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Doug Henning

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Henning in November 1976

Douglas James Henning (May 3, 1947 – February 7, 2000) was a Canadian magician, illusionist and escape artist. He was born in Winnipeg. He helped make magic shows more popular in the 1970s.

Henning's approach to magic and performing was different from earlier magicians. While magicians usually performed in black formal wear, Henning wore colorful clothes. He also studied psychology in college, to know how the human mind works.

Henning is credited by many for the resurgence of the public's interest in magic, thanks to his breakthrough Broadway show, The Magic Show, which opened in 1974 and ran for almost five years.[1] This was followed by eight television specials on NBC (the first of which remains the most watched magic television special in history, with over fifty million viewers).[2] In 1982, he appeared in another Broadway show, Merlin, which ran for seven months.[3] The magic in Merlin was met with accolades. However, critics did not like the show's book and music.

Henning was a spokesperson for Polaroid, TWA, Minolta and Chrysler.

He was a student of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and used transcendental meditation to help him focus and to relax. He tried to help the Maharishi open a theme park, called Vedaland. Henning also ran for public office in Canada, but lost the election.

Henning died in 2000 of liver cancer in Los Angeles.[3] Instead of normal medical treatments, he tried to cure himself through natural remedies and diet, but this did not work. After his death, Henning's widow kept the Vedaland campaign going.

References[change | change source]

  1. "1975 Tony Award Winners". BroadwayWorld.con. Archived from the original on September 21, 2017. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
  2. "To Henning Magic is more than just sawing a woman in half on television". The Baltimore Sun. December 21, 1975. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  3. 3.0 3.1 McKinley, Jesse (February 9, 2000). "Doug Henning, a Superstar Of Illusion, Is Dead at 52". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2010.