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Dante

The February 22 1941 edition of the Toronto Globe and Mail contained this ad:

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“Dante” was the stage name of Harry August Jansen (1883-1955) who first toured the world at the turn of the century before Howard Thurston hired him to star in Thurston’s #2 touring company and gave him his stage name. “Sim-Sala-Bim” is from the lyrics of a Danish children’s song; Dante used to say these words when acknowledging applause.

Dante’s career stalled when television became popular in the late 1940s; he retired to Southern California at that time.

Moi-Yo Miller (1914-2018) was the stage name of Mona Miller, an Australian who worked for years as Dante’s assistant. She was highly regarded for her magician’s assistant abilities, and once estimated that she had been “sawn in half” over 11,000 times during her career. She lived to be 104, passing away just last month.