January 27, 1916
St. Louis, Missiouri
|Died||November 8, 1977 (age 61) |
Ernie Heldman (1916-1977) was one of St. Louis' outstanding magicians from early 1947 until 1962.
Prior to World War II, Heldman worked as a part time magician until he was drafted into the army. After the war, he took a sales job, continuing with magic as a hobby.
In September 1947, an advertising-agency executive saw him perform and3 suggested that he do TV commercial (television was very new at the time). He did a one minute ad for Sunrise Meats in which he produced a string hot dogs out of a newspaper while he talked about Sunrise Meats. This was so successful that it led to a six-month contract doing live one-minute spots doing a different magic trick each time.
Heldman eventually quit his job to perform magic professionally full time. By 1949, the one minute spots had become a live 15-minute magic show called "Parade of Magic", sponsored by Pepsi Cola. It ran until 1962.
In 1961, Ernie opened a night club called Psycho House in St. Louis' Gaslight Square which lasted only a few years.
Heldman wrote Linking Ring articles (Television Trickery) about working on early television 
- In 1995, Heldman was awarded the St. Louis Magical Heritage Award posthumously.
- ↑ Magic as Seen on TV by Bill McIlhany, Magic, January 1999 and Linking Ring July, August Sept. 1949
- ↑ Obit, Linking Ring, January, 1978
- ↑ History of Magic in St. Louis by Don Rataj (2011)