Billy McComb's Real Name
William Henry McComb
He was affectionately billed as
"The Worlds Largest Leprechaun."
Magician, Comedian, Inventor, Author, Doctor
Place of Birth
Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK.
Billy McComb possessed the ability of superior showmanship and conjuring skills. He was a specialist in comedy, and he was also a magic historian, having had vast knowledge in the magical arts.
McComb has made over 300 personal appearances on TV and has appeared in over 40 motion pictures.
Billy McComb was born April 12, 1922 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He was the son of a physician who was knighted for his extensive contribution to X-ray research.
McComb was educated at Portora Royal School, Enniskillen. He then trained for a career in medicine at Queen's University, Belfast. He graduated as a doctor in 1949.
He decided to develop a talent he discovered at school as a magician and comedian. He made a name for himself in Ireland. He very quickly made his mark in London in the West End cabaret scene.
He married June Cochrane, a former Miss Ireland. They became a performing duo. He performed before Queen Elizabeth II at a Royal Variety Performance in the early years of his career.
He then began a very successful career as a magician and comedian performer aboard cruise ships internationally with his magician's assistant, Mindy Masters.
He was hired to perform at the International Of Magicians in 1962 and stayed at Jim Swogers house, in Pittsburgh, along with his wife and son for six months before taking up residence in Los Angeles, California in the 1970s.
He joined the magic Castle in Hollywood, and made over three hundred appearances on television and in movies.
He opened for such stars as Bob Hope. One role was Walter Wilder in the 1995 film Lord of Illusions, directed by Clive Barker.
He also appeared in the 1987 TV film Young Harry Houdini. He became a prominent figure at The Magic Castle.
In his 80s he continued to perform regularly in Las Vegas and as an opening act for The Amazing Johnathan. In his later years his act was noted by his self deprecating jokes. In his opening he would look at his watch and say, "It's either this or rice pudding night at the home."
Books he wrote include The Professional Touch and Mc Comb's Magic: 25 Years Wiser.
He was a prolific inventor of magic and illusions, most famously known for creating such items as the "Mc Combical Deck" and the "Double Thin Model Sawing" routine in which two assistants are sawed in half, and the halves of the two assistants are switched.
This world famous routine has been used by several other magicians and was even a Jeopardy! question.
He was sought after by many as the answer man in magic when a magician was having difficulty locating or developing a particular routine.
Billy will be remembered as a gentle giant and a kindhearted individual. He was indeed a true friend to the end. One time an up and coming young magician telephoned Billy with a request to find a new rope routine.
Billy traveled across Los Angeles with a box of magicians rope in hand. Billy taught the young magician the routine.
Billy McComb died on April 12, 2006, aged 84, in Los Angeles, predeceased by his son, Sean McComb, who died in 2002. His widow, June McComb, died in 2007.
Information Credit: Wikipedia
Photo Credit: Philip Pound, Tom Frank
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