Celeste Evans

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Inducted in the SAM Magic Hall of Fame in 1998

Won the AMA Performing Fellowship in Stage Magic in 2009


Has This Ever Happened To You???

Celeste's Autobiography

I Can Still See Me

Celeste's Book

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One of the most famous women in the magic field for the past 50 years, Celeste Evans has played every venue from her early shows in the Far East to banquets, night clubs and as a State Department entertainer representing both the US and the UN. She was probably one of the first women to perform dove magic.

from the Society of American Magicians website.

Celeste Evans was born in White Rock, BC, Canada (two Miles farther south and she'd have been an American star, rather than the Queen of Magic of Canada).  As is common with countless children, she became fascinated with magic at an early age.  In her case, however, it became a life long career.

Celeste began at he age of nine with her first sleight-of-hand effect, throwing knots into silk.  Sentimentally enough, she still opens her act with this same sleight.  She's particularly fond of this, for a magician chum first showed her this effect, than told her she could never do this because she was a girl.  

She told him she'd not only learn to do it (even if it took ten years), but that she would strive to become the best woman magician in the world.  Within a year she was performing in public, and after graduating from high school, she was earning her living on the carnival circuit, touring the country, doing ten shows a day in a tent - an experience she still believes is necessary to become a proficient entertainer.

Her mentors, Jon Kirby and Allan Lambie, had her practicing seven hours a day while still attending school.  She kept this a secret from all by doing her practice in her bedroom in the farmhouse loft.  Allan Lambie was also the mentor of Micky Hades, as well as many other famous magicians.

In 1952, Celeste left Canada to entertain Commonwealth troops in Korea and Japan under the auspices of the Canadian Legion.  She confesses to particularly enjoying entertaining American troops, because she could get her fill of ice cream, a scarce item at the Commonwealth encampments.  


While touring with country and western groups (Celeste can also sing a mean C&W number) she was called to appear on the nationwide show "Pick the Stars", her first nationwide television appearance.  This led to national tours and eventually to the Big Apple - New York.  

In New York she became a regular on "the Paul Winchell Show", "Arthur Godfrey", "The Ed Sullivan Show" and "To Tell the Truth", as well as on the Barbara Walter's show, "Not For Women Only".

It was on "To Tell the Truth" that Celeste escaped from a straightjacket in nine seconds (the commercial was due) and won the thousand dollar award!  This marked the beginning of an innumerable string of television appearances - both nationally and world wide, and it was during this period that Celeste fulfilled the dream of all entertainers - she played "The Palace" in New York.

After touring widely in the United States, in 1957 Celeste was called on by the United Nations to tour central Africa, Egypt and North Africa.  Part of this trip involved being under fire from Israel while working in the Gaza Strip area, being held prisoner in a plane for eight hours in the Belgian Congo, and giving her show on the tailgate of a truck with the motor running so that if there were an attack they could leave with all dispatch.  

Upon her return from Africa, Celeste toured the continent, England, France, Spain, Denmark and Sweden.  This was followed by a tour for the USO covering Greenland, Iceland, Newfoundland and Germany.  After another tour of U.S. Air Force Bases in North Africa, Celeste was asked to represent The John F. Kennedy Cultural Exchange in a tour covering the Near East and Indonesia.

This tour was with the Buddy Rich Band and twenty other artists, and covered twenty six countries, including India, Indonesia, Iran, Laos, Thailand, Nepal, Afghanistan, Singapore & Hong Kong.  It was her pleasure to perform before the crown prince or head of state of seven different countries.  

The high point of this trip was when one of Celeste's doves messed on Indonesian President Sukarno's arm during a photo session.  Celeste claims it was because Sukarno pinched the bird.  He certainly had pinched every other female in the tour, she recalled.

Celeste than settled in Chicago where she toured regularly throughout the country, particularly on the Playboy Club circuit, Las Vegas and myriad other clubs in the United States.  She was a particular favorite of Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago.  One of her doves would regularly settle on his somewhat shiny head.  (Presumably not messing its pink perch.)

Celeste wed Harry Breyn of Breyn Management, a theatrical agency based in Illinois.  Celeste and Harry had two children, Evan and Evanna.  When Harry passed away in 1984, Celeste took over Breyn Management and successfully operated the business until she retired in early 2003.  Celeste remarried in 1992. Celeste and Mitch were together and enjoyed retirement until Mitch's passing in January of 2006.

Celeste lives in Florida on the water and splits her time between writing her book on her experiences as a Magician, tending her garden and swimming in her new pool.  She has two wonderful grandchildren, Ethan and Rachael.  

Though the doves are long gone, she is still known to pull the occasional magic trick on the unsuspecting from time to time...

Web-Links to information about Celeste Evans


Updated: 08/26/2012

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