On cover of Genii 1972 March
December 19, 1940
Shimada (b. 1940) is known as an elegant and classical magic performer.
Shimada was first interested in magic when he got a job demonstrating tricks at the Tenyo Magic Shop in Tokyo. He starting performing professionally at the age of 18 and was invited to a command performance before Emperor Hirohito.
He created a dove act after seeing Channing Pollock in the 1962 Italian film European Nights.
Shimada left Japan in 1965 to tour Mexico and Australia. While in Australia he met and married Deanna, who became part of his act. Together, they toured twenty countries. They moved to United States in 1970 where he premiered his oriental-style Parasol Act.
In 1975, he premiered his Dragon Act in which, after producing a multitude of colorful parasols, he battles gigantic 60 foot long fire-breathing dragons in a mythical tale set against a spectacular kabuki theater backdrop. Up to this point, his act had been done in Western-style costume, a modified tail suit. Shimada decided that to satisfy his repeat customers, a second, Eastern-costumed and -styled act would have to be developed.
Shimada who performed as Liberace's opening act at the Hilton Las Vegas in 1982. For five years, he appeared as the guest star of the Riviera Hotel's "Splash" where he featured his Dove Act. He was the first Japanese entertainer to star in a Las Vegas production show for an extended multiple year contract.
Four television specials in Japan were filmed around him in 1989
He has appeared on the tonight show with Johnny Carson four times and has also worked with Merv Griffin, Dick Cavett, Bill Cosby
His daughter Luna Shimada, carries on the magic tradition.
- Academy of Magical Arts (AMA) Visiting Magician of the Year 1972.
- AMA Magician of the Year, 1973, 1974, 1976.
- Tenkai Prize 1975
- AMA Performing Fellowship 1989.
- Shimada Haruo no Bon (The Book of Haruo Shimada) (1977)