|Birth||24 September 1928, Buenos Aires, Argentina|
7 February 2015, Tandil, Tandil, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina
(aged 86 years)
Héctor René Lavandera, known as René Lavand (24 September 1928 – 7 February 2015), was a magician from Argentina specialising in close-up magic. He appeared in Ed Sullivan’s and Johnny Carson’s television shows as well as shows at Hollywood’s Magic Castle.
After losing a hand at the age of 9 in a car crash, Lavand slowly taught himself the art of conjuring because, in his own words, “all books and techniques are for two-handed magicians”. After working as a cashier in a bank, at the age of 32 he appeared in Buenos Aires’ Tabarís Theater, following which his career took off, leading to world tours. The catchphrase he used for one of his most celebrated tricks was “No se puede hacer más lento” (Spanish for “it cannot be done any slower”), referencing the measured and slow pace of his performances.
In between international tours he resided in Tandil, Argentina and adapted a train wagon into a magic saloon where he taught the art of illusion. He also co-wrote (with Richard Kaufman) the book Mysteries of my Life. The book is an autobiography as well as an instructional book on his magic.
Lavand died of pneumonia at the Chacabuco Clinic in Tandil, aged 86.
- Un Oso rojo (A Red Bear) directed by Adrian Caetano (2002): plays ‘El Turco’
- El Gran Simulador (The Great Pretender), directed by Néstor Frenkel (2013): biographical film with performance excerpts and interviews with Lavand at his home.
- René Lavand: Magic from the Soul (1993)
- Mysteries of My Life (2013), with Richard Kaufman
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