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Cover of Genii (1960)
BornLeslie George Vante-Cole
March 5, 1892
Sydney, Australia
DiedJanuary 20, 1978 (age 85)
Les Levante (1892-1978) was a professional magician who headed up one of the biggest vaudeville shows to ever travel Australia.


At 17 he went to Melbourne and worked as a billiard-marker and barman at the Vine Hotel where he met the showman Tom Selwyn. He became Tom's protégé, who gave him the stage-name 'Levant'. The last "e" added later.

During World War I he worked in propaganda and recruiting. By twenty, he had already produced his first full evening show and started touring the world. He purchased The Great Leon's show.

In 1935 the Institute of Magicians of London, named Levante's trunk trick the 'Mystery of Mysteries' and the Inner Magic Circle awarded him its gold star. In 1939 the International Brotherhood of Magicians invited him to the United States where he was elected the world's number one magician.

Levante headed up the biggest vaudeville show to ever travel Australia. It boasted a big cast and a ballet under an enormous tent theater designed to seat up to 2000 patrons.

He was known for his version of Metamorphosis using a steel trunk that could be inspected and his Wrestling Cheese. He also invented the illusion Impaling, which used a method much different then today's modern version.

Levante retired in 1977.

Awards and honors


  • Magic of the East
  • Card Tricks Made Easy
  • Spooks and how to spook
  • Levante - His Life, No Illusion by Kent Blackmore (1997)