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One year ago: David Avadon

Illusionist-rabbi

David Avadon boasted he could pick the pockets of police chiefs -- and he did. But Avadon wasn't a criminal, and it was all part of the show.

Avadon, who died one year ago, was a professional illusionist for more than 30 years and regularly presented his pickpocket act at the Magic Castle in Hollywood. He also had entertained throughout the United States and in Japan, Canada and Great Britain, and served as a technical consultant on TV and film productions.

In 2007, he wrote a book on pickpocketing titled "Cutting Up Touches: A Brief History of Pockets and the People Who Pick Them."

Aside from his pickpocketing performances, Avadon also collaborated with a rabbi during services at Temple Solael in Canoga Park. Avadon provided visual aids such as illustrating a Talmud story on the "miracle" of oil for lamps by producing eight lighted candles from one.

For more on the master of theatrical thievery, read David Avadon's obituary by The Times.

--Michael Farr

Photo: David Avadon holds eight candles, which he produced from one, as part of ceremonies at Temple Solael in 1977. Credit: Los Angeles Times

 
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