William J. Hilliar (November 27, 1876 - November 15, 1936), born in England was also known as Bill. He was a professional magician that performed in vaudeville and founder of the Sphinx magazine. He moved to the United States in 1902. For many years he was with the Barnum and Bailey Circus and other large circuses in charge of the side shows.
He once performed, in disguise, as Howard Thurston while Thurston was sick.
Hilliar committed suicide by shooting himself just before his 60th birthday.
- Modern Magicians Hand Book