One of my favorite things to watch when I was attending the University of Kansas (Go KU!), was David Letterman… It was always a great show to watch and still is…. But when KAMARR was on, everyone in my Frat House (Delta Upsilon) would be glued to the TV! KAMARR had a career that was quite amazing as you will read below. While probably most remembered from his appearances with the acerbic David Letterman (David Letterman Show), the fact is that was just one of his many television and celebrity performances in his long and successful career. None-the-less, watching him on Letterman brings back (for anyone) great memories and I spoke with KAMARR and his daughter recently – as he’s still performing and even buying the occasional effect that meets’ his fancy! Like a star-struck fan, I begged them to give me some information that I could post – so we could all take a trip down memory lane! So, that stated, Ladies and Gentleman – allow me to introduce – KAMARR! – Mark Stevens
KAMARR was born on the island of Kalymnos, in Greece. In a somewhat typical beginning to a career in magic, KAMARR was influenced by a traveling magician performing at his school. Staying behind to help the magician pack up, he was given a small magic book as a reward. At that point magic became KAMARR’S obsession.
In 1964 he arrived in New York to perform at the World’s Fair. He began performing at the Greek Pavilion, for Ringling Brothers, and finally at The General Cigar Hall of Magic, for Mark Wilson.
While performing at the World’s Fair, KAMARR met and married Georgianna and they were blessed with a lovely daughter, Kathy. Trying to get established as a magic act in New York , the couple performed in many nightclubs. They began to work trans Atlantic cruises for the Italian and Greek Lines and for the United States Line.
After a few years at sea, KAMARR decided to try Chicago . He was successful there performing in many nightclubs and Greek venues.
After a year he was back in New York . Kamarr had successful runs at the New York Playboy Club, at The Chateau Madrid, The Riverboat (Empire State Building), and Dangerfield’s to name just a few.
In 1975 KAMARR and Georgianna were discovered by Miller, Reich Productions, and booked into the Viva Caribbean and Fantastique Revues at El San Juan Hotel in Puerto Rico. After two successful six month runs in Puerto Rico, they traveled with the Fantastique Revue to the Chateau Champlain Hotel in Montreal, Canada .
By 1983, Miller, Reich had booked Kamarr into their revue, C’est Si Bon, at the Café Versailles in New York . It was there that Kamarr made the connection to the David Letterman show. He appeared on the show with Kathy and was such a hit that he became a regular guest over the course of a decade, with over 40 guest spots that earned him a world record.
In a career of over forty years in magic, KAMARR has performed all over the U.S., in Puerto Rico, Aruba , Canada , Greece , and Venezuela .
Some highlights include a Florida tour as a featured performer with Trini Lopez along with The KAMARR’s World of Magic Show at the Diplomat Hotel in Miami, Florida, shows with Henny Youngman and Micky Dolenz at Dorney Park, a standout revue at the Americana Hotel and Resort, Great Gorge, N J, and at The Golden Tulip Hotel, Aruba .
For many years, KAMARR has been a featured performer at many of the hotels and resorts in the Catskills and the Poconos. He has performed at The Concord Hotel, Kutcher’s Country Club, Pines Hotel, Raleigh Hotel, Nevele Hotel, Villa Roma, Mount Airy Lodge, Tamiment, and Pocmont to name just a few.
His TV credits include, Captain Kangaroo, The Joe Franklin Show, The Dick Cavett Show, Regis & Kathy Lee, The Morning Show (CBS), Live at Five, Door Knock Dinners (TV Food Network), Jerry Lewis Telethons, and of course Late Night with David Letterman.
He has appeared in small roles in many movies such as: Prizzi’s Honor with Jack Nicholson, Crocodile Dundee, Ishtar with Dustin Hoffman, and he is featured as the magician in Scenes From a Mall starring Woody Allen and Bette Midler. He has done commercials for Martin Paint, New York Life and the New Hampshire State Lottery.
KAMARR’S numerous charitable appearances include: The Salvation Army, The American Cancer Society, The Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, Kaner’s Kids and The Ronald MacDonald House, Memorial Sloan Kettering.
He continues to perform for large corporate events, at Hotels and Resorts, for country clubs, private parties and club dates.
KAMARR has performed large stage illusions, ESP, close up magic, and a variety of different magic tricks during his long career, but his “perfect little dove act”, is what has delighted audiences for all these years. It is not the tricks but rather his personality that wins them over. Young or old, the audience can see that Kamarr loves what he is doing and that he has always believed in magic.
He has shared the stage with jugglers, dancers, singers, bands and comedians and has opened for such stars as Willie Nelson, Joan Rivers, Marie Osmond, Joe Piscopo, Mickey Dolenz, Bob Hope, Tom Jones, Red Buttons, Liberace, Trini Lopez, Jerry Vole, Lionel Hampton, AI Martino, Tony Orlando, Julio Iglesias, Frankie Valle, Frankie Avalon, Henny Youngman, Muhammad Ali, Eddie Fisher, Jackie Mason, and others.
Some of Kamarr’s recent Awards:
IBM Ring 26 Art of Magic Award
IBM Ring 26 Lifetime Achievement Award
Magic Olympics, Athens, Pioneer in Magic Award
Official World Record for most number of appearances on David Letterman shows
SAM Outstanding Contributions in Magic Award