Cover of Genii (1957)
|Born||Margaret Ruth Steward Evans|
White Rock, Canada
|Died||July 25, 2017 |
Celeste Evans (1931-2017), possibly one of the first women magicians to perform dove magic, played every venue from her early shows in the Far East to banquets, night clubs and as a State Department entertainer representing both the United States and the United Nations.
BiographyEvans began at the age of nine with her first sleight-of-hand effect, throwing knots into silk, which she opened her act throughout her career. Within a year she was performing in public. After graduating from high school, she was earning her living on the carnival circuit, touring the country, doing tent shows.
In 1952, Celeste left Canada to entertain troops in Korea and Japan under the auspices of the Canadian Legion.
While touring with country and western groups, she was called to appear on the Canada's "Pick the Stars", her first nationwide television appearance. In New York she became a regular on the "Paul Winchell Show", "Arthur Godfrey", "The Ed Sullivan Show" and "To Tell the Truth", as well as on the Barbara Walter's show, "Not For Women Only". On "To Tell the Truth", Celeste escaped from a straight jacket in nine seconds (a commercial was due) and won the thousand dollar award.
In 1957, Celeste toured central Africa, Egypt and North Africa on behalf of the United Nations. The tour included the Buddy Rich Band and twenty other artists, and covered twenty six countries, including India, Indonesia, Iran, Laos, Thailand, Nepal, Afghanistan, Singapore & Hong Kong.
Celeste then settled in Chicago, but still toured regularly throughout the country, including the Playboy Club circuit.
When her first husband Harry passed away in 1984, Celeste took over Breyn Management and successfully operated the business until she retired in early 2003.
Celeste now lives in Florida.
Celeste wed Harry Breyn of Breyn Management, a theatrical agency based in Illinois. They had two children, Evan and Evanna. Celeste remarried Mitch in 1992 and he died in January of 2006.
She has two grandchildren, Ethan and Rachael.
- Cover Genii 1957 August
- Cover of Tops August 1964
- Cover of MUM February 1976
- Inducted into the SAM Hall of Fame in 1998
- AMA Performing Fellowship in Stage Magic (2009)
- Has This Ever Happened to You? A Collection of Magicians’ Faux Pas compiled by Celeste Evans
- I Can Still See Me (autobiography)