In a moment of profound sadness, the magic community bids farewell to one of its most cherished figures. Milt Larsen, the visionary co-founder of Hollywood’s iconic Magic Castle, has passed away at the age of 92, leaving behind a legacy that will forever enchant and inspire.
The Academy of Magical Arts shared the heartbreaking news, expressing deep sorrow over Larsen’s passing. “It is with heavy hearts that the Academy of Magical Arts shares the sad news that Magic Castle founder Milt Larsen has passed away,” said Chuck Martinez, Chair of the board of directors. “For decades, he brought magic to so many lives, and his legacy will continue to do so. We will miss him tremendously.”
Back in 1963, Milt Larsen, along with his brother William Larsen Jr. and William’s wife Irene, embarked on a remarkable journey that would change the landscape of magic forever. They transformed a stunning gothic home on 7001 Franklin Ave. into the enchanting and exclusive Magic Castle—a haven where the art of magic thrived and captivated audiences.
Larsen’s unwavering dedication and his family’s tireless efforts ensured that the Magic Castle became an institution deeply cherished by magicians and magic enthusiasts alike. Their enduring contributions to the world of magic were rightfully recognized when Milt Larsen and his late brother were honored with a star on the illustrious Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006.
Beyond his role as a co-founder and president of the Magic Castle, Larsen was a true magician at heart. With his spellbinding performances, he conjured up moments of wonder and astonishment that left audiences breathless. Larsen’s creativity extended beyond the stage, as he also displayed his talents as a writer for popular TV game shows, including the beloved “Truth or Consequences.” His passion for magic knew no bounds, inspiring countless aspiring magicians to follow their dreams.
In 2022, the Franklin Avenue mansion that housed the Magic Castle found new ownership under Randy Pitchford, the founder of Gearbox Entertainment, a prominent video game maker. While the physical space may have changed hands, the spirit of the Magic Castle, ignited by Milt Larsen’s visionary spark, will forever endure.
Milt Larsen’s memory lives on through his beloved wife Arlene, his niece Erika Larsen, the president of Magic Castle Enterprises Inc., his nephew Dante Larsen, and great-nieces Jessica Hopkins and Liberty Larsen. They carry his passion for magic and continue his legacy with utmost reverence and dedication.
In honor of Milt Larsen’s immeasurable contributions to the world of magic, a touching tribute will be held on Tuesday at 3 p.m. A cascade of flowers will be laid upon his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located at 6933 Hollywood Blvd. It stands as a poignant reminder of the indelible mark he left on the entertainment industry and the hearts of magic enthusiasts worldwide. As we bid farewell to this legendary magician, may his magic forever live on in our hearts and memories.