Denny Haney. Farewell to a Legend.

Denny Haney was born on December 26th 1945 and passed away on January 23rd 2019. In those 74 years he performed some great magic, influenced a bunch of magicians and truly earned the title of legend. Born and raised in Maryland, Haney began his magical career at the age of 15 and as he developed in magic became a graduate of the famous Chavez School of Magic. While initially becoming a manipulative magician, by the height of his performing career, Denny had mastered close-up, illusions and every other kind of magic that that you care to name.

For the latter years of his magical career, Haney was to become one of most beloved and influential teachers that the magic world has seen. From his legendary, magic store in Baltimore, Denny was to influence the steady stream of magical novices, hobbyists and professionals that stopped in to learn from the master. His passing has left a huge void in the heart and fabric of  the magic fraternity. Denny’s passion for magic was perfectly expressed by his somewhat romantic, but totally practical dream of an old fashioned magic store that was filled with books, tricks and wisdom.

During the Vietnam War, Haney was based in Pielku, where he functioned by day as an interpreter questioning North Vietnamese prisoners, and at night as a magician entertaining the troops. During this time he met and began working with the great Johnny Alladin. Denny also fell in love with Doan Thi Trung-Du, nicknamed Lee, and after their marriage his professional and business ventures were always under the name of Denny and Lee. While their marriage may not have survived the craziness of the years they spent performing on the road, Lee was always a part of Denny’s official moniker.

Once Denny and Lee began performing in the United States they quickly achieved success in every sphere of the entertainment industry from nightclubs to corporate shows. Haney was a vast fund of magical knowledge not just because of his non-stop performances but also his insatiable desire to read and learn everything about magic that was available. He was a devout believer in the benefits that a performer could gain by the written word and the ability of a true magical mentor to bring those words to life and put them into application.

The magic world has lost an alarming amount great practitioners in the last year. Denny Haney had a vibrant, joyous warmth that deeply touched the hearts of magicians around the globe. Performers of Denny’s status, and teachers of his calibre are a rare breed, and it is a sad thing to have to see the business diminished with his passing. I am truly sorry for the generations of future magicians who will not be able to stand in Denny’s crazy, chaotic, “old school” magic store, and enjoy the company of this brilliant, eccentric, and lovable genius. The magic world is greatly diminished with his passing.

All these pictures were taken either by me or my friend Richard Eddings on September 20th, 2017 when we visited Denny and Scott in the store.I am so glad I had that last afternoon joking and laughing with Denny in his beloved store.

 


 

~ by Nick Lewin on February 6, 2019.

3 Responses to “Denny Haney. Farewell to a Legend.”

  1. What a lovely and beautiful tribute! Sadly, I never got the chance to meet Denny.  I visited his magic shop in Las Vegas one time, but he wasn’t there.   Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings! The world has lost, but heaven has gained another star! Kerry

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  2. So sad to hear about his passing. What a gem he was and what a shop he ran in Baltimore. I have been there a few times, brought my daughter with me, and we even attended a magic show in the back once. I never had enough money with me whenever I went there to buy all the things I wanted…just like a candy store. I wanted all the books and I wanted all the props…and I wanted to see Denny. He was always there, smoking, laughing, talking and doing tricks for shop visitors. RIP my friend! Thank you for a great show. Sincerely, Lambert Matias and family.

  3. I met Dennis Haney at the DLIWC in California. we worked toggether at teh Ga Light lounge of he Ramada Inn in San Angelo Texas. I sang songs and Dennis blew everyone’s mind with his magic.We went to Vietnam together, Worked together in Pleiku, and I lent him the money to marry Lee. He needed to pay some officials for the marriage papers. He was great at his job there, but he was an even greater magician. But he was best at being a friend People may not know but he was in the top one percent of the Army, and was in the top of that group of one percenters. He once was swallowing double edged razor blades and would then swallow a string and pull them out of his mouth on the string. He looked down fromteh stage at me. He couldn’t talk. But I could tell there was trouble. I got up from my seat and headed for the pay phone to call an ambulance, but before I got to the door I heard his voice. “I got it John,” he said and we both laughed…then got very drunk. People like Dennis Haney don’t die. He is still here, jus tin a different form. – John Hourihan

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