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Cover of Genii (1968)
BornVirgil Harris Mulkey
July 17, 1900
Eugene, Oregon
DiedOctober 12, 1989 (age 89)
Olympia, Washington

Virgil (b.1900-d.1989) toured the United States from coast-to-coast many times during the 1930's and 40's, appearing in hundreds of theaters, colleges, civic and school auditoriums annually.


Leaving the University of Oregon just months before graduating in 1925, Virgil, began his career in vaudeville with 850 pounds of equipment.

In 1927, Virgil became friends with MacDonald Birch playing the same territories year after year.

In 1929, he became part-owner of a motion picture theater in Port Townsend, Washington. Virgil accidentally injured an young girl named Julie Capriotti who came up to help him on stage. Virgil felt so badly about the accident that he started visiting her. Through this incident they fell in love and married in 1931. That year, Virgil and Julie hit the road with a 10-ton full evening show of magic and illusions.
Cover of Genii (1948)

Features of the show were his original Canary In Lightbulb effect, his original version of P.T. Selbit's "Sawing" illusion (which later inspired Alan Wakeling's version) and he and Julie's performance of The Spirit Cabinet.

In 1952, Virgil carried his 33-ton show consisting of 20 illusions, 120 costumes, and 19 full sets of scenery to New Zealand as the start a world tour which lasted five years; touring Australia, Tasmania, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Pakistan, India, England and Ireland until 1957.

Returning to America, Virgil and Julie continued touring the U.S. and Canada annually through 1978. The couple retired to the home they had built in 1965 overlooking Boston Harbor in Olympia, Washington.

Awards and honors

  • In April of 1967, Ring 70 of the IBM paid tribute by adopting the name "The Great Virgil and Julie Ring."
  • 1971 awarded "Master Fellowship" from the Academy of Magical Arts