Charlie Miller (May 25, 1909 - August 13,1989 ), born Charles Earle Miller in Indianapolis, was an magician, author and renowned expert in pure sleight of hand magic.
Cover of Genii (November 1964)
|Born||Charles Earle Miller|
May 25, 1909
|Died||August 13, 1989 (age 80) |
BiographyMiller was born to a family that was well off. His father was a piano manufacturer in Indianapolis and he was educated by a private tutor. He became obsessed with sleight of hand magic and by the time he was twenty, he was recognized as one of the best in the country.
During the 1930's Charlie was associated with Faucett Ross, Dai Vernon, Rolland Hamblen, Manuel, Tommy Martin, Long Tack Sam and Max Malini. During World War II Charlie performed in USO and in night clubs.
In 1932, Miller and Dai Vernon packed their cards and went to Wichita searching for Allan Kennedy who could deal cards out of the middle of the deck, which is documented in the book The Magician and the Cardsharp by Karl Johnson.
He was voted one of the ten living Card Stars in 1955 in a survey done by the editor of the New Phoenix who polled the six surviving members of the original "Card Stars of the U.S.A." by John Northern Hilliard in his book Greater Magic to pick four more.
He was editor of the long running series in Genii magazine called "Magicana" (which some day may get made into a book by Richard Kaufman). One of his trademarks was always signing his name thrice: Charlie Miller Charlie Miller Charlie Miller.
Miller was a remarkably facile cardman with a prodigious memory, who could perform things shown to him 50 years earlier. His skill was thought by many to be equal to Dai Vernon's. Richard Kaufman has noted that at a private lecture at Herb Zarrow's house in the 1980s, he saw Miller do any sleight called for from Expert at the Card Table, including all the esoteric shifts and false deals and palms with unequaled skill.
- "A friend of mine picked up a deck of cards and said he was going to show me a faro trick. I took out a gun and shot him." Charlie Miller - The Pallbearers Review, Vol. 5, No.1, page 292.
Awards and honors
- Masters Fellowship from Academy of Magical Arts (1973)
- Black Art Well Tricks (with Robert Parrish) (1969)
- An Evening with Charlie Miller by Robert Parrish (1961)
- Magicana column in Genii for many years. Began Vol. 29, No. 3, nov. 1964.