The magic community is reacting to the sad news that Ricardo Roucau - better known as Fantasio - has lost his battle with cancer. Tributes are cropping up everywhere as friends and fans pay tribute to the legendary performer. Born in Buenos Aires, Fantasio was the creator of many effects, best known for his work with candles and canes. His inventions have been used by magicians for decades, but his legacy is more than that. As Shawn Farquhar posted on Facebook:
He and I had been friends since the early 90's and in fact he chose my PCAM convention to present his final show as Fantasio. I was later thrilled to share the stage with him when he created his new act FunTasio. Every time we met it seemed like time stood still for me. He always had time for me and was always encouraging and inspirational.
I'm going to share a story Ricardo shared with me about his true love Monica. The story goes that they were unwed but in love and were offered a contract in America but it included just one room, and to live in the same room unmarried would be impossible. Ricardo proposed to Monica and explained that if when the contract was over, she did not want to stay married, she could find a good lawyer and he would pay for the divorce and so they were married.
My family were privileged to be invited, along with Rick Del Vecchio and his wife, to celebrate their 60th anniversary. The dinner began with Fantasio raising his glass to compliment his wife as the most beautiful woman in the room and then quietly leaned in and asked if she had found a good lawyer yet! So was the magic of Ricardo and Monica Fantasio. They are once again reunited and our loss is their gain.
I will miss him dearly.
And from Dan Stapleton:
Fantasio was always a "boyish" kind of fellow full of fun and still got excited when showing a new trick. Just a few years ago I was performing in Miami and he assisted me in a trick, on stage and again, acted like a kid who seemed to be on stage for the first time....all smiles. Two years ago I asked him about a special trick that he put on the market. A few days later a small package arrived in the mail...it was the trick, as a gift. We were honored to have him perform his comedy magic act as Fun-Tasio at our 50th anniversary Florida State convention a few years ago. Fantasio is responsible for starting many a kid on their journey of magic. He was an inspiration and a friend to all. He never acted like he was "above" others and spoke to all magicians in making them feel he was on their level. He will be missed.
We at GeniiOnline would like to express our deepest condolences to the friends and family of the incomparable Fantasio.