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Cover of Genii (1999)

Melinda Saxe (b.?) is a magician from Las Vegas, Nevada, best known for network television performances and Las Vegas stage shows in which she was billed as "The First Lady of Magic". She is often associated with the "Drill of Death" illusion which was a signature trick developed for her by Andre Kole.


Saxe comes from a Las Vegas showbiz family. She is the daughter of Bonnie Saxe, a dancer turned show producer, who helped launch Melinda's performing career. Melinda's brother David Saxe began assisting in the technical and business side of her shows while still a college student and went on to be her producer for 17 years.

Billed as "The First Lady of Magic" for the various shows she presented in a succession of Las Vegas venues throughout her career. Her first starring show was a small scale cabaret at the Bourbon Street Hotel when she was aged 20. At the height of her fame she was starring in big shows with large supporting casts at some of the city's best known locations. She also had a residency at the Trump Castle in Atlantic City, New Jersey and enjoyed a four-year run in her own 3,000-seat theatre in Branson, Missouri. In 1995 she was chosen by producer Gary Ouellet as one of the acts for the second of his World's Greatest Magic television specials broadcast on the NBC network. The show featured the television debut of the Drill of Death illusion, in which Saxe was chained up in front of a giant drill which appeared to advance and impale her before lifting her up and spinning her limp body high above the stage. Ouellet was again influential in promoting Saxe's career when she starred in her own special for Disney in 1997. Ouellet was producer for the show, which, like her stage shows, was titled Melinda: First Lady of Magic. She also featured in the first of Ouellet's World's Most Dangerous Magic specials in 1998, in which she escaped using levitation after being tied up and placed in a glass tank that was filled with snakes.

Saxe stopped performing in 2002 saying she intended to devote herself to starting a family with her new husband.[1][2]


In 1998 the International Magicians Society named her "Magician of the Year" in its "Merlin" awards.

Personal life

Saxe married fellow magician Lance Burton in 1993 but the marriage was short-lived and they divorced. On 1 June 2000 she married Mark Evensvold, a managing partner in the P F Chang restaurant chain. On 24 August 2003 she gave birth to their son Mason Ray Evensvold. Saxe now lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. She had her second child on 3 August 2007, a baby girl named Mallory Rose.


  1. Steve Bryant, interview with Melinda in Genii 1999 August (Vol. 62, No. 8)
  2. All About Magicians/Melinda Saxe

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