The Short and Sweet Life and Career of Paul Rosini

The briefest of nods to the dashing magician Paul Rosini (Paul Vucic, 1902-1948).

Born in Trieste, this future master of close-up magic moved to Chicago with his parents at the age of ten. He frequented Roterberg’s magic shop at the Palmer House as a boy. As a young man, he was mentored by Theodore Bamberg, Max Malini, Grover George, Julius Zancig, and Carl Rosini, whose surname he appropriated while the latter illusionist was touring South America. Upon his return the original Rosini, far from being flattered, was incensed and the two were rivals for almost two decades.

Paul Rosini performed primarily in night club settings throughout the ’30s and ’40s, with a repertoire that included standards such as the Blindfold Card, the Card in Cigarette Stab, the Egg Bag, Linking Rings, the Miser’s Dream, and lots of straight-up card magic. Many credit him as being instrumental in converting traditional parlor magic into an act suitable for 20th century night clubs. Respected for his skill, he was especially cherished for his charm and personality.

Sadly, Paul Rosini developed an alcohol problem, and it killed him at the age of 45. Carl Rosini was to outlive by over 20 years.

For more on the variety arts, please see No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous,