Abner "Abb" Pope Dickson, Jr.July 18, 2016
Abner Pope Dickson, Jr., "Abb" 67 of Jonesboro, GA passed away after a long illness. Dickson was well known as a magician, a comic, an illusionist, an actor, a producer and most of all, a force of nature. He is known for his work on the films Malibu Express (1985), Picasso Trigger (1988) and The Brass Ring (1975). For decades he was a familiar face at The Abbot’s Get Together in Colon, MI, the Texas Association of Magicians (TAOM) and many other conventions. Soon he would build a friendship with some of the funniest magicians on the planet including Duke Stern and Karrell Fox. He would often perform with them in sketches that lampooned magicians at magic conventions across the United States.
Born in Atlanta to Pope Dickson and Edith Donahoo Dickson, he and his father owned Pope Dickson and Son funeral home; and his mother was the personal secretary to President Roosevelt and Truman. Abb became interested in the art of magic at the age of ten after seeing a school show magician. He started doing comedy magic in his senior year in high school and went full time professional in 1970 performing as a magician at Six Flags Over Georgia.
In time he would tour the United States, Canada, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico with his own “Presto!” illusion show that included a crew of thirty. The show toured from 1975 to 1986 and featured 39 large stage illusions, including one that was traditionally known as “The Disembodied Princess”. Dickson had first heard of that particular trick after seeing a photo of it being performed by Orson Welles (with his second wife, Rita Hayworth, assisting) during a USO show in Hollywood in the ’40s. In time, it became one of Dickson’s favorite illusions. This show would lead to a lifetime friendship with Orson Welles and he would appear in 8 Welles films and as an actor or magician in 5 other films. Abb was the voice and laugh of the Pillsbury Dough Boy.
Abb Dickson would be featured on the cover of GENII Magazine in 1989 and the Genii in the corner was given Abb’s face. In 1997 Abb was featured on the cover of THE LINKING RING when he became the International President of The International Brotherhood of Magicians.
Dickson would later specialize in trade shows but he also created special effects for several Star Wars films and the original Superman franchise. He also created some of the exhibits in the World of Coca-Cola museum in Atlanta. His broad life experience, understanding of human nature and psychology coupled with his love of comedy and magical creativity led to his demand as a consultant to many major corporations for their advertising campaigns and product launches.
Abb had many associations with some of today's top magicians from David Copperfield, Harry Blackstone, Lance Burton & Penn & Teller just to name a few. He was also a member of the world famous Magic Castle, which is a private club in Hollywood, CA to magicians and celebrities. Abb was the creative consultant on numerous television special and live productions.
Even then, Abb always found time to perform magic, often for children that needed magic in their lives. Abb was a man with one of the biggest hearts in the world of entertainment. At home Abb was known to support numerous charities such as: Historical Jonesboro, the Clayton Performing Arts Center, Arts Clayton & many others.
Cryptside service will be held on July 21, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at Forest Hills Memorial Gardens Mausoleum in Forest Park, GA. Wheeler Funeral Home in Covington is in charge of arrangements ph. 770-786-7111.