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Raffaele Chefalo in 1924
The Great Chefalo
BornAngelo Raffaele Cefalo
April 8, 1885
Bonito, Italy
DiedJune 4, 1963 (age 78)
Seoul, Korea
Known forLinking Rings,Production from Drum

Ralph Chefalo (1885-1963), born Angelo Raffaele Cefalo, was an Italian born magician.


He learned magic as a boy in America and played vaudeville bills throughout the world with his wife. First as Capretta and Chefalo, then as Palermo and Chefalo and eventually as The Great Chefalo.

His friend Houdini suggested that he change his style to mostly pantomime in 1907.

During World War I, he toured South America. After the first war, Chefalo also toured Australia with his wife and a troupe of midgets in 1926 and 1933.

He spent the War World II years performing in home country Italy and Czechoslovakia. He even gave a gala show for the troops when the American army arrived. After the war, he returned to performing in Vaudeville, featuring P. T. Selbit's illusion, Million Dollar Mystery.

He was still a star, touring with a circus in Korea, when he died in 1963. [1][2][3]




  • Some of his rope magic effects are in the Stewart James' Encyclopedia of Rope Tricks.


  1. The Illustrated History of Magic By Milbourne Christopher (1973)
  2. Images from the Alma collection
  • The Sphinx, Vol. 47, No. 6, August 1948, Chefalo, by J. H. Vermeyden, page 155
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 43, No. 8, August 1963, Broken Wand, Ralph Chefalo, page 115
  • M-U-M, Vol. 53, No.3, August 1963, In Memoriam, Chefalo, page 111
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 82, No.12 December 2002, Exploring I.B.M. with…, by Fred Rosenbaum – about Rafaello Chefalo, page 60
  • M-U-M, Vol. 97, No. 3, August 2007, THE NIELSEN GALLERY, Chefalo – Magician, by Richard Hatch, page 72
  • M-U-M, Vol. 100, No. 11, April 2011, THE NIELSEN GALLERY, Chefalo Assisted by Magda-Palermo Midgets, by Tom Ewing, page 34
  • Bio-bibliographisches Lexikon der Zauberkünstler Edition Volker Huber, April 2002, Chefalo, Angelo Raffaelo = Palermo & Chefalo, Capretta & Chefalo, ital. Zauberkünstler (08.04.1885 Bonito, Italien; †03.06.1963 Seoul, Südkorea), page 78