Arts & Entertainment

Acclaimed magician Falkenstein dies at 78

Glenn Falkenstein, an acclaimed magician whose "spirit cabinet" illusion with wife Frances Willard wowed television audiences and crowds around the world, has died. He was 78.

His wife says Falkenstein died July 4 in San Antonio after a long bout with Alzheimer's disease.

A longtime Los Angeles resident, Falkenstein rose to fame in the 1970s by impressing audiences with mind-reading tricks on his radio show. He also took his magic act to television, including one of Regis Philbin's early talk shows.

In 1984, he married Willard and the duo performed their signature "spirit cabinet" trick worldwide. The illusion had Willard bound to a chair within a curtained enclosure while items placed inside began flying about.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.