Born in 1911, Calvert toured and performed an elaborate stage magic show that was reminiscent of the touring shows of the 1930's at the height of Thurston and Blackstone. In fact, Calvert’s show was not just reminiscent, he actually toured during that era. And magic is only a portion of this intriguing magician’s rich and wide-spanning career.
John Calvert performed magic for an astounding 80 years, which includes Broadway and countries around the world. For a time, he piloted his own plane that carried his props and crew and was an active yachtsman who survived some dangerous situations. In his nineties, Calvert continued to tour the country in his motor home (which he drove).
With his dashing good looks and natural acting abilities, Calvert had roles in some 40 movies in the forties and fifties and worked with famous stars such as Danny Kaye, Gary Cooper and more. Most notably, Calvert starred in three films as “The Falcon, a detective.
A documentary, “John Calvert: His Magic and Adventures,” which is available on DVD, presents the magician’s varied and interesting life, as well as shows entertaining excerpts from his theatrical magic act.
The film is well organized and offers interesting interviews with Calvert and his wife and assistant Tammy and more. I found it particularly interesting to view footage of Calvert today touring and setting up his show in theaters and working with crews.
Calvert’s cumulative experiences are awe-inspiring and he’s a fantastic and entertaining magician. If anything, the film leaves you wanting more. For a look at this unique and fascinating magician, I highly recommend his documentary.
John Calvert passed away in 2013.