The New York Times reported this weekend and Theater Mania reports this morning that magician, consultant, confidant and innovator Charles Reynolds passed away on November 4th from complications related to his battle with liver cancer.
Mr. Reynolds assisted with the magic in many Broadway shows. In fact, he received a Drama Desk nomination for his special effects for the 1983 Broadway musical Merlin starring Doug Henning and Chita Rivera.
He assisted on the theater productions of Big 1996, Into the Woods 1987, Sleight of Hand 1987, Doug Henning & His World of Magic 1984, The Stitch in Time 1981, closed in previews, and Blackstone! 1980.
The Times quotes Mr. Reynolds as describing his work as “providing ‘chaste, charming, weird, wonderful and supernatural illusions’ — and who proved it by coming up with two entirely different ways to make an elephant disappear.”
The Times also notes that Mr. Reynolds was Chief Magic Consultant to Doug Henning for all eight of his one-hour television specials. Mr. Henning proved he had a winning product when the first network show had more than 50,000 viewers.
Mr. Reynolds wrote or worked on six magic books and enjoyed collecting.
The Times notes that while he was not a household name amongst the lay public, he had a special place in the hearts of magicians. “Among many honors, he was the 2004 magician of the year and was named one of the 100 most influential figures of 20th century magic in a Magic magazine poll.”
He was inspired by the Harry Blackstone Sr.’s show at Toledo’s Paramount Theater. He got a his start with a Gilbert Mysto Kit and worked in a magic shop.
Ms. Reynolds told The Times “Like most boys, he was interested in magic,” his wife said. “But most of them grow out of it. He never did.”
According to the paper, Mr. Reynold’s ability to invent was prodigious. “He once whipped up a trick for Harry Blackstone Jr. in a cab on the way to a live television show.”
Mr. Reynolds is survived by his wife, Regina.
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