Nell Newton aka Dell O'Dell
(b. 1902 - 1962)
Dell O'Dell, The Queen of Magic,The World's Leading Lady Magician
Magician, Juggler, Entertainer
Place of Birth
Dell O'Dell possessed the ability of magical versatility. She could perform before an audience of any setting; whether it be in front of a group of sailors, with the appropriate adult language and alluring attire for that occasion, or in the next moment perform a children's birthday party and be completely appropriate in that setting too.
O'Dell grew up in carnivals and was a weight lifter and strong woman in a circus for a while, before moving on to magic.
Dell O'Dell was born Nell Newton on October 20, 1902. Her father worked in carnivals and taught O'Dell magic tricks and an early age.
She also picked up juggling along the way, and became rather proficient in her juggling skills.
As a juggler, she went under the name Dottie O'Dell, and was juggler Pryde Shannon's first partner before he teamed up with Alice Daye.
In the 1940's, O'Dell developed a style that featured witty dialogue and cute rhymes, which became a trademark of hers.
Dell married Charles Carrer, a famous juggler known as "The King of Jugglers," who managed her show and constructed props for her.
She became a highly successful night club performer appearing in most major New York clubs as well as other major cities. She was also a favored performer for society functions.
O'Dell featured for a time her version of the BAR ACT; the props made by Carrer. At another point, she bought the rights to the comedy act of Frank Van Hoven, and was successful wither her own version.
She became a pioneer of television magic when the "Dell O'Dell Show," a weekly half-hour show began transmission on all ABC-TV stations in 1951.
O'Dell pre-dated many other noted pioneers of television magic, such as Mark Wilson, who aired his first TV show in 1955, and Richiardi Jr., who debuted on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1956.
As successful entertainers, O'Dell and Carrer resided Santa Monica and enjoyed the fruits of their labor. The two threw regular pool side parties for their show biz friends; the jugglers were the dominant ones.
The Dell O'Dell Fan Club was also quite successful, having one of the largest memberships for any such club devoted to a magician.
For many years she wrote a column titled "Dell-lightfully," which appeared in the Linking Ring Magazine. She also produced a number of books on magic and owned a magic shop in Hollywood.
Dell O'Dell continued to perform until her death from cancer at age 59. O'Dell provided a role model for modern female entertainers influencing subsequent generations.
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