Milton “Milt” Larsen, a magician and TV writer who co-founded Hollywood’s famed Magic Castle, died Sunday in Los Angeles at the age of 92, Variety reported.
Larsen died of natural causes, a representative told multiple media outlets. He passed away in his sleep.
“It is with heavy hearts that the Academy of Magical Arts shares the sad news that Magic Castle founder Milt Larsen has passed away,” Chuck Martinez, the chair of the Board of Directors at the Academy of Magical Arts told KTLA in a statement.
“For decades, he brought magic to so many lives and his legacy will continue to do so. We will miss him tremendously.”
Larsen was the last surviving founder of the iconic magic club in Hollywood after the other co-founders, his brother William “Bill” Larsen Jr. and his wife, Irene, died.
In 1963, the trio co-founded the Magic Castle, a world-famous private club for magicians in Hollywood. Larsen served as the president of Magic Castles, Inc. until his passing.
The ultra-exclusive magic club in Hollywood is known as a clubhouse for all self-described magicians and magic enthusiasts. Although the Magic Castle is an invite only club, free magic shows became increasingly popular among locals and visitors alike prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Celebrity attendees such as Sofia Vergara, Ryan Gosling and Randy Newman often attended the performances, Variety reported.
The Magic Castle also celebrated its 60th anniversary this year, Martinez told KTLA.
In addition to being the club’s co-founder, Larsen also worked as a writer for TV game shows for almost 20 years, working on shows such as the “Truth or Consequences.”
Larsen was also an actor and producer who worked with Oscar winner Richard Sherman. Sherman created tunes for famous movies such as, “Mary Poppins,” “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and “The Jungle Book,” along with Larsen’s late brother Robert, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Larsen and Sherman worked on multiple comical songs including “Bon Voyage, Titanic,” “We’re Depending on You, General Custer” and “When the Hindenburg Lands Today.”
He was also an accomplished author, writing five joke books and was considered one of the 100 most influential people in the craft by Magic magazine in 2000.
Larsen is survived by his wife of 33 years, Arlene Larsen, his nephew, niece and great-nieces.