But was Colteaux any good? This is a question I sometimes grapple with when writing about lesser-known performers. Here I found an unusual answer: Colteaux was a featured performer at the 1932 IBM convention, where he shared the stage with, among others, John Booth, Len O. Gunn, Brush, Harry Cecil and Marquis. In the months that followed, his presence on that stage (along with these others), created a small controversy in magic magazines as some complained that less skilled performers would be discouraged from participating in Convention contests, when magicians like Gunn, Brush, Booth and Colteaux, described as "tough competitors" were "stealing the cake." Having been compared to some top names in the field, once can assume that Colteaux was a formidable presence on stage.
|Colteaux touring with his sister, c. 1935.|
He had two throwing cards, both of which are seen here. Both cards feature "Jimmy," his ventriloquist dummy. One card has a vintage Bicycle back and is standard size; the second is oversized with a printed text back with period graphics. Over the years, I've encountered a great deal of Colteaux memorabilia.
|From Billboard, 1948|
He became deeply entrenched in the International Brotherhood of Magicians, holding membership number 365 and was part of the Order of Merlin. Reputed for his "infectious and lovable approach to performing,"
Colteaux continued to practice and teach the art that he so loved until the 1990s. He died in 1995 at age 88, having been active in magic for three quarters of a century.