Sadly Johnny Hart is no longer with us. A true legend who had an incredible career, from performing at the London Palladium at just 18 to an open-ended contract in Las Vegas. I never got to meet Johnny, however his immaculate magic continues to be a huge inspiration to me.
Here’s a great video of Johnny at his prime:
A biography of Johnny was recently written by Steve Short: Johnny Hart - International Star Of Magic. I was asked to review the book, which you can read below:
Steve Short’s attention to detail is remarkable and this book provides a beautiful insight into all aspects of Johnny’s life, following Johnny from his discovery of magic as a boy to the challenges he faced (it sounds like it was just as difficult to travel internationally with animals in the 1960s!) and the amazing adventures he had along the way.
The inclusion of reviews from various magic publications do a fantastic job of describing the evolution of Johnny’s act over his career, while also highlighting Johnny’s continual drive to improve and add new touches to the act, even towards the time of his retirement.
A great feature are the many photos included of Johnny onstage and off, with family and friends, as well as contracts, correspondence, anecdotes from colleagues and playbills which all combine wonderfully to paint the picture of Johnny’s extraordinary career, revealing some fascinating details along the way.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough. If you’re a fan of magic or showbiz, this is a must-read!