Under the guise of "Ballantine The Great" or "The Amazing Ballantine" and "Ballantine: The World's Greatest Magician", his trademark involves magic tricks which always flopped in comedic fashion. He is probably best remembered as "Gruber", one of the PT boat sailors in the television series McHale's Navy which aired in the 1960s.
Ballantine performed at the legendary Palace Theatre in New York and in Las Vegas in the 1940s. He later took his act to television, appearing on Garry Moore, Andy Williams, Danny Kaye and Dean Martin shows, as well as "The Hollywood Palace" and "The Tonight Show." He was a regular cast member on the 1969 sitcom "The Queen and I" and the 1980 sitcom "One in a Million." He also made guest appearances on numerous other series, sometimes appearing as a magician as in "Fantasy Island" as the Great Zachariah, on "Night Court" as the Fabulous Falconi and on "The Cosby Show" as the Great Ballantine.
Ballantine appeared in a number of films, including "The Shakiest Gun in the West" (1968), "The World's Greatest Lover" (1977), "Mr. Saturday Night" (1992) and "Aimee Semple McPherson" (2006).
He performed his comedy magic act for the last time at the "It's Magic" show at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood in 2008.
Ballantine was the husband of actress Ceil Cabot (8 March 1927 - 24 January 2000) and is the father of actress Sara Ballantine.
Carl Ballantine was the first to have a rubber chicken created for his Vaudeville comedy act.
- Cover Genii 1959 July
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