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John Calvert

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John Calvert

Cover Genii 1982 March
BornElbern Madren Calvert
August 5, 1911
New Trenton, Indiana
DiedSeptember 27, 2013 (age 102)
Lancaster, California

John Calvert (1911-2013) was an American magician who has performed on stage (including Broadway) for eight decades and a film actor who appeared in numerous movies.[1]

Early years

Calvert became fascinated with magic at age eight when his father took him to see the magician Howard Thurston perform in Cincinnati, Ohio. Shortly afterward, he performed his first trick for his Sunday school class - he made an egg appear from under another boy’s coat.

He made his initial magic tour when he was eighteen, performing in town halls in Kentucky back-road towns. His small troupe consisted of one assistant and “Gyp the Wonder Dog”. He returned home with a $2.65 profit.

Depression era

Through the depression years and into the 1940s, he continually increased the size of his magic show, adding illusions and personnel, and he gained notoriety by performing daredevil stunts for publicity. He transported his show’s equipment and personnel worldwide in a Douglas DC-3 airliner, and in later years on yachts.

Acting career

From the mid-1940s through the late 1950s, he performed in approximately forty films, including starring roles in three Film Classic releases, in which he portrayed a debonair detective known as “The Falcon”.[2]

Later years

Calvert continued performing magic during his Hollywood days.
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Calvert married to his wife Tammy in 1982.

Calvert remained active well into his later years, traveling the country with his magic acts and entertaining audiences with a mixture of charm and storytelling panache. At 100 he appeared at the London Palladium.

His biographer, William V. Rauscher, has called Calvert a "real-life Indiana Jones" because of his reputation for surviving dangerous circumstances in his travels. He was the subject of a biographical documentary entitled John Calvert – His Magic and Adventures.[3]


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