|Born||J. Paul McWilliams|
September 17, 1904
|Died||March 11, 1984 (age 79) |
Irvington, New Jersey
Paul McWilliams (1904-1984) was a professional magician who traveled and performed extensively throughout the U.S. many times during his 40 year performing career.
McWilliams became a professional magician in 1925. He had played the lyceum, in tent shows, expositions, school assemblies, in theaters with a full evening show, vaudeville, nightclubs, and television. He also did a clown act under the name of Spoofy and worked for Ringlings, Bertram Mills and E. K. Fernandes.
His forte was comedy and he was considered one of the funniest magicians of his time. He billed himself as ""The Merry Magician" and "America's Most Amusing Magician". His face appeared in the Ripley "Believe It or Not" cartoon (July 19, 1934). He did the act of holding four golf balls in his mouth at five World's Fairs.
McWilliams performed an amazing 173 shows at the the John Hix Exhibit of the New York World's Fair on July 23, 1939. Also at the World's Fair, he met Connie Brook, who was working as a dancer. They married on February 4, 1940 in Franklin, Kentucky. Connie immediately became a part of the McWilliams show.
He was a lifelong friend of David Price. Price used McWilliams career in his book "Magic A Pictorial History History of Conjurers in the Theater" (1985) as an example of all the wonderful magicians who, because of "the breaks" or other reasons, did not make it to the top rung of magical success.
After retiring from show business, they ran concessions at Olympic Park in Irvington, New Jersey. He advertised, in 1980, an effect called "Is This P K?" which sold for $50 that was a levitation of a cigar tube.
- ↑ Who's Who in Magic, Sphinx, August, 1931
- ↑ Magic A Pictorial History History of Conjurers in the Theater by David Price (1985)
- ↑ TWO OF MY FAVORITE CARDS by MICHAEL CLAXTON, Magicol May, 2005
- ↑ Obit, Linking Ring, May 1984