Frances R. Francis, 'Lady Frances' Hess
Magician, TV Producer, Writer
Place of Birth
Frances possessed the ability of exemplary showmanship and stage magic prowess.
Frances owned a Brazilian macaw named Genii
Lady Frances, once married to magician Larry Hess, started assisting him in 1934. She later toured with her own act after 1946.
She was one of the leading performing female magicians as a headlining act performing in all of the top hotels, clubs and cruise ships across the U.S., Canada and Argentina.
Frances appeared on the 'Bonnie Maid' show with Woody Herman, 'Stop the Music' with Bert Parks and 'Break the Bank Show' with Bert Parks, and Joey Bishop's television show.
She served in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps during World War II.
In 1946, she was bestowed the award for best act involving the use of magical apparatus either in whole or part, at the P.C.A.M. Convention shows or contests.
Frances contributed a series of articles to the 'Linking Ring' magazine about magicians in television; techniques and methods performing before video cameras.
In 1953, she stopped touring to begin working for WLWT, a television station located in Cincinnati - an affiliate of the NBC television. She became one of the few women TV producers in the country.
In 1955, Frances gave up her television job in San Luis Obispo, California to return to conjuring.
After her marriage to the William Van Every, a famous historical novelist, Frances retired from show business in Santa Barbara California. When the S.A.M. convention came to California in 1980, Frances decided to perform again and won the Women's Magic Award contest.
Frances was a member of the New York Magicians' Guild, Los Angeles Magigals, Chicago Round Table, I.B.M., Magicians Alliance of Eastern States and P.C.A.M.
Information credit: Magicpedia/GeniiMagazine.com, Billboard - March 6, 1954, June 20, 1953, Feb 21, 1948, July 2, 1949, June 11, 1955.
Photo credit: State Library of Victoria.