Mandrake the magician

A compelling story of curiosity and cultural transformation.

September 22, 2022
Media Release

Surrey, BC The legendary career of world-renowned Mandrake the Magician is the focus of Surrey Archives’ next free virtual talk ‘The Real Mandrake the Magician’ on October 13 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Lon Mandrake, also a magician, along with his wife, Linda, will delve into the compelling local history of their late father (and father-in-law) – a mentalist, illusionist, escapologist, ventriloquist, and stunt performer whose career spanned over 60 years.

“We invite the public to join us for this unique opportunity to explore the early life and career of Leon Mandrake, including the challenges and adventures of being a family on the road, and his lasting legacies,” said Archivist Allie Querengesser.

Leon Mandrake was born in Washington state in 1911 and raised in New Westminster, where he began performing at the Edison Theatre. His career took him, his wife and assistant Louise “Velvet” Salerno, and their four children on the road frequently. After many years travelling, the Mandrakes eventually settled in Surrey in the late 1950s on Grosvenor Road and Kindersley Drive where they lived until the 1990s. The house, which was destroyed by fire in 2016, contained secret rooms and passages.

Lon Mandrake has carried on his father’s legacy as a performer. An award-winning science educator, he has also performed internationally as a mentalist and magician. Over the course of his career, he has served as president of the Society of American Magicians Assembly #95 and as Regional Vice President of the Society of American Magicians.

During the online program for Surrey Archives, audience members will be treated to a special performance. For more information, or to register for this talk hosted through Microsoft Teams call 604-501-5100 or Follow us on Facebook at @HeritageSurreyBC.