Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Sat Apr 6 11:43:36 EDT 2013


My good friend in magic Hal Meyers recently came across a video of
the famous illusionist Aldo Richiardi Jr. Hal was a close personal friend
of Richiardi and knew that I was as well. He kindly forwarded me the video
link, and I will now share it with you.

Aldo Richiardi was born in Peru, performed all over South America,
Europe and the USA. He toured the world with a grand illusion show, playing
big theaters everywhere. He appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show a record 24
times, more than any other magician. I saw him at The Shamrock Hilton Hotel
in Houston in the 50's where he appeared for two weeks, and we became good
friends. My wife Joyce and I threw a party for Aldo and his troupe of five,
and invited a dozen local magicians. It was a grand night of magic talk with
a real star, and we will never forget him.

Later, in April,1984 I was doing a banquet date in San Juan, Puerto
Rico at the Cerromar Beach Hotel. In the casino theater, by good fortune,
Richiardi was appearing with his big stage show. After my performance, I
was able to run downstairs and catch his 11PM show. It was fantastic.

On his opening he walked down a beautiful curved staircase, and
halfway down there suddenly appeared a big black panther at his side, on a
diamond studded leash. This caused a standing ovation, on his opening trick
mind you. I have never seen that happen before or since. He was known for
doing the most artistic broom suspension ever, and it was another big crowd
pleaser that night. After the show we had a nice breakfast and talked magic
till 3AM. I looked forward to the next time our paths would cross, but alas,
he injured a foot just a year later, had bad c omplications from an
operation, and died in 1985 at age 62.

The old timers in magic will remember Richiardi as among the very
best, but a whole next generation of magicians may never have even heard of

We're lucky that this video was preserved. In his levitation please
forgive the dark lighting in the video. But most of the tape still looks
very good.

I hope you will enjoy seeing one of our magic greats in action.

Best, Walter

Richiardi at the Olympia Theater in F rance


And for any who care to watch that last trick again, The De
Kolta Chair Vanish, done later in his career in color:

And finally, Richiardi on Ed Sullivan doing the razor blade
trick, in 1968

Walter Blaney
walter at walterblaney.com

3603 Spring Arbor Way, Kingwood, TX 77345
Phone: 281 360 8014 Fax: 281 360 0472
Banquet Show Website: http://www.walterblaney.com
Illusion Website: http://www.walterblaney.com/illusions

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