam. I'll never forget him.
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Profile of gallagher
Nate Leipzig.

It's obvious,
I never saw him.
I've only read how others described him,
his Act, his Effects, his manorisms.
I've read his description of his life,..
some of his thoughts, on Magic.

He motivates me:
1.) I like all of his effects.
And his methods(!).
Very sneaky. Very 'do-ible'. Very depend-ible.

2.) I like his attitude and philosophy about 'fooling people'.
,..and the way he went about doing it.

3.) He practised 17 years(!),
before he nervously(!...!),
albeit successfully,
mounted 'the Stage'.

4.) He wrote nice things about other Magicians and people,...
without coming across as,..'slimmey'.
Never negative...
He seemed to have a,...'human class'.
This really inspires me.
,....i wish I could keep it in mind(!), more often!

Nate Leipzig.
In the lid of my 'prop case',
I have his photo,...cut from Dai Vernon's tribute book, Mr. Leipzig.
"Calm. Patience. Style."
Thanks Nate!
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Spokane, WA
2551 Posts

Profile of critter
Ricky Jay because he transcended eras. He took age old effects and did them better than anyone ever had. He created a personal mythology. He brought gravitas to an art debased by clowns and camera trickery (no offense to clowns, clown college sounds rough) all without losing his own humor. And he shed light on forgotten entertainers.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
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Profile of boxjumper
Doug Henning. A true artist whose enthusiasm for the magic he performed was clearly so genuine.

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Sweden, Scandinavia, Europe
4893 Posts

Profile of Kjellstrom
Fred Kaps. A legend, sure.
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