Gloria Dea, who was credited with being the first magician to appear on the early 1940s version of the Las Vegas Strip, has passed away. She was 100 years old.

According to LaNae Jenkins, the head of clinical services for Valley Hospice and one of Dea’s caregivers, Dea passed away on Saturday at her home in Las Vegas. A monument is in the works.

Dea also made several film appearances in the 1940s and 1950s, including the Buster Crabbe-starring 1952 film King of the Congo.

In 1980, Dea relocated to Las Vegas from California. In her final years, she made friends with renowned magician David Copperfield, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“Gloria was incredible. Copperfield told the publication that she was endearing, funny, and interesting. “And she began it all in Vegas as a teenage magician. Knowing her was a pleasure.

On May 14, 1941, Dea, then 19 years old, gave a performance at El Rancho Vegas.

According to a Sunday article in the Review-Journal, her performance at the Roundup Room marks a magician’s first-ever visit in Las Vegas.

When Dea turned 100 in August of last year, she told the publication, “Really, there wasn’t Strip back then. “We had the El Rancho Vegas and the Last Frontier. The Flamingo was still being constructed.

That night, Dea did more than just perform wizardry.

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“I danced as well. It was challenging to keep putting up all my magic equipment, so I did the rumba, Dea said.

Dea made several film appearances after moving to California, including Mexicana in 1945 and Plan 9 From Outer Space in 1957.

She explained, “I was in the Saturday matinees, for the youngsters. “Plan 9 From Outer Space was the absolute worst movie ever. But I enjoyed creating it.

However, that was the final act in Dea’s theatrical career. She worked as a top sales representative for a dealership in the San Fernando Valley, where she sold insurance and later new and used automobiles.

The Review-Journal reported that Dea was an only kid and did not have any close relatives. Sam Anzalone, a prominent executive in California’s auto sales, passed away in January 2022.

On Tuesday evening, Dea was supposed to be enshrined in the UNLV College of Fine Arts Hall of Fame.

Those preparations will proceed as scheduled, and Copperfield will introduce Dea before the main program.


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