HARRY BLACKSTONE JR.
Author unknown: “Throughout the world of entertainment there is only one name that is synonymous with the art of illusion, the mysteries of prestidigitation, and the world of magic; and that name is BLACKSTONE.
Carrying on the tradition of his famous father, “The Great Blackstone”, Harry Blackstone Jr. has created a most diverse career. When most magicians pull a rabbit from their hat, it’s usually a black top hat. With Blackstone, Jr. the rabbit could come from any of the several hats he wears. Not only a fine magician, he is also an executive with a most successful track record in business. In addition to magic and administration, he is an accomplished actor with an impressive list of credits. He has also recently donned another hat, that of producer.
Born in Three Rivers, Michigan on June 30, 1934, this multi-faceted personality began his career in magic at the tender age of six months; at which time he began appearing and disappearing from his father’s illusions. By the age of four he was performing a trick with his mother and father involving the identification of cards by mental telepathy. When a houseguest would select a card, Harry Jr. could be heard correctly identifying the card from the adjoining room to the astonishment of the guest and his parents. His father then worked with Harry, teaching him the art of illusion and together they performed from 1941 to 1948.
In 1952, young, but with the skill and experience beyond his years, Blackstone, Jr. began a solo career. He became an international performer entertaining audiences in Australia, England, France, Japan, Spain and throughout Europe and the Far East. Although much of his act is based on audience participation, magic, pickpocketing and comedy; his captivating personality and amazing wit have become the mainstay of the act.
Blackstone, Jr. has appeared in many of the major night spots, theatres, amusement parks, and schools of the U.S., including: Harrah’s Club in Reno and Lake Tahoe, the Sahara-Tahoe, The Nugget, The Flamingo, Ceasar’s Palace, The Sahara and the Tropicana in Las Vegas; Orchestra Hall in Chicago, The Houston Music Hall, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, The Concord Pavillion; Sea World, Magic Mountain, and Disney world; Cal-Tech in Pasadena, San Diego State University, Indiana University, Florida State University, and many more. He shared the bill with such stars as Petula Clark, Blood, Sweat & Tears, John Davidson, The Osmond Brothers, The Everly Brothers, The Smothers Brothers and The King Sisters. He also appeared with Wayne Newton, Glen Campbell, Elvis Presley, Pat Boone, Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra (Jr. & Sr.).
His television appearances have been numerous: The Smothers Brothers Show, Ed Sullivan Show, Glen Campbell Show, The Tonight Show, Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas, Dinah Shore, Truth or Consequences, and Elvis Presley, “Aloha from Hawaii”, aired live to 44 countries, to name a few.
He even did a Japanese television show called “Watakusi-No-Himitau” (the Japanese version of What’s My Line?). And who can forget his appearance on Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell.
The Blackstone television special entitled, “Magic, Magic, Magic” was seen throughout the country and is currently being syndicated internationally. He also recently completed work as technical consultant and magic coordinator for “The Great Houdini”, a special two-hour film for ABC Television.
You’ve also seen his national commercials for such diversified companies as Playtes, Frito-Lay, Vanish, B. F. Goodrich, Speidel, Pepsi, Tupperware and, of course, Jiffy Pop.
As an actor Harry Blackstone, Jr. was the first Occidental ever to perform The Grand Kabuki. While in Japan he also appeared in “Tea-house of the August Moon.” He speaks both Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. Harry was with the road company of “The Lark” and has performed Shakespeare with the famed Old Globe Repertory Company in San Diego, under the direction of the late B. Iden Payne. In addition, he spent time as the general manager for the national touring companies of “Hair”
In the fall of 1971, Blackstone, Jr. returned to the heritage of his name and began producing magical revues. He produced and starred in an elegant magic extravaganza at Harrah’s Club in Lake Tahoe. Acclaimed, “the finest magic production seen in America in the last 25 years.” But this was just the beginning. The critics again acclaimed his talents when he appeared the following year with “Hocus Pocus” headlining a sixteen week extended engagement at the Fremont Hotel in Las Vegas.
In the ensuing years, surrounding his many other endeavors, he has continued to elaborate on the original productions in preparing for his life-long dream and his father’s final wish, to produce and tour the largest magical extravaganza in the history of the United States. As always, he continues to tour throughout the country working the clubs, hotels, theatres, parks, etc. and bring a little magic into peoples lives. His most recent accomplishments are the magical effects which were designed and built for the ski shows at Sea World of Ohio and Florida; on particular illusion had never before been performed in the United States, and also he has just completed his first book, “There’s One Born Every Minute”.
With the increasingly renewed interest in the magical arts, Harry Blackstone, Jr. is constantly on the go. Because of the enormous amount of activity with the productions, television and concert appearances in which he is involved; his family and friends aren’t joking when they say, “Now you see his, now you don’t.”