Founder of Magic Castle – the legendary club of magicians

By Andrea Cavalier for Dailymail.Com

20:03 May 29, 2023 updated 20:56 May 29, 2023

  • Milt Larsen, 92, died on Sunday, May 28 at his home in Los Angeles Angeles
  • Larsen was the co-founder of the legendary Magic Castle, A private magician’s club located in Hollywood, California



Milt Larsen, co-founder of the legendary Magic Castle, has died at the age of 92.

Family sources said Larsen passed away on Sunday night TMZ.

ABC7’s George Pinacio reported that Larsen died of natural causes.

The Magic Castle is a private magicians’ club located in Hollywood, California.

Milt Larsen, founder of the legendary Magic Castle, a private magicians’ club located in the heart of Hollywood, died Saturday in Los Angeles, at the age of 92.
The Magic Castle was founded in 1963 by brothers Milt (left) and Bill Larsen (right) as a revival of their deceased father’s unfulfilled dream of creating a resting place for magicians. Bill’s wife, Irene (center), becomes the “face” of the castle
Los Angeles’ most exclusive club is tucked away in a mysterious Victorian mansion high in the Hollywood Hills – home to the members-only Academy of Magical Arts since 1963 and a private playground for the world’s greatest magicians to socialize, drink and trade tricks.
Milt Larsen at the Academy of Magical Arts in the early 1960’s

Castle Academy of Magical Arts Chairman Chuck Martinez said in a statement provided to City News Service. For decades, he has brought magic to many lives and his legacy will continue to do so. We will miss him very much.

Larsen was a magician himself and writer for television game shows including Truth or Consequences.

He founded Magic Castle in 1963 with his brother William Larsen Jr. and William’s wife Irene.

The Larsen family has operated the exclusive club for decades, renting a Gothic house at 7001 Franklin Avenue from owner Thomas O. Glover and turning it into an exclusive club for magicians.

Larsen’s wife Arlene paid tribute to her husband on Monday, writing: ‘My beloved husband Milt passed away peacefully in his sleep after a magical 92 years. I was fortunate enough to talk to him just before he went to bed, and he was in great spirits.

He has had an incredible life, and I want to especially thank Randy and Christy Pitchford for making Milt’s last year so special to him.

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“In the days and weeks ahead, there will undoubtedly be opportunities for all of us to celebrate Milt’s life. In the meantime, I’m asking for some time to grieve in private and not send gifts or flowers to our home. Thank you all for your love and I suppose. Milt will be sorely missed by all of you.” know him.

Larsen’s wife Arlene paid tribute to her husband on Monday, writing: ‘My beloved husband Milt passed away peacefully in his sleep after a magical 92 years. I was fortunate enough to talk to him just before he went to bed, and he was in great spirits.
Larsen attends The Academy of Magical Arts and The Magic Castle 55th Anniversary Celebration in Hollywood at The Magic Castle on January 2, 2018 in Hollywood
Magic Castle President Milt Larsen holds his statue at the Academy of Magical Arts and Magic Castle 55 years old at the Hollywood Celebration at the Magic Castle on January 2, 2018
Milt Larsen was filmed at the age of six performing a card trick for Harry Houdini’s widow, Bess

In 2022, the Franklin Avenue mansion has been purchased by Randy Pitchford, founder of video game maker Gearbox Entertainment.

An avid magician and longtime AMA member and Magic Castle attendee, Pitchford said he was dedicated to preserving the old 1908 building.

In a statement in 2022, Pitchford said: “The magical castle is like a bedrock – the center point of magic.

People who believe the castle is their home and the place itself seem to have magical properties that have created and inspired some of the world’s greatest entertainers. I am proud to be trusted to give back to the place that has brought me to become a keeper of the Magic Castle and to work with its members and the Larsen family to ensure that our fanciest club grows and thrives for decades to come. ”

Larsen said at the time that Pitchford “did an extraordinary thing to protect our beloved Magic Castle and I couldn’t be happier about our current situation as well as the prospects for the future.” Randy truly understands and appreciates my vision and that of the Larsen family, and there is no one better to continue what we started in 1963.

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Milt Larsen and his late brother were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006.

Milt Larsen and his late brother were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006
Libby Larsen, Milt Larsen and Irene Larsen attend the after party at the 36th Annual Academy of Magical Arts Awards and Banquet in association with Magic Castle at the Henry Fonda Music Box Theater on May 1, 2004 in Hollywood, California

William Larsen Jr. passed away in 1993 at the age of 64. Erin Larsen passed away in 2016 at the age of 79.

A longtime Montecito resident, Larsen divides his time between Los Angeles and the coastal city.

In addition to his wife Arlene, he is survived by his niece Erika Larsen, president of Magic Castle Enterprises Inc., nephew Dante Larsen, and sisters Jessica Hopkins and Liberty Larsen.

No services are scheduled at this time.

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