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Johnny 'The Great Tomsoni' Thompson dies at 84

Ra'eesah Manack
Mar 14, 2019
11:51 A.M.

Johnny Thompson, also known as “The Great Tomsoni,” died in Las Vegas on March 9. He was 84.Versatile showman and famous Magician Johnny Thompson was better known as the “great Tomsoni.” He was well known for his performances which combined music, magic, comedy, and drama.

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The great magician has passed on at the age of 84. He died on March 9, 2019, in Las Vegas. The same city he made his debut with the Harmonicats back in 1951.

His career spanned decades. The magician was born in Chicago in 1934 and began his career as a musician and musical arranger. He played the harmonica and toured with Jerry Murad’s Harmonicats.

He later joined the comedy team of Lewis and Christie and developed his comedy magic act, "The Great Tomsoni."

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His comedy magic career began as a supporting act in Nevada casinos for performers including Carol Channing, Eddie Fisher, Ed Ames. Thompson’s wife, Pamela Hayes, joined his act as the assistant.

His act went on to star in many Las Vegas shows. He even made multiple appearances on talk shows hosted by Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas, Dinah Shore, and Dick Cavett.

Thompson later became a magic consultant for six seasons of The CW Network’s “Penn and Teller: Fool Us!” He also served as magical technical advisor for television and film productions such as “Hart to Hart” and “Fantasy Island” and wrote material for performers including Siegfried & Roy, Doug Henning, David Blaine, and Criss Angel.

Thompson is survived by his wife and performing partner Pam.

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