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William Fay

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William Fay
BornWilliam Marion Fay
United States
DiedJuly 16, 1921
Resting placeMelbourne General Cemetery

William Fay (1840-1921) was tour manager and backup performer for the Davenport Brothers.


Fay was a resident of Buffalo, New York who had an early interest in magic and performed a Second Sight act. By 1864 he was hired by the Davenport Brother as Tour Manager to replace their father. Fay would also be a back-up performer whenever William Henry Davenport was too ill to perform.

In 1869, Harry Kellar joined the team, taking over the managing job. Fay was still with the company but in 1873 when Kellar had a falling out with Davenport and quit, Fay went with him.[1]

Calling themselves Fay & Kellar, they began to tour the United States, Cuba and Mexico, and down to South America. In 1875, while on board the steamship Boyne sailing for Portugal, they hit ground near Ushant Island and sank in the Bay of Biscay. Fay and Kellar survived the shipwreck but lost all their show props and money. They both returned to England but headed their separate ways, with Fay rejoining the Davenports.

Fay traveled with the brothers to Australia where in 1877, William Davenport, who suffered from poor health for years, died in Sydney. Ira Davenport returned to the United States but William Fay decided to stay and settle down in Melbourne Australia.

In 1895, William Fay returned to the United States to try and revive the act with Ira Davenport, but it did not pan out. Fay went back to Australia were he spent the rest of his life.[2][3]