Tuesday, November 3, 2009 at 03:42PM
Dodd Vickers

I am saddened to report the passing of Carl Ballantine who passed away in his sleep at the age of 92. As "Ballantine the Great" or "The Amazing Ballantine" Carl's comedy routine put forth the image of a bad stage magician whose tricks rarely went as planned. In his early career, Meyer Kessler did a straight manipulation act in the 1930's, first as "Count Marakoff" and then as "Carl Sharp." He switched to comedy in the 1940's and changed his name to Ballantine, taking the name from a brand of whiskey popular at the time. Carl was also the first magician to headline in Las Vegas. The general public will likely remember Ballantine as Lester Gruber from the the 1960's television series McHale's Navy. Carl was the husband of actress Ceil Cabot and is the father of actress Sara Ballantine.

Our heartfelt condolences to his friends and family on his passing.

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