Chung Ling Soo

ILLUSIONIST (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)
BORN 2 Apr 1861, New York City, New York - DIED 24 Mar 1918, London
REAL NAME Robinson, William Ellsworth
GRAVE LOCATION Richmond, Greater London, Surrey: East Sheen Cemetery, Sheen Road (Section B, grave 219/220/221)

William Robinson initially performed in the USA as 'Robinson, the Man of Mystery' but he was little succesful. He moved to England and in 1900, inspired by the succes of the Chinese magician Ching Ling Foo, he started performing disguished as a Chinese man and using the name Chung Ling Soo. He became very popular but in 1904 Ching Ling Foo came to London to prove that Robinson wasn't Chinese. A public feud followed.

Robinson was also succesful on the continent and in Austrlia and New Zealand. On 23 Mar 1918 he performed his famous bullet catching act at the Wood-Green-Empire in London. The bullet was to fall into a secret chamber in the pistol but because the gun wasn't perfectly clean the bullet was fired and hit him in the chest. He said 'Oh my God. Something's happened. Lower the curtain'. These were the only words in English that he had spoken on the stage in nineteen years. He died the next day in a hospital.

Sources
Encyclopaedia Britannica
Chung Ling Soo - Wikipedia

Images

The grave of Chung Ling Soo (W.E. Robinson) at East Sheen Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (27 Jun 2009)

 

The grave of Chung Ling Soo (W.E. Robinson) at East Sheen Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (27 Jun 2009)

 


Ciniselli, Giovanni

Published: 11 Jul 2010
Last update: 11 Jul 2010