2017-02-25 15:03:31 UTC
Magician Daryl Easton found dead at Hollywood's Magic Castle
BY Chris Sommerfeldt
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Saturday, February 25, 2017, 8:56 AM
Daryl Easton, a magician widely renowned for his card tricks, was tragically found dead inside a closet at the iconic Magic Castle in Los Angeles on Friday night — and authorities have ruled his death a suicide.
Cops responded to the exclusive Hollywood magicians' club and fine dining restaurant after receiving a report of a dead body around 7:30 p.m. local time, officials said.
A Hollywood police spokesman told the Daily News that employees at the club discovered the 61-year-old magician dead inside a closet, wearing only his underwear. He had a bag over his head and appeared to have hanged himself, the spokesman added.
The Magic Castle, an upscale Hollywood Hills eatery that hosts magic shows and specifically caters to magicians and illusionists, acknowledged Easton's passing early Saturday.
"A beloved illusionist, who was performing at the Magic Castle this week, was found dead on the club's premises," the Castle, which opened its doors in 1963, said in a statement. "The magic community mourns the loss of one of our most beloved and talented performers."
Easton was apparently supposed to perform a show right around the time his body was discovered, sources told NBC Los Angeles. He was a beloved regular at the legendary venue and frequented its events for years, both as a performer and a visitor.
In his final Facebook post, Easton sent his wishes to those affected by the deadly storm that slammed southern California last week.
"Thinking of all our SoCal friends," he wrote in the Feb. 18 post. "Stay safe in this storm! I'll be heading down that way myself tomorrow for a week at The Magic Castle."
Known as "The Magician's Magician" among professionals, Easton invented a number of famous card tricks, including the "Hot Shot Cut" and the "Ultimate Ambition."
Easton was a staple of the Las Vegas magic scene for years before moving back to his native California in 2003. One of career high points was performing at the inauguration celebration of President George W. Bush in 2001.
Fellow magicians across the world mourned Easton's passing early Saturday.
"Sending lots of love to the magic community tonight!" Comedy Central magician Joel Ward tweeted.
"Until and forever Daryl Easton...We always remember you like 'The Magician's Magician,' " a self-described illusionist from Venezuela said over Twitter.