IBM Ring #21 - Hollywood, CA

Caryl's History
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The Hard Cold Facts About Caryl

Date of Birth
October 13, 1894, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA

Date of Death
September 2, 1940, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Birth Name:
Caryl Stacy Fleming
___________________________

Caryl Stacy Fleming was born Oct 13, 1890 at Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His World War I draft registration signed June 5, 1917 (age 26) has him living at Riverside Drive, New York City, employed by Film Craft Corporation in NYC as a motion picture director -- a far cry from Cedar Rapids. At that time, Caryl was described as "blue, blonde, slender and tall."

Caryl married Constance Ethel Norton of New York City (born Aug 2, 1895), and they lived in New York City for a time, where he was involved in moviemaking and she had family. Their only child was Marjorie Gladys Fleming, born August 8, 1917, but as fate would have it, by 1920 Constance and Caryl had divorced and he was living in Southern California and she in New York.

In the aftermath of their divorce, Constance Fleming resumed her maiden name of Norton and family folklore confirms an unduly bitter divorce.

Caryl's sizeable alimony & child support payments provided quite well for Constance and the baby. According to records, by 1922 Caryl's ex-wife Constance Norton, arrived at New York City and was processed at Ellis Island having sailed from Liverpool. Traveling alone, her destination was to be 100 Cathedral Parkway, NYC, a very exclusive address across from Central Park.

The 1930 federal Census shows him living at California, Los Angeles County, Beverly Hills. Caryl, 39 and divorced, having married at 27, was living with his widowed mother Grace R. Glaser, 59, at his Beverly Hills home.

Caryl worked as an actor, director, writer and amateur magician in New York and later in Los Angeles. His interest in magic never waned and as a result, in the spring of 1938, he helped charter a new magic club of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, christened "Hollywood RING 21."

As a charter member of Hollywood RING 21, Caryl rubbed shoulders and shared the limelight with such luminaries as; internationally acclaimed author Harold Robbins, attorney William W. Larsen, master magic craftsman Floyd Thayer, legendary stage magician "The Great Leon", author, hypnotist & mentalist Arnold Furstenberg and B-movie actor Chester Morris among many others.

As fate would have it, at age 49, Caryl Fleming died on September 2, 1940 in Los Angeles while performing a card trick...just one month shy of his 50th birthday.

At the time of his death, The Reno Gazette called him a financier and amateur magician. He was past President of Pacific Coast Association of Magicians, officer of Manhattan Trade School and of a trade school in Chicago.

According to several accounts, Caryl never told the same story twice when asked about his age or childhood, and given the nasty divorce and an apparent unhappy childhood, it seems all too believable.

The Reno article put his worth at $895,000, which was quite sizeable back in 1940. Due to his divorce from Constance Fleming, Caryl had separated from his infant daughter (Marjorie Gladys Fleming) and his 1940 will adamantly declined to leave anything to either her or his ex-wife.

utpeoplefleming.jpg
Magician Caryl Fleming
Fleming pulls skunk out of a hat.
San Diego Union-Tribune, 1940

ACTOR - filmography

1. Wild Oats (1919) (as Caryl Fleming)
... aka Some Wild Oats (USA: reissue title)
2. He Got There After All (1917) (as Carl Fleming)
3. The Law of Blood (1916) (as Carlyle Fleming) .... Fred Block ... aka The Devil's Prayer-Book (USA: alternative title)
4. York State Folks (1915) (as C.S. Fleming)
5. The Floor Above (1914) .... Undetermined Role
6. From the Flames (1914)

Sometimes Credited As:
C.S. Fleming
Carlyle Fleming
Carl Fleming
Caryl Fleming

DIRECTOR - filmography

1. The Devil's Partner (1923)
2. The Valley of Lost Souls (1923)
3. The Clouded Name (1919)
4. Beating Back (1914)

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR - filmography

1. My Country First (1916) (assistant director) (as Caryl Fleming)

WRITER - filmography

1. Beating Back (1914) (scenario)

TRIVIA

  • Fleming was at one time president of the Pacific Coast Association of Magicians.

  • Both of Caryl's maternal grandparents were born in England.

  • Caryl's is bured in at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, formerly known as "Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery" with his mother Grace and stepfather Victor Glaser (1852-1927)

  • Caryl's middle name was Stacy, which was his mother's maiden name.

  • Reportedly, Constance lived well in the early years after the divorce, but in the ensuing years after Caryl's death her standard of living declined dramatically.

    In his last years Caryl wasn't doing films any more, and was considered past his prime, doing small nightclubs with his magic act each night in and around Hollywood.

    By several accounts, Caryl was to visiting magicians, the "go-to-guy" when in Los Angeles. He was known for his spontaneity and ready willingness to show a visiting magician the ins and outs of the L.A. magic scene and beyond.

    Caryl's final resting-place is Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, formerly known as "Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery" nestled amongst Hollywood's elite such as Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks, Tyrone Power, and Cecil B. DeMille. The cemetery sits adjacent and just north of the Paramount Studios lot. Caryl's mother Constance and stepfather Victor Glaser are buried alongside him.

    Subsequently, the RING's name was officially changed to the "Caryl Fleming RING" in honor of Caryl's many achievements and contributions over the years to the RING and the local magic community.