Tony-Nominated Magician Doug Henning is Dead at 52

News   Tony-Nominated Magician Doug Henning is Dead at 52 Magician Doug Henning, who popularized magic and illusion on Broadway in such shows as The Magic Show, which earned him a Tony Award nomination, died of liver cancer in Los Angeles Feb. 7.
Doug Henning in The Magic Show.
Doug Henning in The Magic Show.

Magician Doug Henning, who popularized magic and illusion on Broadway in such shows as The Magic Show, which earned him a Tony Award nomination, died of liver cancer in Los Angeles Feb. 7. Mr. Henning was 52. His wife, Deborah, was at his side, Reuters reported.

Known for his curly locks and crooked smile, Mr. Henning was a familiar face on TV in the 1970s and early 1980s, and was the star of Broadway's The Magic Show (with a score by Stephen Schwartz), Merlin with Chita Rivera (and a score by Elmer Bernstein) and Doug Henning's World of Magic. He earned a Best Featured Actor (Musical) nomination for his work in the conceptual tuner, The Magic Show, in the 1974-75 season.

Looking like a hippie, he is credited with restimulating an interest in magic and illusion, introducing such tricks as Harry Houdini's famous "water torture escape" to a new generation.

According to new reports, Mr. Henning was diagnosed with liver cancer in 1999.

A native of Fort Garry, Manitoba, he moved to the United States and became an international star.

Mr. Henning was one of the supporters of a $1 billion theme park, Veda Land, proposed for the Niagara Falls area. The parks is linked to Indian spiritual leader Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of Transcendental Meditation.

-- By Kenneth Jones