Monday, October 08, 2012

ABC Wednesday
October 10th, 2010

M is for Missing, and because I am Missing this great Meme I have returned, right in the Middle of the alphabet, to once again take up with ABC Wednesday!

And the M I have chosen for today is Mandrake the Magician.

This is not the serial Mandrake of cartoons and radio and film but our own home-grown Star of the World of Magic who was born Leon Giglio on April 11th, 1911 and raised in New Wesminster, British Columbia, although with his top hat, pencil fine moustache and scarlet-lined cape he bears a strong resemblance to the comic strip character.  Most people would acknowledge this and take for granted that Leon Mandrake was the inspiration for the cartoon.  Phil Davis, the cartoonist, did meet Leon Mandrake and they became good friends, corresponding for many years.

As a child Mandrake was enthralled with some of the great magicians of vaudeville, attending all the shows he could and doing odd jobs for them in return for lessons in magic.  At the age of eleven he performed on the stage of the Edison Theatre in New Weminster as one of the vaudeville acts and at the age of fourteen he bcame the magician for the Moyer's Carnival for the Pacific National Exhibition,  where he learned the art of fire-eating, mind reading and ventriloquism.

By the late 1930's Leon Mandrake had his own magic show and played to sold out performances in Los |Angeles and Las Vegas, billed as one of their biggest box office draws by the Music Corporation of America.

Leon was married to his first wife, Narda, fropm 1939 until 1946.  In 1947 he met and married Velvet, and together 'they were the first team to take a full magic show and tailor it to a night club setting, where the performers were surrounded by their audience.' (Leon Memorial Web Page)

An account of the impressive career Leon and Velvet enjoyed can be found at this Memorial Website, along with information asbout their family, and the enchanting business of Magic which has been passed on to them.

In 1967 Leon and Velvet did a lengthy tour in the Far East and on their return to Canada they began performing at University campuses in Canada and the USA.  They performed their last magic show in 1985 for the Chocolate Festival in Victoria and were filmed by CBC's Fifth Estate.  I wonder if that show is still available in their archives?????  Leon Mandrake died in 1993.

It's lovely to be back and after posting this I will be off to visit other great posts here, at ABC Wednesday.



photowannabe said...

Hildred, I have been missing you too.
I'm so glad to see you back at it.
Your banner, header photo is spectacular. the shear mountains and fall colors took my breath away.

mrsnesbitt said...

Welcome back oh dear lost blogger so pleased you have come back to the ABC fun - now enriched because of your contribution.

ABC Team

The Weaver of Grass said...

Interesting post Hildred but I am so absolutely enchanted by your wonderful header that I can do no more than sit and gaze at it.

Wanda said...

First, you header is so beautiful. Just stunning.

This was quite interesting to read and new to me.

I scrolled below and was drooling over the lushious looking pumpkin pies. I'm so ready for our Thanksgiving and all the good food.

Leslie: said...

Goodness! I never knew all this and I live in the 'burbs of Vancouver!

abcw team

Hildred and Charles said...

About the header, - it was a glorious autumn (2010) and this was the view from our front porch.
So lucky to have had this beauty...

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I remember the comic strip! Interesting history of the real thing. And I too agree that your header is spectacular.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I remember the comic strip! Interesting history of the real thing. And I too agree that your header is spectacular.

Mama Pajama said...

wow, excellent. I'd never heard of Mandrake, but now I think I'll go look him up - love your photo at the top of the page, too!

Chubskulit Rose said...

Nice mustache!

Manok... find out what it is
Rose, ABC Wednesday

Reader Wil said...

Welcome back, Hildred and Charles! We all missed you as you see. Thank you for the interesting post about Mandrake! We learn each week a lot by means of the ABC meme.
I hope you will enjoy your time again in the blogging family, of which you are both members.
Wil, ABC Team.

ChrisJ said...

Yes indeed welcome back! As others have said, your header photo is gorgeous. I really know so little about magicians in general although my brother and my grandfather used to like to do magic tricks.

Carver said...

Very interesting feature for M day. Carver, ABC Wed. Team