Magician, magic-shop owner, friend and mentor to countless magician, Denny Haney died the other day of cancer. A Vietnam vet who went on to a career as a professional magician after his return, he later opened the Denny & Lee Magic Shop outside Baltimore.
This note was posted online:
Friends of the Magic Community,
It is with heavy hearts that we must announce the passing of one of the greatest contributors to our art. Last night, Denny Haney passed. He wanted to give back to the magic community so he took the money he earned on the road, and opened up a studio where magicians could come and learn, practice their craft, rehearse and exchange ideas.
As many of you know, his daughter Dawn has been running the shop during his illness. We kindly ask that you respect his family’s privacy at this time and refrain from calling. We will continue to process orders in a few days. We will be updating with more information about Memorial Services as they become available.
The Denny & Lee Magic Studio
Denny was one of those unique individuals who seemed a relic (in the best way) of another time. He will be missed by many.
His friend Alain Nu wrote this Tribute to Denny Haney of Denny & Lee:
The man who was like a father to me for 35 years of my life died yesterday at age 73. Many considered him to be the consummate pro in the business back when he was at the top of his game. Many saw him as one of the last classic magicians whose mastery of sleight of hand, manipulation and illusion far surpassed 99% of the magicians in the world. Many saw him as a historian who loved the history of magic as if he was actually there for hundreds of years learning it all along the way. However, for most people, Denny was just a magic shop keeper, who shared stories from his past, almost as if it was a completely different lifetime back then. He mostly shared stories that he saw would be relevant to a lesser experienced magician who might listen to them, but he rarely shared stories of himself and how truly great HE WAS.I was there. From 1984 to 1994, I watched Denny while working for him as his stage manager, and after seeing as many people as I have, I can say that VERY FEW will ever come close to matching Denny’s power to present perfectly executed magic for even years to come. Many magicians have a nasty habit of creating short-cuts in their knowledge based on what THEY LIKE. So they won’t even think about things outside of their tastes. Denny was the one who taught me that ALL MAGIC WORKS, and it is up to the magician to make it shine with his mastery. Magicians who have watched Denny for years would applaud his use of the classics, while not realizing that what they were actually watching was a PERFECT EXECUTION of that classic in magic. If they broke down everything that Denny did, they would be breaking down only the most contextualized motivations combined with a perfect ability to use direction and misdirection. So yes, Denny performs the classics. But VERY FEW can perform the classics with that much thought going into it.Denny was also Vietnam veteran, and spent six tours of duty there even after the Vietnam War. Denny loved the Vietnamese, and I guess that made me lucky. I met Denny at a beautiful but short-lived magic-themed nightclub on the East coast near DC, after only hearing of his reputation. Back then, you only would hear about the current greats in magic based on only their reputation. Back then, there was no internet. I was 18 at the time, and Denny asked me if I wanted a job going on the road with him. First I said no, but then the night club closed down, so I called him and said, “Hey, about that job…” And that was the beginning of my life as a professional entertainer.As I sit here thinking, I realize that there is actually just too much to say about Denny. Once, after being with him for only three years, I remember it was after his show, and after a standing ovation and several post-show accolades, Denny was relaxing with a cigarette (in the hotel ballroom!) while I was packing up the show. A young 10 year old boy walked up to him and said “Excuse me, but how old are you?” Denny replied “I’m 42 years old.” The boy looked at him, paused and then said, “You’re old.” At that point, Denny, without missing a beat, said “Well, the thing is, I already know I made it to 42. See, you don’t even know if you are going to live to 42, at your age.” I looked at the face of that smart-ass kid, and what I could read was that he really wanted to come up with a smart answer to retort back to Denny, but he was left speechless and I will never forget that moment. That is just one example of me being a fly on the wall while in the presence of Denny. I have a zillion of them.Denny was the most conservative guy I have ever loved. The only thing about Denny and I was that we never really agreed on politics, But our relationship from the beginning was built on something far greater and less breakable than politics. Our relationship was based on magic.I will miss you so much, my friend!
It’s with great sorrow that we report the passing of former International Brotherhood of Magicians president, June Horowitz. Current Grand Rapids Ring 211 President, Jeff Brodrick, has confirmed that she died on June 27th. She was 104 years old.
Born June Olive Warsaw in Chicago on September 12th, 1913, Horowitz was a respected magician and committed member of the magic community throughout her life. Her father was a stage magician, and she would often join him on stage before she found her true calling in close-up magic. She was a regular and welcome presence at Abbott’s Get-Together events. A math teacher by trade, she was the first woman to have a star installed on the Magician’s Walk of Fame in Colon, Michigan. Hers is number ten, between Neil Foster and Karl Carl.
