Gloria Dea, Las Vegas Strip’s 1st Magician, Dies at 100

Posted on: March 18, 2023, 04:23h. 

Final up to date on: March 18, 2023, 04:23h.

Glorea Dea, the primary magician to carry out on what would turn into the Las Vegas Strip, died on Saturday, March 18, at age 100.

Gloria Dea
Gloria Dea in a publicity photograph from her days as a Hollywood actress. Picture: notreCinema)

Thought — who had been in hospice care at a Las Vegas assisted-living facility — celebrated her centenarian birthday in August 2022. The milestone was celebrated on the Westgate Las Vegas, her favourite on line casino, by MGM headliner David Copperfield, Teller of Penn & Teller, and different magicians.

“Gloria was wonderful,” Copperfield advised the Las Vegas Evaluate-Journal. “She was charming, humorous and fascinating. And in Vegas, as a younger magician, she began all of it. It was an honor to know her.”

Youngest to Oldest

Dea was born Gloria Metzner on August 25, 1922 in Oakland. Impressed by her father, Leo Metzner – an newbie magician who referred to as himself “The Nice Leo” – Dea started performing methods on the age of 4. Three years later, she was generally known as “the youngest working magician on this planet,” in response to the Oakland Tribune.

On Might 14, 1941, at solely 19 years outdated, Dea carried out within the Roundup Room on the El Rancho Vegas. That made her the primary magician to ever carry out on Freeway 91, which wouldn’t be renamed Las Vegas Boulevard for 18 extra years. (On the time, solely the El Rancho Vegas and Final Frontier lined the street. The Flamingo was nonetheless underneath development.)

Dea carried out two exhibits that evening. The crowds went wild for her billiard-ball trick and a floating-card trick, each taught to her by her father.

“It felt good,” Dea advised the R-J at her birthday bash in August. “Anytime somebody likes one thing that you just do, you’re feeling good don’t you? Oh, yeah. I used to be obtained splendidly. It was an important room. You had the viewers seated, then floor-to-ceiling glass within the again, and on the opposite facet of that was the swimming pool.”

“Then you definitely had been onstage, going through that. It was fancy. It was a enjoyable place.”

Between magic acts, Dea carried out the rumba to big-band tunes carried out by the El Rancho home band.

Hollywood Beckoned

Later within the ’40s, Dea moved to LA, adopted her stage identify, and have become an actress. She landed a contract with Columbia Footage, for whom she starred in motion pictures till the late ’50s. Her most distinguished position was as Princess Pha within the 1952 movie, “King of the Congo,” wherein she starred reverse Buster Crabbe.

After leaving present enterprise, Dea bought insurance coverage, in addition to vehicles for a Chevy dealership. By 1980, she moved to Las Vegas, the place she lived in anonymity together with her fourth husband, Sam Anazlone, a fellow automobile salesperson who died in January 2022.

Dea’s story was rediscovered by Las Vegas magician AnnaRose Einarsen, who circulated it across the native magic neighborhood. As soon as Copperfield caught wind of the legend dwelling in his midst, he struck up a friendship. In 2021, he invited Dea to his MGM present and introducing her from the stage.

Copperfield was set to induct Dea into the UNLV Faculty of Advantageous Arts Corridor of Fame on Tuesday, March 25. The ceremony will now be performed in her reminiscence.



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