People Magazine Interview: Part Three

After Falling Under the Spell of Wife Debby, Doug Henning Hopes to Charm Broadway Again (Part.3) He stuck with magic. In 1973, he borrowed $5,000 from his mother and, with a friend, launched a rock musical-cum-magic show called Spellbound in Toronto. That led to his role in The Magic Show. Though one critic hailed him…

People Magazine Interview: Part Two

After Falling Under the Spell of Wife Debby, Doug Henning Hopes to Charm Broadway Again (Part.2) “My friends said there was practically a flash of light,” says Henning, 35. “I had never felt anything like it in my whole life.” The dazzler was Debby Douillard, 27, an abstract painter with bottomless blue eyes who was…

People Magazine Interview: Part One

In doing some online research I came across this fascinating article from the December 20, 1982 issue of “People” magazine. The interview is notable for two reasons. For one it was written as “Merlin” was just about to open on Broadway, and the other being that it delves into Doug’s new marriage to Debby Douillard (Henning) and the…

Houdini’s Magic Magazine: Pictures

What a treat these pictures are! Flipping through the magazine, I was taken aback at how rare some of these shots are, especially of “The Magic Show” itself.  For those with an eagle-eye, yes that is not Doug in the title role. By that point Doug had left the show for greener television and touring…

Houdini’s Magic Magazine

To round out another great week I’m going to be featuring Doug’s appearance in the August, 1977 issue of “Houdini’s Magic Magazine.” The magazine itself ran from August 1977 to March 1978, and in that time it featured many of the top magic stories and artists of the day. Doug was no exception, and the history…

Close Encounters of the Doug Kind: Part Three

“The date was October 9th, 1985. This was after a show they did at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio, Texas, outside the stage door. I asked one of his crew after the show if I might meet Doug and get his autograph. The guy very snobily said “Mr. Henning sees no one at any…

Close Encounters of the Doug Kind

One of the great parts of running this website are the stories I have been sent via e-mail or Facebook from people that knew Doug. These first hand accounts really open him up in a way that magazine articles, You Tube clips, or books can not.  So, for part of the week I’d like to…

Vault Treasures: Part Two

Welcome back for a just as exciting Part 2 as we continue to look at Steve Zigmont’s collection featuring many items from Doug’s famed NBC specials. Enjoy!

Vault Treasures: Part One

Not long ago retired magician and current effects specialist Steve Zigmont was generous enough to share with me pictures from his extensive collection of “Henning-ana!” Is that a word? Well, it is now. So, if you’ve ever wondered where some of Doug most priceless costumes, props, and posters ended up you are in for a…

Tell Your Stories!

Since starting this website I’ve had many people write me with their personal recollections of meeting Doug. I’ve even been sent many rare and unpublished photos. So, all this has made me think that “The Doug Henning Project” should devote a future week to people’s Doug stories. So, do you have a personal story to…

Merlin Mania!

What you are about to see are two very rough, but very cool commercials for the original production of  “Merlin! As mentioned before, Merlin was Doug’s 1982 follow-up to “The Magic Show.” Directed by his old college mate Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Stripes, Twins), the show boasted huge production values and illusions. Starring in the title role, Doug led…

The Magic of Minolta!

While not a television appearance in the traditional sense, this 1978 Minolta commercial highlights Doug in a different light: A commercial pitchman!  Aside from its obvious kitsch value, the commercial shows how much of a name Doug was at that time. Think about it. Have you ever really seen a magician before or since be a…

The Tonight Show

Not everyone knows that Johnny Carson was a huge lover of magic. As a teen it was his original gateway into show business, and as the years went on he never hesitated to have a variety of magicians on the now legendary “Tonight Show.” Doug was no exception to this rule.  The ” Walking Through the Mirror” illusion was…

Pick a Card, any Card!

To cap off the week I thought I’d share this very unique and rare find that a fan from Doug’s hometown of Oakville, Ontario recently sent me. It’s one of Doug’s original business cards from that era, and I feel what really makes it stand out (apart from its historical value) is that Doug refers…

John Cox: Part Four

What was your reaction at the time to his retirement from magic and his surprising death in 2000? I don’t remember it being an announced thing. It was just Doug Henning seemed to have drifted away, and David Copperfield had kind of replaced him as far as the annual television shows…But, at some point it…

John Cox: Part Three

How do you think he bridged the gap between the magicians of old and the superstar ones we have today? Well he was the true bridge. You wonder would it have happened without him?…Doug Henning understood magic and the history of magic. So, he knew what principals worked and re-introduced them. He did an amazing…

John Cox: Part Two

How important do you feel “The Magic Show” was to the audience’s appreciation of magic? Doug Henning brought magic back to Broadway and back to legitimate theater…So, it really was “The Magic Show” that re-introduced the world to grand illusion…I wish I would have seen it…When you read about it, it was a good mix…

John Gaughan: Part Four

What was your reaction to when he gave up performing? John Gaughan: Well, he was always stopping performing…He only wanted to work for a couple weeks on the road and then come back and rest for four weeks…Doug didn’t care too much about money and then the transcendental meditation kind of overtook it. Then he…