In 1987, she became the first woman to serve as president of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, a position she held for the traditional period of one year. Even as her age climbed into triple digits, she was still an active member of the Grand Rapids IBM Ring 211, better known as the June Horowitz and John DeVries Magic Club.
Horowitz has been the subject of numerous interviews regarding her life, in and around the magical arts, as well as her experiences in one of the Interlochen Arts Academy’s first camping seasons, but what really caught my eye was this video of her reacting to a trick performed by a young magician.
Everyone here at Genii Online would like to offer our condolences to Horowitz’s family, friends, and fellow magicians of her ring.
Harry Anderson, best known for his role as the prank-slinging Judge Harry Stone on 80’s sitcom Night Court, has passed away at the age of 65. According to reports, he was found dead in his Asheville, North Carolina home on Monday. No foul play is suspected.
Anderson began his career in show-business performing as a street magician when he was 17, but made his big break with appearances on Saturday Night Live! and Cheers as recurring character Harry ‘The Hat’ Gittes. In 1984, he began his nine season, three-time Emmy-nominated stint as Judge Stone on Night Court, and would often infuse his love for magic into the role by playing practical jokes on his colleagues, like the bit below where he removes a finger from his hand and begins chowing down on it:
Anderson loved magic, and outside of his sitcom work, he made a successful career out of touring, performing, and even selling magical curiosities. In 1987, he starred in a TV special called Harry Anderson’s Sideshow; in 1996, he starred in a one-man special on CBS entitled Harry Anderson: The Tricks of His Trade. You can see his signature Grappler routine in the video below:
He also made numerous appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, performing magic and talking shop. Johnny Carson called him “one of the best comedy magicians around”:
In the 1990’s, Anderson opened up a magic shop in New Orleans called Sideshow, and eventually moved to the city with his second wife, Elizabeth Morgan in 2002. He also opened up a night club in 2005 called Oswald’s Speakeasy, but sold it in October 2006 when he and his family moved to Asheville, North Carolina.
He is survived by his wife and two children. We at GeniiOnline offer our sincerest condolences to his friends, family, and loved ones.
The world-renowned Eugene Burger, known for his close-up magic and mentalist skills, has died at the age of 78.
The news originally broke via The International Brotherhood of Magicians Ring 130’s Facebook Page, and his website has since been updated with the following statement:
It is with heavy hearts that we, friends of Eugene Burger, inform you that Eugene has passed away in Chicago at the age of 78. Please join us in remembering and celebrating Eugene, a rare and wonderful person who has meant so much to us and to magicians all over the world.
Eugene enjoyed a long, healthy life, but was very recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. Even so, his death today came more quickly than expected, and we are deeply shocked and saddened by his loss.
We know that in the days, weeks, and months ahead, countless things will be written and said about Eugene, and we will share more information, too. But for now we want to tell you that Eugene embraced his situation with great clarity, humor, and peace of mind. As he said one day, “Now I am on the way to the ultimate capital M Mystery of life.”
Please join us in remembering and celebrating Eugene, a rare and wonderful person who has meant so much to us and to magicians all over the world.
Born in 1939, Eugene Burger leaves behind a legacy of nearly four decades of illusions, and his work has influenced countless magicians and performers all over the world, many of whom have expressed their condolences via Twitter.
A magic legend, a friend, an inspiration to me & countless others, Eugene Burger has passed away. It's a slow fade: he leaves a lot of love.
— Derren Brown (@DerrenBrown) August 9, 2017
Terribly sad news about the death of Eugene Burger – a master of magic and story, a huge inspiration and a life-changing mentor in my life.
— Ben Hart (@ItsBenHart) August 9, 2017
Saddened to hear of the passing of a truly magical artist, Eugene Burger. So kind, so generous. I'll miss his laugh. He had a great laugh. pic.twitter.com/Deaes3uTpl
— DEREK DELGAUDIO (@derek_del) August 9, 2017
Burger wasn’t just a magician; he also held degrees in Philosophy and Divinity from Yale University. He wrote several books on bizarre magic such as Strange Ceremonies, taught courses on comparative religion and philosophy, and frequently taught at the McBride Magic & Mystery School in Las Vegas.
We at Genii Online offer our condolences to Burger’s friends and loved ones. In celebration of all he gave to the world of magic, we leave you with a video showcasing his impressive talents and inimitable charisma: