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William Zavis

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William Zavis
BornWilliam Maurice Zavis
August 8, 1935
DiedDecember 17, 2004 (age 69)
CategoriesBooks by William Zavis

William Maurice Zavis (1935 - 2004) was a FISM-award-winning amateur magician who worked as a US Foreign Service Officer. The job took him all over the world, including South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, and Canada.


He developed an interest in the art of magic after seeing magician Joe Davis perform, and later became interested in performance art, doing some work in the theater. He acted, wrote, directed and produced plays.

Zavis also created a body of original magic and found time to contribute much of it to various magic magazines and books over the years, including Abracadabra, Arcane, Epilogue, Gen, Genii, Kabbala, Linking Ring, Magic Circular, Pabular, Phoenix, New Pentagram, New Tops, Spell Binder, Sphinx, and Karl Fulves’ book, Faro and Riffle Technique.

In addition, he produced several sets of lecture notes, appeared on four Videonics lecture videos, had a book of his tricks published called Divers Deceits, and wrote a follow-up called Sundry Deceits, which remains unpublished. He is also credited with the concept of turning any thin cup, such as a styrofoam coffee cup, into an impromptu Chop Cup through the use of an external magnet hidden in the end of a wand or pen.


  • Third place in Micromagic at the 1973 FISM
  • A.I.M.C. (1974) and M.I.M.C. (1976) from the Magic Circle.




  • Videonics V14 • William Zavis - Vol. 1 (1981)
  • Videonics V15 • William Zavis - Vol. 2 (1981)
  • Videonics V16 • William Zavis - Vol. 3 (1981)
  • Videonics V17 • William Zavis - Vol. 4 (1981)