Saturday, September 28, 2013

John Calvert, 1911-2013

The death has been announced of magician John Calvert, at the age of 102. Calvert's main career was as a magician, but as I mentioned back in April 2012, Calvert's interesting career led to him spending several years in Hollywood as an actor, where he played the Falcon in some of the lower-budget entries in the series.

Calvert knew Harry Houdini's widow Bess, who thought Calvert would be perfect to play the part of her late husband if Hollywood ever did a biopic on him. However, she died in 1943, and by the time the studios ever got around to making a movie about Harry Houdini, Bess wasn't there to have influence, so we got Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh as the Houdinis. I haven't seen any of Calvert's movies, so I can't judge whether he had the acting chops to play the non-magic parts of Harry Houdini's life.

When I blogged about Calvert last year, it was in conjunction with a documentary about his life that is available on DVD, but you're going to have to search around for it. Calvert lived quite the life, as the documentary entertainingly tells.

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