|Died||February 18, 1984 |
Howard Brooks (1909-1984) had a long successful career in magic and films working throughout the world, including a comedy magic act he performed in famous nightclubs.
Brooks learned how to cut silhouettes by watching Dai Vernon at the 1939 World's Fair. Among his other friends in magic included Ricki Dunn, Al Flosso, Richard Himber, Carl Ballantine, Jay Marshall and Frances Marshall. Frances Marshall once nicknamed Howard and Ricki Dunn "The Dynamic Duo".Brooks created the now famous Bra Trick, also known as the Baffling Bra. His long time friend, Ricki Dunn describes how he created the trick in his book The Professional Stage Pickpocket (2006) when he had to come up with a gag to do with a showgirl in the 1930s. Howard also created a gag called The Tape Measure Watch.
Johnny Thompson credits Brooks with inventing the Whistling Belly Button gag, where you draw a face on your stomach with your belly button as the mouth. Rik Brooks, his grandson, remembers his grandfather doing it to the embarrassment of his grandmother.
Brooks was in a number of films in the 1930s and appeared in the 1960 Jerry Lewis movie "The Bellboy". He also wrote the screenplay for the 1969 movie "Judy's Little No-No".
His non-magic activities included growing Bansai trees and painting.
In his later years Brooks spent his afternoons at the Biscayne Magic Shop in Miami Florida where they affectionately called him Uncle Howard.