Page 54 - Montecito Journal Glossy Edition Summer Fall 2013

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fal l
The magic of milt
ongtime Montecito resident
(he now lives on the Mesa in
Santa Barbara) Milt Larsen was born into a wealthy family. His
grandfather, William Larsen, Sr., founded the Wm. Larsen Packing
Company in Green Bay, Wisconsin. “Around 1905,” Milt writes
in his published biography,
My Magical Journey, The First 30,000 Days.
Packing Company employees organized a back-lot football team, eventually
calling themselves the Green Bay Packers.”
To not only read about Milt’s rather extraordinary life, but to also experience
a good chunk of the history and magic of early Hollywood, you are urged to
purchase his book on; it is a fascinating and fun read and by the end
of the book you’ll know more about magic, magicians, and Hollywood lore than
you otherwise would ever have known.
The Larsen Packing Company, by the way, packed vegetables, not meat.
Milt Larsen can look back upon what is and was as successful a career as
by James Buckley
Milt and Arlene Larsen on the patio of their
Santa Barbara home where they regularly
enjoy their expansive views of the California
coast, the Pacific Ocean, and the Channel Islands
Milt Larsen not only founded Hollywood’s renowned Magic Castle, but he also wrote (and participated in)
many of the most memorable skits for the long-running TV show “Truth Or Consequences”
one could have dreamed of as a child. Milt is owner, operator, and founder of
Hollywood’s iconic home for magicians: The Magic Castle. He also opened
and operated the Mayfair Music Hall (with partners John Shrum and Tom
Heric), spent twenty years as a writer for TV’s
Truth or Consequences
, produced
and continues to produce
It’s Magic!
Among his other stage shows are
The Sound Of Silents
The Legends Of Jazz
Where It Was
The Big
Show Of 1928
, and
DAWGS! The Musical
. Larsen founded the Society for the
Preservation of Variety Arts, whose mission is to preserve as much of vaudeville
as possible; his purchase of a 66,000 sq ft building in downtown Los Angeles
was made for that effort. He is also writer-producer of
Pazzazz! The Musical,
newest stage venture, with songs by Dick Sherman, an old friend and Disney
songwriter, and costumes (more than 200 elaborate outfits) designed and sewn
by Arlene Larsen and a small crew of seamstresses. Milt and his brother Bill
have their own star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.