July 13, 2010

SPIRIT CABINET IN THE SKY:

Acclaimed magician Falkenstein dies at 78 (AP, 7/13/10)

A longtime Los Angeles resident, Falkenstein rose to fame in the 1970s by impressing audiences with mind-reading tricks on his radio show. He also took his magic act to television, including one of Regis Philbin’s early talk shows, and appeared in shows in Las Vegas, opening for such headliners as Ann-Margaret.

Falkenstein always disclaimed any psychic powers, and was careful to call himself a mentalist, not a mind-reader, but many fans were convinced he could indeed read their thoughts.

He performed regularly at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, Calif., a private club for the Academy of Magical Arts, Inc., and was Stage Magician of the Year in 1971.

In 1984, he married Willard, daughter of famed magician Harry Willard, and the duo performed their signature “spirit cabinet” trick worldwide. The illusion had Willard bound to a chair within a curtained enclosure while items placed inside began flying about.

When not performing, Falkenstein taught speech pathology at Los Angeles schools.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 13, 2010 7:49 PM
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