Frances Willard

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Frances Willard
BornFrances Louise Willard
December 12, 1940
USA

Frances Louise Willard (born Dec 12, 1940) was part of a popular mentalist team with her husband Glenn Falkenstein (1932-2010).

Biography

Willard, the daughter of the magician Willard the Wizard (1896–1970), began performing as a teenager although she had assisted with her father's shows as early as age 6. Her first illusion was reminiscent of the Davenport Brothers' box illusion, a trademark illusion that she and Falkensteins continue to perform. Willard is apparently secured to a chair inside a curtained cabinet. When the curtain is closed, objects inside the cabinet fly about, but when the curtain is opened again, she continues to be restrained to the chair. To conclude the illusion, a male spectator joins her in the box. When the curtain opens, Willard is wearing the spectator's jacket and he has a bucket over his head, yet she remains tied to the chair.

The mentalism routine that Willard and Falkenstein perform has been compared to the classic routines of the Zancigs and Piddingtons.

In 1991, Willard and Falkenstein received the Dunninger Award for their "outstanding professionalism and proficiency in the performance of mentalism". At the end of each of their shows, Willard and Falkenstein are always careful to assure the audience that they do not support any belief in spiritualism or the supernatural.

Family

Frances married Texan newspaper editor Glenn Tucker in the 1960s and had three children with him: Margo, Hannah, and Aaron. Her daughters have followed her into the magic world. Margo has worked as an assistant with The Pendragons and was one of the stars of the NBC television special The World's Most Dangerous Magic 2. Hannah is married to noted close-up magician and magic lecturer Michael Ammar.

Frances stopped performing while she was raising her children but in 1978 she was invited to re-create the Spirit Cabinet act with magician Carl Beck in Los Angeles. Following those shows she was invited to perform with Falkenstein at Milt Larsens' It's Magic show the same year. That led to an ongoing professional and personal partnership.

References

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