One year ago: Carl Ballantine
Ballantine was well known as an inept comic magician variously billed as "The Amazing Ballantine," "The Great Ballantine" and "Ballantine: The World's Greatest Magician."
"Carl Ballantine influenced not only myself but a generation of magicians and comedians," said actor Steve Martin. "His was also the most copied act by a host of amateurs and professionals."
In 2007, Martin presented Ballantine with the Lifetime Achievement Fellowship from the Magic Castle in Hollywood.
He also did occasional cartoon voice-overs and hundreds of voice-overs for commercials, including one for the California Raisins in which he voiced the Raisins' talent agent, a Claymation character that resembled him.
For more on the magic comedian, read Carl Ballantine's obituary by The Times.
Photo: Carl Ballantine. Credit: Family handout