Magic has a rich heritage of amazing magic secrets and stories, but these would be nothing without some of the great magicians who have astounded audiences for generations. Here is a
very small selection of some of the greatest magicians of all time.
The Father of Modern Magic
Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin (December 7, 1805 – June 13, 1871)
The French magician, Robert-Houdin is often called "the father of modern magic". This is partly due to the fact that he did away with the long (all concealing) drapes and robes of
previous magicians and performed in normal, everyday clothes. Such was the regard for his magic that in 1856 the French government called upon him to quell a revolution in North
The Great Escape
Harry Houdini (March 24, 1874 – October 31, 1926, born Erik Weisz later spelled Ehrich Weiss)
Harry Houdini amazed the world with his sensational stunts and fantastic escapes. He managed to get out of the world's toughest jails, the safest of safes and the strongest manacles
and handcufs that could be devised. He once escaped from a giant-laced-up football. On another occasion he managed to get out of a sealed paper bag without tearing it! Houdini was
such a good showman that many people believed that he could appear and disappear at will and that was how he did his extraordinary escapes. He took his name from Robert Houdin by
simply adding an 'i' to become Houdini, a name which can now be found in the English Dictionary.
Dynasty of Magic
John Nevil Maskelyne (1839-1917) was the first in a famous family of British magicians. Maskelyne, first with George A. Cooke and later with David Devant, dominated the magical
scene for almost fifty years. Even now, many old-time theatre goers remember the performances he put on at the Egyptian Hall and St George' Hall in London.
The Greatest English Magician
David Devant (22 February 1868 – 13 October 1941)
Possibly the greatest of English Magicians was David Devant whose partnership with J. N. Maskelyne is still recalled with fondness by old-time theatre goers. He often performed an
effect with a magic kettle which produced a seemingly endless flow of different drinks. When The Magic Circle, the most famous magical society in the world was formed in 1905, David
Devant became its first president.
Magic from India
Sorcar (1913-1971) had the title "World's Greatest Magician" on his posters. He lived up to that title as his illusion show IND-DRA-JAL delighted and amazed audiences all over the
world. When this great Indian magician died, his son, Socar Jnr., carried on this proud tradition.
Famous Chinese Conjurer
Chung Ling Soo was the stage name of American stage magician William Ellsworth Robinson (1861–1918).
Several magicians have been killed attempting to catch a bullet. The most famous was Chung Ling Soo who was shot on stage at the Wood Green Empire in London. Chung Ling Soo
maintained his role as a Chinese man scrupulously. He never spoke onstage and always used an interpreter when he spoke to journalists. Only his friends and other stage magicians
knew the truth.
Sim Sala Bim
Dante (1882-1955), whose real name was Harry Alvin Jansen, was born in Denmark but his family moved to America when he was six. He performed all over the word with his sensational
illusion show, "Sim Sala Bim".
Perfection in Performance
The Dutch magician Fred Kaps brought perfection to everything he did in magic. he performed with a cheeky grin that bellied all the effort and expertise put into every aspect of his
The Peruvian Wizard
Richiardi Jnr, from Lima in Peru, used to sing and dance whilst performing tricks in his two and a half hour Magic Revues. he brought a new and sensational realism to illusions such
as 'sawing a woman in half' but also enchanted audiences with his showmanship and impressive stage presence.
To magicians all over the world, the American magician Dai Vernon is known as "The Professor" because he is the leading expert on magic. He lives, breathes and eats magic and is
dedicated to the development of the most entertaining of all the entertaining arts.
America's Master Magician
Mark Wilson was one of the first magicians to realise the power of television. He has presented many magic series on American television and is the magical adviser to numerous other
series and to many film productions.
Television's Man of Magic
David Nixon was the most famous magician in Britain for almost thirty years following his first television appearance as a panellist on "What's My Line?" in 1952. two years later he
began a television series, "It's Magic" and continued to baffle viewers with many other series in the years that followed.
This incredible illusion was invented by the British magician, Robert Harbin and has since become a classic of magic. A girl enters a cabinet and her head, midriff and foot are
visible at all times. in spite of this, the magician manages to push her middle section to one side, dividing the lady into three parts!
Whenever Hans Moretti appears on stage or television the audience are in for a thrill. He tends to specialise in magic that embodies some element of danger – such as catching
a bullet in his teeth. Every effect he performs is enhanced by his own original touches. This has made Moretti one of the worlds leading magical performers.
Nothing is Impossible
The things David Berglas does defy explanation. When he walks on stage the impossible becomes the norm. He turns the world of science upside down and there appears to be no
explanation for the incredible feats he performs. He even baffles magicians! Although he specialises in psychological mysteries he has performed most types of magic.
Man of Magic
In the past twenty years, no one has done so much to elevate the art of magic as Paul Daniels. He is undoubtedly Britain's best known magician. His skill has been demonstrated time
and time again in many successful television shows, including the ever popular Paul Daniels Magic Show. With lovely wife and assistant, Debbie McGee.
The Magical Advisor
Ali Bongo's act is fast and furious, but most of the audience enjoying his crazy cavorting on stage do not realise that there is a magical genius behind that mask of zaniness. His
public image is of a mad magician but Ali Bongo is also the inventive creator of many of the magical effects seen on television magic shows and commercials.
One of the most amazing men in magic is David Copperfield. He has presented spectacular illusions and baffled audiences all over the world. His incredible accomplishments include
vanishing an aeroplane, floating across the Grand Canyon and walking through the Great Wall of China. Perhaps his most amazing feat was to make the statue of Liberty disappear.
David Blaine (born David Blaine White; April 4, 1973) is an American illusionist and endurance artist. He is best known for his high-profile feats of endurance, and has made his
name as a performer of street and close-up magic. He has set and broken several world records. Theatre owner James Nederlander as well as The New York Times have referred to Blaine
as a modern day Houdini. He has also been called a "Houdini wanna-be" by the New York Daily News.
Derren Victor Brown (born 27 February 1971) is an English magician, illusionist, mentalist, painter and sceptic. Whilst an undergraduate, he started working as a conjuror,
practising the traditional skills of close-up magic. In 1992, he started performing stage hypnosis shows under the stage name Darren V. Brown. Shortly after, he was commissioned to
do a pilot for his Channel 4 television series, Mind Control and since then he has become on of the best known magicians in the UK.