On February 24, 2017, legendary magician Daryl Easton passed away. Daryl was best known for his sleight-of-hand card tricks and he captivated audiences with his talent. However, even with his fame and accomplishments, Daryl chose to end his life at the age of 61. NBC Los Angeles reported that his body was found mere moments before his scheduled appearance on stage.
Around 7:30 p.m., police received a call that someone had died at The Magic Castle in Hollywood Hills. A Hollywood police spokesman said that a body was discovered in the closet of the private night club. The deceased was clad only in his underwear and he had a plastic bag over his head. They concluded that Mr. Easton committed suicide by hanging himself.
A spokesperson for The Magic Castle claims that the police were wrong when they said that Mr. Easton was only wearing his underwear. They report that he was fully dressed at the time he was found.
— Halloween Costumes (@Halloweenpirate) February 25, 2017
The Magic Castle posted a statement on their Facebook page, as they mourn the loss of one of their favorite patrons and entertainers, Daryl Easton.
“The Academy of Magic Arts (AMA) and the Magic Castle mourn the passing of celebrated magician and AMA family member, Daryl. Daryl, who was performing at the Magic Castle this week, was found dead on the club’s premises on the evening of Friday, Feb. 24, and his death has been ruled a suicide by the Los Angeles Police Department. The magic community mourns the loss of one of our most beloved and talented performers and the AMA’s deepest regrets and heart-felt sympathy go out to Daryl’s family.”
Daryl Easton was a much-loved magician and he delighted audiences young and old. The Magic Castle’s statement went on to say that Daryl was “an award-winning close-up magician with over 40 years of experience in both performing and selling the finest magic in the world.” He received first-place FISM Gold medals, and he “performed as a headline act at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for seven years, fine tuning his already encyclopedic knowledge of magic. Daryl has performed literally thousands of shows for audiences as diverse as the Witch Doctors on the South Pacific island of Vanuatu to the movers and shakers of the political world at the Presidential Ball in Washington, D.C.”
Daryl Easton’s real name was Daryl Martinez. After he proved to be a master magician, he was often referred to as “The Magician’s Magician.” Mr. Easton came up with several tricks of his own, including “Presto Printo,” “Cardboard Chameleons,” and the “Jumping Knot of Pakistan.”
— David Minkin (@Davidminkin) February 26, 2017
No one knows what caused the famed magician to take his life. Thoughts of suicide must not have entered his mind, as his last post on Facebook gave no hint at depression. The famed magician said he was going to California to do some shows at The Magic Castle for a week. What happened to make this talented magician end his life remains unknown. The police have ruled his death as a suicide by hanging. But the coroner is not as certain and will continue to investigate the cause of death.
The Magic Castle was built for Rollin B. Lane, who was a wealthy banker and real estate magnate, in 1908. Mr. Lane owned acres of land and he had a dream of it filled with orange groves, ranches, and farms. Unfortunately, those dreams came to an end when the country was hit by a severe drought. Mr. Lane moved away in the 1940s.
Mr. Lane’s private mansion changed hands and it was turned into a multi-family home. After that, the mansion changed owners again, and it became a home for the elderly. That didn’t last long either, and it was changed into a series of apartments.
In 1961, Milt and Bill Larson, along with Bill’s wife, Irene, devised a plan. They wanted to transform the Lane mansion, which looked run-down from years of neglect, into an exclusive clubhouse for magicians. They got a team of people together and returned the mansion to its former grandeur state. On January 2, 1963, they opened The Magic Castle’s doors.
The Magic Castle is an exclusive, private club. Reservations are required and their customers must wear a coat and tie. The Magic Castle is a place for magicians and illusionists to gather and amaze each other with magic. Daryl Easton and his magic will truly be missed.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and fans of Mr. Daryl Easton. May he rest in peace.
[Featured Image via Minnaert/Public Domain]