Dragonskull Magick lists Ted Lesley in the archive of Who's Who in Bizarre Magick.
Lesley, Germany's number 1 magical entertainer and mentalist, was born
in Dueren in the Rheinland area of Germany on 1st August, 1937. A
teacher in the public school knew a few magic tricks which Ted enjoyed
so much that from then on, he pursued magic as his hobby -- much to the
sorrow of his parents who
energetically demanded that he should learn "something
Ted Lesley first became an accountant and later, in Berlin, a tax
At this time, there was a well known night club, the "Red Rose," in Berlin. Ted Lesley visited it every night, especially if a conjurer was appearing there. Here he became acquainted with some very famous artists in this field, who gave him countless tips for what was then his hobby. Among these were such famous names as Danny Ray and Marvyn Roy, who performed for years at the Lido in Paris.
One day, the famous film director, Ottokar Runze, required Ted's help for an audit. On the occasion of the discussion of the audit, Ted's magic worked its wonders on the director so well, that on the spot, he offered him a major role in his film "The Lord of Barmbeck." Immediately after the film work, Ted gave up his profession in order to "tread the boards which portray the world."
In 1974, Ted Lesley got his first professional engagement at the "Messeshow" in Hanover (one of the major trade shows in Germany). Following this was his first television performance, which was seen by the owner of a night club in Berlin. He immediately hired Ted for his cabaret. This engagement was so successful that he remained at this club for several months. Afterwards followed engagements in many European nightclubs and theaters, such as the famous Olympia, in Paris.
Naturally, Ted Lesley also worked in the Red Rose in Berlin, which was previously mentioned. While he was at the Red Rose, the director of the former Berlin Hilton Hotel became acquainted with him. He hired Ted for the Pavilion Bar at this hotel, where he remained until the club closed 18 months later.
In the Hilton Pavilion Bar, Ted not only performed his show, but also entertained the international guests at their tables after his turn, with his close-up magic, a field of conjuring which, until then, was known only in the USA. During this engagement, Ted succeeded in polishing his mental presentations to perfection. All the guests were filled with enthusiasm and wondered if Ted Lesley actually had genuine psychic powers or if the presentation of these experiments in clairvoyance were merely based upon trickery. Then as well as now, Ted simply smiles and leaves that to his audience to decide...!
In 1987, Ted's headline predictions in five major German cities caused a nationwide sensation in the press. On the basis of this excellent publicity, the BMW firm contacted him. He designed a 30 minute illusion show for them, which was performed for 14 days in January 1988 in Karlsruhe before an international audience. The grand illusions presented in this show, particularly the "Appearing Automobile." won high praise from the audience, the management of the corporation and the international press, alike. The "BMW Automagic Show" was so successful that other firms also approached Ted Lesley to design other product related shows and tricks for them.
In 1992, Ted was designated "Mentalist of the Year" with the "Dunninger Award" in the USA. This was the first time this coveted "Oscar" of mental magic had been awarded to a European artist. In 1993, the "Magischer Zirkel von Deutschland e. V." (Magic Circle of Germany) named Ted Lesley "writer of the year" for his book "Mental Mind-Ups." This award was given to him, even though he is not a member of this organization. From March 23 until April 4, 1994 he presented a full evening show with the title "Ted Lesley's Magic Club" to the audience in Berlin at the "UFA- Fabrik." This show was also enthusiastically received by the press and the public. A tour of "Ted Lesley's Magic Club" was presented in variety clubs and theaters all over Europe from 1994 to 2000.
During the presentation of the "Golden Steering Wheel" of the newspaper "Bild am Sonntag" on November 10, 1994, Ted Lesley presented his original illusion "The Appearing Automobile," once again in the framework of a show. The audience and the press were enthusiastic and the performance was rewarded with thunderous applause.
In November, 1995, the ZDF (a German television network) filmed a Ted Lesley special which was broadcast on February 20, 1996 as part of the series "37 Grad," in its evening program.
In 1997, Ted received the "Leslie P. Guest Award" from the Society of American Magicians. In 1998, he was guest of honor at Docc Hilford's "Weerd Weekend."
In 1998, Ted also received the "Siver Medal of Honor" of the Zauberfreunde Berlin e.V., and in 1999, he was elevated to Member of the Inner Magic Circle, Gold Star, by the Magic Circle of London.
On April 20, 2001, in Hollywood, California, this artist received one of the most important magical accolades of all -- the Creative Fellowship Award of the Academy of Magical Arts.
With this, Ted Lesley is the German artist with the most international recognition.
It should not be forgotten that Ted Lesley has invented many tricks/effects including;- 'The Working Performer's Marked Deck', 'The Working Performer's Hydrostatic Glass', 'Credit Card Card Trick', 'Delsey Miracle', 'Automatic Pegasus Page', the 'Teleport Envelope'.
Among his many writings, in German, French & English, there is 'The Working Performer's Marked Deck Manual', 'The Kismet Connection' and 'Paramiracles'. Also, he has written numerous articles in leading International magic publications.
TED LESLEY passed away on Friday the 24th October 2008, at 14.00 Berlin time. He went quietly in his sleep. A great loss which will be felt by many.
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