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 Robert Palmer Heller

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Robert Palmer Heller Famous memorial

Birth
Kent, England
Death
28 Nov 1878 (aged 49)
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot
Section 135 - Lot 189
Memorial ID
28299970 View Source

Magician. He was born as the son of a famous concert pianist and began his life as a musician studying at the Royal Academy of Music. He became fascinated with magic at the age of 14 and started copying his idol Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin. He left his scholarship at the Royal Academy to become a professional magician. In 1851, he rented the Strand Theatre in London to begin his career. At this time, he took the stage name of Robert Heller. He quickly came to New York City and started running ads for his show announcing the opening of his "Heller's Saloon of Wonders." He rented space at Buckley's Minstrel Hall and the show opened on December 20, 1852 and ran until the end of May 1853 for a total of 200 performances during that time. He thought that people wanted to see a Frenchman so he used an accent, wore a black wig, and dyed his enormous mustache black to match. He introduced his second routine to North America which some would refer to as 'Hellerism.' He was assisted by 'Ernest Heller' in the Second Sight routine, who is introduced as his brother but was actually M.H. Levett, a native New Yorker. After a six-month run, he took the show on the road. He no longer used the French accent, the wigs or the make-up and went with his natural speaking voice and his own reddish blonde hair. He performed for several weeks at the Walnut Theatre in Philadelphia and the Old Chinese Museum. In 1854, he joins up with a group called 'The Germania Musical Society' and performs with them in the role of a concert pianist in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and then finally Washington D.C. He gave up magic, settled in Washington, D.C. and became a music teacher. He ended up marrying one of his pupils who was the daughter of a wealthy Washington resident and would eventually return to New York. He decided to start his magic act again by 1861 and started doing a three-part show he referred to as Magic, Music and Mirth. By 1865, he was performing at the Salle Diabolique, a former French Theatre. It was one of the longest-running one-man shows in the history of New York theater at the time. He became nationally recognized when he went on tour in 1869 for the next six years throughout much of the United States, Great Britain, Europe, and Asia. He is known for several innovations, especially the trick known as the "Second Sight Mystery." In this, the magician's assistant stands in the audience selecting people. The magician on stage tells them what they are holding (concealed from him), as if by magic. He continued performing but on the evening of November 27, 1878, he fell ill and shortly after midnight he passed away. At the time, doctors declared he died from "organic exhaustion," but it is now believed Heller died from a case of double pneumonia. His death was such a shock to the Washington D.C. area that his obituary appeared on the front page of the November 30, 1878 edition of the National Republican. Warren Wright, in cooperation with his widow Haidee, continued "Heller's Wonders" program for several years in England.

Magician. He was born as the son of a famous concert pianist and began his life as a musician studying at the Royal Academy of Music. He became fascinated with magic at the age of 14 and started copying his idol Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin. He left his scholarship at the Royal Academy to become a professional magician. In 1851, he rented the Strand Theatre in London to begin his career. At this time, he took the stage name of Robert Heller. He quickly came to New York City and started running ads for his show announcing the opening of his "Heller's Saloon of Wonders." He rented space at Buckley's Minstrel Hall and the show opened on December 20, 1852 and ran until the end of May 1853 for a total of 200 performances during that time. He thought that people wanted to see a Frenchman so he used an accent, wore a black wig, and dyed his enormous mustache black to match. He introduced his second routine to North America which some would refer to as 'Hellerism.' He was assisted by 'Ernest Heller' in the Second Sight routine, who is introduced as his brother but was actually M.H. Levett, a native New Yorker. After a six-month run, he took the show on the road. He no longer used the French accent, the wigs or the make-up and went with his natural speaking voice and his own reddish blonde hair. He performed for several weeks at the Walnut Theatre in Philadelphia and the Old Chinese Museum. In 1854, he joins up with a group called 'The Germania Musical Society' and performs with them in the role of a concert pianist in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and then finally Washington D.C. He gave up magic, settled in Washington, D.C. and became a music teacher. He ended up marrying one of his pupils who was the daughter of a wealthy Washington resident and would eventually return to New York. He decided to start his magic act again by 1861 and started doing a three-part show he referred to as Magic, Music and Mirth. By 1865, he was performing at the Salle Diabolique, a former French Theatre. It was one of the longest-running one-man shows in the history of New York theater at the time. He became nationally recognized when he went on tour in 1869 for the next six years throughout much of the United States, Great Britain, Europe, and Asia. He is known for several innovations, especially the trick known as the "Second Sight Mystery." In this, the magician's assistant stands in the audience selecting people. The magician on stage tells them what they are holding (concealed from him), as if by magic. He continued performing but on the evening of November 27, 1878, he fell ill and shortly after midnight he passed away. At the time, doctors declared he died from "organic exhaustion," but it is now believed Heller died from a case of double pneumonia. His death was such a shock to the Washington D.C. area that his obituary appeared on the front page of the November 30, 1878 edition of the National Republican. Warren Wright, in cooperation with his widow Haidee, continued "Heller's Wonders" program for several years in England.

Bio by: Glendora


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: NWO
  • Added: 15 Jul 2008
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 28299970
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/28299970/robert-palmer-heller: accessed ), memorial page for Robert Palmer Heller (19 Aug 1829–28 Nov 1878), Find a Grave Memorial ID 28299970, citing Mount Moriah Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA; Maintained by Find a Grave.