Magic Castle co-founder Irene Larsen, 1936-2016

We are heartbroken to share the sad news that Irene Larsen, the charming, beloved co-founder of the Magic Castle, has passed on. She died at age 79. Irene is revered by generations of magicians and performers for her incredible warmth, generosity, and talent.


Images of a young Princess Irene, a stage name from early in her career, are simply radiant. Together with her second husband Bill Larsen, and his brother Milt, "Princess Irene" created the Magic Castle. Founded in 1962, it remains one of the most unique and fantastic private clubs on Earth.

Irene and Bill also co-edited Genii, The Conjurer's Magazine.

Irene's decades of service to the performing arts community are legend, as was her warm personality. A large community of variety artists constantly gathered around Irene's Los Angeles home, which lies nestled among lush, verdant gardens she designed around the babbling brook that gave the estate its name. Brookledge is now also a private performance venue where, in recent years, her daughter Erika, has produced the Brookledge Follies. The opportunities Irene Larsen created that allowed this great performance art tradition to flourish in Los Angeles were invaluable, and impossible to count.

Irene Larsen's commitment to the arts, her warmth, wit, talent, and sparkle, are all irreplaceable.