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Ventriloquist-magician Jay Marshall dies

May 13, 2005 at 2:03 PM   |   Comments

CHICAGO, May 13 (UPI) -- Jay Marshall, the Chicago magician and ventriloquist who tickled audiences over six decades with his wiseacre dummy rabbit ,"Lefty," has died. He was 85.

Marshall appeared with Lefty on the Ed Sullivan Show 14 times and was the opening act for such performers as Frank Sinatra, Milton Berle and Liberace. He died Tuesday of heart failure in Swedish Covenant Hospital. He was also a longtime magic shop owner on Chicago's North Side.

The son of a Massachusetts banker, Marshall started working on tricks when he was 6, the Chicago Tribune said. While on Army duty during World War II, he brought Lefty to life with a khaki Army glove.

Marshall moved to Chicago in the mid-1950s to marry Frances Ireland, a fellow magician with whom he opened Magic Inc., a Lincoln Avenue institution since 1962.

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