Will Rock

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Today is the birthday of Will Rock (William George Rakauskas, 1907-1995). Born in Lithuania, he moved the U.S. at age five. At age 13 he started studying magic, becoming a professional in 1929. Starting in 1931 he was the assistant to The Great Raymond. The turning point came in 1936, when Howard Thurston passed away. Rock bought up all of the late Thurston’s props and some of his magic secrets, then learned about Thurston’s act from the late magician’s assistants and relatives. In 1938 he began to tour a show called “Will Rock, the Modern Monarch of Magic Presents Thurston’s Mysteries of India”. During World War 2, Rock enlisted and became an entertainment director in the army. After the war, he went into civilian life, retiring not only from the army but also from show business.

To find out about  the history of vaudeville, consult No Applause, Just…

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