Thursday, January 31, 2013

Notable Illusionists of History [No. 4]

Collect 'em all!

Douglas James "Doug" Henning

(May 3, 1947 - Feb 7, 2000)
Birthplace:  Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Profession-changing contribution: Henning's massive popularity (Tony-winning Broadway show, Emmy-nominated television specials) during the 1970s re-popularized magic as a form of entertainment. Part of Henning's appeal was that he eschewed the top-hat look, instead wearing t-shirts and bell-bottom pants, with long hair and an attitude of wonder about his own tricks.
Fun fact:  In 1987, Henning quit magic to study Transcendental Meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and even ran for political office in the UK and his native Canada, as a candidate for the Natural Law Party, a group founded on the faith's prinicples.
Bonus fun fact: Should you have the opportunity to visit The Magic Castle in Los Angeles and need to order a vegan meal, ask for the "Doug Henning."