The Great Cardini
Richard "Cardini" Pitchford was born in 1895 in a coal-mining town
in Wales. During World War 1, he passed the time in the trenches by practicing
his card manipulations. He continued to perfect his magic skills in hospital
after being injured in battle.
He met Swan Walker in Chicago, while working his way across the U.S. and she became his wife and life long assistant.
During his long career, he played The Palace, Radio City Music Hall, London Palladium, Copa Cabana and other prominent theatres, nightclubs and Reviews.
He even was invited to appear in a command performance for the King of England in 1938. In 1957 at age 62, he appeared on one of the few magic television shows broadcast at that time: The Festival of Magic. This is the only known footage to exist of the master at work. See the video clip below.
One of the most amazing things about this great magician is that Cardini did most of his magic routine while wearing gloves! - this being probably mastered early on in the cold damp trenches of the Great War.
The New England Magic Society described Cardini as "the greatest exponent of pure sleight of hand the world has ever known". In 1970 He was honored with the title Master Magician awarded at the Magic Castle, LA, presented by Tony Curtis and much later after his demise in 1999 he was named one of Magic Magazine's Top Magicians of the 20th Century.
Cardini's trademark was to make it appear as though most of the amazing things
that happened around him happened completely by chance - almost as if he was
the victim of these misfortunes!
The Great Cardini In Action!
Click the video icon to see Cardini in a rare TV performance.