Breaking: Hank Moorehouse Passes

Inside Magic Image of Hank MoorehouseWe just posted our article congratulating Hank Moorehouse on his well-deserved Melbourne Christopher Lifetime Achievement Award and seconds later received word Mr. Moorehouse has passed away.

The news came from Alan Watson:

“Just heard from Wayne Roger and the Society of American Magicians that Past National President Hank Moorehouse passed away last night while touring in China.”

We are stunned and deeply saddened.  As we note in our previous article, Mr. Moorehouse was so involved in Magic and such a positive force for magicians in Michigan, it will be hard to imagine things without him.

He had perfect timing and knew his audiences well.  Mr. Moorehouse was inventive, creative, practical and commercial.  He knew good magic when he saw it and that eye gave his recommendations enormous credibility.

We will publish additional information about Mr. Moorehouse’s passing when we receive it.  Our prayers are with the Moorehouse family and all those who are no doubt grieving this shocking news.

Very Sad News – J.C. Wagner Passes

J.C. Wagner at his Station at The Little ClubWe were startled to learn this evening (early morning) that the incomparable J.C. Wagner passed away Sunday evening after battling colon cancer for almost 10 months.

J.C. Wagner was the Bar Magician's Bar Magician.  He published several outstanding books and DVDs each with truly commercial magic. 

You may have been following J.C. Wagner's condition on his web site.  News of his diagnosis, surgery, recovery, chemo treatments, and developments were posted on fairly regular intervals. 

For a while, it seemed like there was hope against hope.  In the last week, though, we learned J.C. was moved into Hospice and his planned chemo treatment was put off.

J.C. was a regular at The Little Club on Coronado Island, California every Saturday.  He served up drinks and fantastic magic performed just inches from the astonished magician and lay patrons.  

It is still a shock to us here at Inside Magic.  We will keep his family and loved ones in our prayers. 

You can leave your comments and wishes in the Guest Book at J.C. Wagner's web site by going here.

Sad News: Jerry Conklin Passes

Jerry M. Conklin, a regular at Abbott’s Get Togethers and lead of the long-touring Amazing Conklins lost his battle with cancer on Monday, March 29, 2010.   He was 82.

Mr. Conklin was born in Battle Creek and served in the U.S. Army’s Special Services Entertainment Division after high school.  He married his partner in life and magic, Shirley Robertson on June 24, 1951.  Shirley passed away in 1987.

From the Sturgis Journal of March 31, 2010:

“In 1961, Jerry moved his family to Colon and began working at Abbott’s Magic Company.  Soon afterwards, he became a professional magician, and the ”family of magic” known as The Amazing Conklins traveled throughout the United States, Nova Scotia, New Foundland, Quebec and New Brunswick.  In the 1960s they performed at the Boy Scouts National Jamboree in Colorado Springs, Colo.

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Barry Gibbs Recalls Mike Ellis

Mike Ellis 1917-2008

Contributing Editor Barry Gibbs kindly granted Inside Magic permission to publish his memorial for Mike Ellis, who passed away on October 2, 2008.  Mr. Ellis was certainly an influence on our love for Magic and perhaps yours.  He will truly be missed.

I was saddened today to discover that Mike had passed away, yet happy to remember that I was his “magic teacher” that started him on his way to another adventure in his life.

Yes, it was my “Adult Education” class that Mike first attended in Boynton Beach, Florida. I sponsored Mike into IBM Ring #117, of which I am a past President. Today IBM Ring 117 is the Mike Ellis Ring.

Mike was a wonderful, very modest man. I knew him for almost a year, before I became aware of his theatrical background, not that he told me, but I discovered it when he booked me to perform at a private party in his home.

I will never forget walking into his home and seeing all the autographed photographs to Mike, from any star you could think of. It was only after that occasion Mike explained his background to me. How modest could you be?

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