Dell O’Dell’s Powerful Presence Endures

Trailblazing Magic Show Cast a Spell on Early Television Audiences
October 29, 2023

In the history section of Smithsonian magazine, cultural and arts contributor Vanessa Armstrong dives into Dell O’Dell’s story, with a particular focus on the magicienne’s years on television in her own series that ran from 1951 to 1953. Read the Smithsonian piece here.

Sadly, none of her television shows were preserved. However, Magicana is pleased to present a playlist of Dell O’Dell in The Screening Room, which feature video clips of her in live performances. By watching this dynamo in her element, we get a real sense of her captivating stage presence. It’s not surprising that she received significant recognition for her work, including an Emmy nomination in 1953 for her television series.

As Vanessa Armstrong points out in her article, “O’Dell was indeed a champion of magic, a performer who worked tirelessly to promote the art and her place in it at a time when female magicians were far from common.”

We are delighted that Dell O’Dell’s story continues to be told, and celebrated.

Images courtesy of Michael Claxton

For more information about Dell O’Dell,  visit our online exhibition Moments of a Magicienne’s Life curated by her biographer, Michael Claxton. It’s part of the Lunar Tribute series, connected to another online exhibition: A Celestial Celebration, A Tribute to Women in Magic.


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