Dick "Mr. Magic" Williams started learning magic at age 7 from a Christmas gift: a Gilbert magic set. He wanted to join
the Wizards of Wichita (KS) but membership was limited to those who were at least 18 years old. After seeing a
performance, they were delighted to make an exception and granted Dick charter membership when he was 13. He
performed with the club at military bases during World War II. In 1945, he joined the US Navy, serving on the USS West
Virginia. He was one month shy of being 18 years old, not uncommon during the turmoil after Pearl Harbor.
About Mr. Magic
© Dick Williams and MagiclandTV.com.
Hosted by family of Mr Magic.
All Rights Reserved.
Dick's wife and partner of 57 years, Virginia Williams, passed away on January 1, 2007. She
was a coloratura soprano, music teacher, and his partner on Magicland, She worked tirelessly
sewing costumes, arranging music, organizing props, and directing assistants to keep the
show running smoothly. Virginia was preceded in death by their only child, Sherry.
Dick started his career in radio when he was only 17 years old, after winning a contest for having the best voice out of nearly 200
people. In Wichita, he finished college and worked as a KAKE radio announcer for several years before transferring to KEDD-TV
in 1955. Before that, in 1947, he met his future wife, Virginia, when he announced her live singing on KAKE radio. They married in
1949. In 1956, Dick and Virginia moved to Amarillo, TX. It was there that he started a television magic show that was the
beginning of his later success. Dick performed over 300 magic shows on KGNC (now KAMR) TV channel 4 (NBC) in Amarillo,
TX, starting in 1963, in addition to being a weatherman. Before his KGNC gig, Dick tried selling insurance and taught history to
high school students. But, his true passion was broadcasting...and magic!
In 1965 Dick joined WMC-TV, Channel 5, the NBC affiliate in Memphis, TN, as a staff announcer and weatherman (over 7000
weathercasts by 1989). After hearing about his TV magic show in TX, he was asked if he would like to start a show on WMC. He
said yes, thinking it might be on the air for a year, and then after five years was amazed he still had enough material. For 23
years, Magicland was a popular show in Memphis, with as many adults watching as children. Dick had
a natural knack for coming up with genuine and relevant patter that enhanced the magic.
Guest stars on Magicland: Harmon Baker, Blackstone, Jr., Zaney Blaney, Ali Bongo, John Booth, John Calvert, Ricki Dunn, Frank
Everhart, David Ginn, Mercer Helms, George Johnstone, Bob & Nikki Kenney, Jay Marshall, The Memphis Magicians, Charlie
Miller, Tom Ogden, Col. Seymour, Ben Small, Joe White, and Mark Wilson (source: Who's Who in Magic by Whaley).
Dick was the star of WMC-TV5's "Dick Williams' Magicland," a half-hour weekly show in Memphis, TN (Jan. 1966-1989).
Dick performed tricks and illusions, juggled clubs and scarves, and is often remembered for his signature magician's
finger aerobics (picts here).
Dick was featured in the 2005 Guinness World Records book on pg. 182 in a "Magic &
Illusions" section as well as pg. 154 in the 2006 book for having the longest running magic
show in television history, with 1200 broadcasts (1500 TV shows total, if you include his
shows on NBC in TX). He was the first to perform the authorized version of Harbin's Zig-Zag
illusion on American TV (April 4th, 1971). He is a member of the International Brotherhood of
Magician's Order of Merlin - Excelsior.
Click here for more information on Dick Williams' published
works and remastering of several of his favorite tricks,
including the Cups & Balls, as well as some info on the
Zig-Zag and Light Cabinet illusions.
Published works & trick development: