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Mary Brigance

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Mary Brigance
BornMary Ruth Milam
October 7, 1923
Hartford, Arkansas
DiedAugust 24, 1980 (age 56)

Mary Brigance (1921-1980), along with her first husband Bill Chaudet, performed as "The Chaudets", a top magic team in the West in the 1940s to the 1960s.


She began show business singing and dancing, even joining the Benny Goodman band just before it disbanded. She work full-time for the U.S.O., touring all over the United States entertaining troops at camps and hospitals. Earning a part in Olsen and Johnson's "Sons of Fun," and with a rating of captain sailed to Europe and performed all over liberated France, Belgium, and Germany.

After the war, Mary was offered a part in a Broadway musical, but she returned to Hollywood and married Bill Chaudet in 1946. They were regulars on Mickey Mouse Club and helped open Disneyland. But, after twenty-two years they ended in divorce.

She won a number of performance trophies from her local SAM Assembly 22, including the 1979 Best Comedy award. She served as Vice President of Assembly 22 and became the first lady to be on the S.A.M. National Council.

She later married Clyde Richard Brigance Jr. [(February 22, 1921 – June 20, 2011)] and when the S.A.M. Hall of Fame became a reality, Mary was the first to volunteer for the Board.[1] She was later elected into the S.A.M. Hall of Fame herself in 1996.


  1. Broken Wand, MUM, November 1980