Welcome to the Celeste Evans Media page. All the articles and brochures that we can find with Celeste in them will be posted here.
Highlights of the Chicago 2011 MCA
from Adele Friel Rhindress.
There were so many people standing for the first
standing ovation that I did not realize it was two! I
thought it was a very long ovation and I was so
delighted. What a great way to love a great star ...
Celeste Evans was in her glory!
I must tell you that when Evanna and Celeste were in
the hotel hallway before Celeste Evans' interview,
Celeste turned to me and said, "We are going to have a
question/answer session." I KNEW she wanted me to ask a
question. When I saw Julie Eng inching down the stairs
toward the stage, I knew the interview was near the end.
I had yet to raise my hand. What can I say? I felt in my
heart that a great showperson loves that last bow when
the audience stands and cheers. I had to get Celeste
with her arms spread to accept all the love and
happiness she deserved. A POSE!
With only moments left, I wondered if Evanna could
see my hand waving in the air. She finally did, and not
knowing what I would really say, I blurted out ...
"Celeste, you have such beautiful pictures, gorgeous
gowns. Would you, just for the memory, strike a pose for
us?" I got my question out and the theatre exploded. You
have no idea how happy I was... Celeste had the people
in her Magic Hands.
The icing on my cake was when Evanna came into the
audience and thanked me. And, before that evening had
ended, quite a few persons said to me ... "That was the
best comment of the entire convention." "What a
wonderful way to remember that interview." "A perfect
ending for a perfect hour with Celeste."
Peace Arch News
Alex Browne - Peace Arch News
Published: March 12, 2009 3:00 PM Updated: March
12, 2009 3:17 PM
Peace Arch News is the local newspaper in
White Rock, BC, Canada where Celeste Evans Grew Up.
Former White Rock resident and notorious magician
Celeste Evans is being honored as one of two Legends
These days Celeste Evans lives quietly in retirement in
St. Petersburg, Fla., writing and visiting with her two
The statuesque, elegantly coiffed and gowned entertainer
hasn’t produced a dove – or a toy poodle – out of thin air
for a long time.
But the Queen of Magic – who grew up in White Rock before
her career took her around the world three times – is still
very much in the spotlight.
Last week, Evans, 77, received the Performing Fellowship
Award for Stage Magic from the Academy of Magic Arts at its
Magic Castle venue in Los Angeles (she was already inducted
into the Magic Hall of Fame in 1998).
And on Monday, at the The Garden Theatre just outside
Orlando, Fla., she’ll be honoured as one of two Legends of
Magic, in a special show hosted by Dan Stapleton, president
of the Florida Magicians Association. The show, which co-honours
Jack Kodell, the first magician to appear in Las Vegas, is
the third, and biggest, annual celebration organized by
Stapleton to honour performers who’ve inspired him.
“When I was a teenager from Milwaukee, and just getting
into magic, I’d see these beautiful photographs of Celeste
draped in furs and gold lame, looking like a cross between
Ava Gardner and Jane Russell,” Stapleton recalled. “I
remember thinking ‘that’s the hobby for me!’”
There will be many historic pictures of Evans in the
presentation at the restored 1935 theatre, he said –
including a clip of her performing on Barbara Walters Not
For Women Only show in 1970.
In the 1950s, she enthralled countless viewers with her
frequent appearances on Paul Winchell, Arthur Godfrey and Ed
Sullivan’s shows – and a celebrated turn on To Tell The
Truth in which she won a $1,000 prize by escaping from a
straightjacket in nine seconds (they would have given her
longer but a commercial was due). The biggest element of her
career – and the part she recalls most fondly today – was
touring and live appearances all over the world, including
Las Vegas, London, Tokyo, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Madrid and
“Who would have thought a little girl from White Rock,
B.C. would have done this? Not me,” said Evans, who is
currently at work on a second volume of her book Has This
Ever Happened To You? – a collection of magicians’
“I did what I had to do to make a living, and it was not
always an easy road. Magic was always dominated by men, and
then I came along. I had a vision of what my act should be.
It took years of practice and patience to get it there, but
it was well worth it.”
Evans is quick to say she was not the first woman to
entertain as a magician – there were a number of women
“But I did make my own style of magic never seen before,”
“I came out on stage in evening gowns, mostly strapless
but always sleeveless. Dove magic was primarily done by men;
I was one of the first women to do dove magic. To this day,
I have many a magician come up to me and ask where I hid the
doves. I’ll never tell – and neither will the doves.”
Known as Ruth when she lived in White Rock, she was first
inspired by a magician – name now unknown – she saw at a
“When I was a young girl, my friends were playing with
dolls. I really did not like dolls – magic was mysterious
and glamourous. I spent every waking hour, after my chores
were completed, practicing magic in our home’s attic.”
Evans had three siblings – brothers Jack (now 89 and
living in Victoria) and Norman (who continued to live in
White Rock until he passed away five years ago) and a
sister, Betty, who lived in Lake Erock until she died three
“White Rock was the most wonderful place for a child to
grow up in – the beaches, the boardwalk, the open spaces and
the mountains. As a child, you were never bored – it was a
“Mom was a homemaker and worked the little farm we had,
and Dad was a commercial fisherman. He did any work that he
could get paid for when not in the fishing season; whether
it be cutting firewood, building houses, odd jobs, whatever
was necessary to make a living.”
Evans showed a lot of the same application after she
graduated from Trapp Tech. in New Westminster in 1949 (she
had transferred from Semiahmoo High School in Grade 11).
Already determined to make magic her life, she moved to
Vancouver after graduation and worked odd jobs in between
her magic gigs.
“There I met a magician – John Kirby – who took me under
his wing and taught me not to be just a magician, but to be
an entertainer,” she said.
“Some of my magic gigs were one-night jobs, but most of
my magic gigs took me away for weeks or months at a time. If
my current job would not let me off work, I simply quit.”
Evans eventually moved to the U.S. and met her first
husband, Harry Breyn, working with him in his talent agency
in the Chicago area. They had two children, Evan and Evanna,
and when Breyn passed away in 1983, she took over his
business until she retired in early 2003. But it was while
she was still in Canada, in 1952, that she was chosen to
entertain Commonwealth troops in Korea and Japan under the
auspices of the Canadian Legion, beginning an aspect of her
career that ultimately led to tours around the world –
sometimes to war zones – for the USO, the United Nations and
the John F. Kennedy Cultural Exchange,.
“In Korea we would entertain out of a covered wagon truck
to the troops at small base camps,” she recalled. “The
truck’s engine was running and at any time the truck would
take off to avoid enemy fire.
“It was a frightening time, however I would not have
changed a thing. I am still very proud to have been one of
the acts chosen.”
If you have any articles, brochures or newspaper clippings about Celeste Evans, please email them to email@example.com and I will post them with due credit.