Chung Ling Soo and his Ten Assistants
Chung Ling Soo invented The Living Target illusion to the echelon of classic stage tricks in which a gun loaded with one marked bullet was at him live on-stage. Soo pretended to be hit and then spit the bullet onto a plate, with an audience member verying, just for good measure, that really was the marked bullet. One night, in 1918, while performing at London's Wood Green Empire theater, the bullet was fired but Soo didn't orally produce the projectile onto a plate: He actually was shot. The curtains were rapidly closed and he was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time after. There were some rumours concerning Soo's death being an assassination or suicide , seeing as the man responsible for the gunshot was Soo's Agent, who allegedly was having an affair with Soo's wife. But the jury on the police inquiry presented a verdict of Accidental Death. Chung Ling Soo, however, did reveal one of his secrets once he had passed away. After his death, it was discovered that the Asian magician that never talked on stage, and only with the assistance of an interpreter when he was off of it, was an American-born citizen named William Robinson, a native of Brooklyn.