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Tihany Passes Away at 99

From The Norm Nielson Collection

From The Norm Nielson Collection

We are sad to report that Tihany, another magic legend has passed away. He was born in Hungary in 1916 and given the name Franz Czeisler. After moving to Uruguay he worked as an assistant to the famed fakir Blacaman from Italy. He worked with the show in Montevideo and then to Paris in Europe. After that, when still only about sixteen, he went back to Romania where he began his own magic show and changed his name to Tihany. In 1935, he married Lia Marar who is known as Illona and started doing a mindreading act. The two of them continued to work and in the late 1940s, Tihany opened his first big magic show in Budapest and toured Hungary, Yugoslavia and Romania.

TihanyTihany moved to Brazil in 1953 to work in the Circo Romana. In 1955 founded his own 4,000-seat Circo Tihany, featuring his magic & one of the world’s more successful tent-shows.

The Circo Tihany Spectacular was one of the largest tent shows in Latin America and featured performances inspired by the lights, colors and sounds of Las Vegas. The 2 hour show would be set up in parking lots next to the shopping centers and would present comedy, acrobats, contortionists, illusions and world class choreography performed by a group of 24 dancers. The Tihany show advertised live visual theater; a Kingdom of magic & Illusion, color, beauty, and fantasy where magic, music and talent are all brought together in one location.

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Circo Tihany was more than just an ordinary circus. Tihany is an impressive architectonic complex designed and constructed in Italy. It occupied 17,000 square feet and was made up of three interconnected structures seating 2,500 people per show.

Tihany GeniiCoverTihany Genii Cover 1986Tihany became good friends with Bill and Irene Larsen and Milt Larsen who were founders of The Magic Castle and the Academy of Magical Arts. He was featured on the cover of GENII magazine in 1970 and again in 1986. He was awarded The Performing Fellowship from Academy of Magical Arts in 1978 and The Masters Fellowship from the AMA in 1987.

Tihany on MAGIC MagazineTihany “officially retired” to South Florida in 1984 but soon brought back his tent show on a more limited basis. In recent years he had moved to Las Vegas and was featured on the cover of MAGIC Magazine in 2002.
Tihany was 99 years old when he passed away on March 2, 2016.

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