|Born||November 18, 1934|
Green Cove Springs, Florida
|Died||November 19, 2009 (age 75) |
Harry Wise (November 18, 1934 - November 19, 2009), born in Green Cove Springs, Florida, was a magician, TV and film personality who performed one of the lasts Spook Shows.
He was best known in Orlando for his work on a children television show as "Mister Magic" in the 1960's.
His dad, a carnival worker for a time, settled the family in Sandford, Florida where Wise began performing magic tricks. As a teen and would put on shows at schools. His big break came when he joined Johnny Cate's ghost show out of Houston Texas where he played Frankenstein across the country.
Wise would later spend most of his career touring the U.S. and Canada with his own vaudeville-esque "live horror show" called the "Dr. Jekyl's Weird Show" (which ran in movie theaters before, in between, and after triple feature horror films). His show business acquaintances included Bela Lugosi and other greats of the horror genre.
Wise played his last live ghost shows in the 1970's in Florida when movie theaters began elimination stages, making him one of the last in the nation to produce a Spook Show in the old style
When he tired of that, he pursued his lifelong dream of becoming a circus ring master. He collected all things Halloween and had a "magical den" in his home that was packed with posters, magical tricks and props.
Wise died in Florida due to complications from cancer. The Seminole County Historical Museum has a permanent display of much of his memorabilia.
- The True Story of Magician Harry Wise: A Wizard's Tux and Tales by Charlie Carlson (2004)
- Weird Florida By Mark Moran, Charlie Carlson, Mark Sceurman (2005)