Jean Hugard (December 4, 1872 - August 14, 1959) was born John Gerard Rodney Boyce in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. Jean used the stage and pen name of Jean Hugard and Chin Sun Loo. He began his professional career in 1890s. One of his full evening show presented on tour in Australia and New Zealand was a silent Chinese act.
He also was known for his bullet catch routine he called "The Great Rifle Feat". He was the first to present it with modern day guns at the time.
In 1915, he moved to USA and worked in vaudeville from 1916 until 1918. One of his feature attractions then was "Birth of the Sea Nymph"
He owned and performed in a magic theater in Luna Park (at Coney Island) from 1919-1929. He also appeared in a Broadway Show in 1928 at the Forrest Theater called "The Squealer."
When he retired from performing, he moved to Brooklyn to write and edit magic publications. He wrote more then 30 books on magic. With the death of John Northern Hilliard who had written only the first chapter of Greater Magic, left a lot of manuscript to be completed. Carl Waring Jones, who had contracted for it's publication, brought Jean Hugard on board in 1938 to complete and enlarge the text to over 1,000 pages.
He was named the forth ever SAM Dean of Magicians in 1951.
Near the end of his life, Hugard was blind, having lost the sight of both eyes following operations for the removal of cataracts. In spite of this handicap he continued to work in the magic field at his home in Brooklyn, NY.
Awards and honors
- Selected to the SAM Hall of Fame.
- Magic Circle's highest award, the Silver Wand
- "Milbourne Christopher Award," a plaque that Walt Rollins gave each year in the memory of his son Chipper, to the
magician who has done most in the advancement of "brotherly love."
- International Brotherhood of Magicians Ring 136 (Brisbane, Australia) is named in his honor.
- IBM honorary life member
- Edited Hugard's Magic Monthly starting in 1943
- Jean Hugard By James B. Alfredson ISBN 0916638847 (1997) - Looks at the life and career of an accomplished magician who worked during the 1930s and 1940s, and his influence on the performance of magic during his day. Published by David Meyer Magic Books.