Amazing Ballantine arrived smoking a Cuban, of course...
EVENING...According to Robin Leach...
A host of Vegas magic maestros turned up to salute a wise wizard
legendary Carl Ballantine (right) was named Magician of the
Year by the local
chapter of the International Brotherhood of Magicians (Fantasma
Ring 257). The
unique event took place at the FAO Schwarz toy store in the
Forum Shops at
Caesars Palace where the 3rd floor had been turned into a prestidigitation
playground. Illusionists Amazing Johnathan, Penn & Teller,
Lance Burton and Rick Thomas were joined by 'Eight is Enough'
actor Dick Van Patten. Magicians
Fielding West, Simon Lovell, Steve "Million $ Hands"
Dacri, Johnny Thompson and actors Steve Martin, Carl Reiner,
Dom DeLuise, Shirley Jones and Marty Ingels all sent video tributes.
His award was presented by Roger Dreyer (below with
Penn and Yrs. Truly) CEO of Fantasma Toys, and Joey King, President
of the loca lInternational Brotherhood of Magicians.
magic career began at age 12. "My dad had died," he
told me, "so I had to help paythe bills. So I took up serious
magic at local theaters around Chicago.
night the tricks didn't work. But instead of the audience throwing
tomatoes and booing, they laughed uproariously, and my career
brought him to perform in Vegas with Dean Martin & Jerry
Lewis, Betty Grable, Glen Miller and even six appearances on
'The Ed Sullivan Show' back when that really meant something.
Ballantine is known not only for his Strip sleight-o-hand, but
also as a regular on the '60s TV landmarks 'McHale's Navy' and
'Car 54 Where Are You?' He also starred opposite Elvis Presley
and with Natalie Wood in 'Boom Boom' plus 100 guest star roles
on various other TV shows. Incredibly, the 90-year-young magician
is still working, appearing in 'Life is a Joke' and a sit-com
pilot 'The Magic Pearls' about 3 generations of