Philip Morris Daniel Smith
January 1935 – September 2017
The world said good-bye to a creative genius Sunday night. But he made such a mark that he will never truly be gone.
Master magician Philip Morris was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan. At the age of six his father, seeing the showman’s glimmer in his eyes, had taken him to buy his first magic tricks in Colon, Michigan. He quickly found his way to a stage and never left. His career took him all over the world, performing grand illusions and death-defying magical stunts, such as driving blindfolded and being burned alive. He worked alongside stars such as Lash LaRue, David Copperfield, Dolly Parton, Johnny Carson, and many others. He also performed in several movies and for many years on WBT as Cap’n Phil and as Dr Evil.
In 1966, with trunks full of show wardrobes, he and his wife Amy Smith opened a little costume rental store in their basement of the Charlotte home. The few racks at Morris Costumes flourished into the largest company of its kind in the world, changing the costume industry forever.
Phil was loved by thousands of people, but by none more than his devoted family – his wife Amy, his daughters Terri and Sandra and his son Scott. His penchant for mischievousness and his impeccable comedic timing made him a favorite with children. Every coin became a magical piece, disappearing in thin air and with a quick abracadabra, reappearing behind the ear of any unsuspecting child. His favorite audiences were his six grandchildren – Sean, Kelsea, Brandon, John, Savannah, and Peyton- and his three great-grandchildren – Ryan, Jazz, and Noah.
Phil took his final curtain call at his Lake Norman home.
A private Celebration of Life service will be planned at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorial contributions be made to honor Mr. Smith to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (www.alzfdn.org), and/or Hospice and Palliative Care of Iredell County at 2347 Simonton Road, Statesville, NC 28625 (http://www.hoic.org).
James Funeral Home of Huntersville, NC is serving the family of Mr. Smith and online condolences can be made to jamesfuneralhomelkn.com.