Marshall Brodien Bio
Marshall Brodien (July 10, 1934 – March 8, 2019) was an actor who played Wizzo the Wizard, a wizard clown character which appeared on WGN-TV’s Bozo’s Circus and The Bozo Show from 1968-1994.
Brodien, who had been making semi-regular guest appearances since 1968, later appeared as a wizard character in an Arabian Nights-inspired costume which evolved into Wizzo the Wizard by the early 1970s. He was billed as being from “Arobia” and possessed the Stone of Zanzabar. According to Brodien, the first time he touched Bozo (Bob Bell) with the stone, Bozo quipped: “I remember when you got stoned at the Zanzabar.” During the mid-1970s it was rumored that Wizzo (the character, not Brodien) was a Jewish convert to Islam. Producers of the show during that time, however, denied this rumor and claimed that the storyline would have just “confused small children” watching the show.
Oliver O. Oliver (Ray Rayner) left Bozo’s Circus in 1971 and was briefly replaced by Pat Tobin as Oliver’s cousin Elrod T. Potter, and then by magician John Thompson (an acquaintance of Roy Brown’s and Brodien’s) as Clod Hopper. By 1973, WGN gave up on Thompson and increased Brodien’s appearances as Wizzo. Brodien left the program in 1994.
In 1970, Brodien was the spokesperson and creator for a trick magic card deck known as TV Magic Cards, which was a renamed Svengali deck. The deck resembled a regular playing card deck, except that the cards could be shown as all the same card. Many other card tricks could be performed with the deck. Over 17 million decks of the cards were sold.
Brodien had a car with vanity license plates reading “WIZ” and custom pin-striping which contained a tiny “WIZ” within the striping.
Brodien designed magic trick sets for children through a company called Cadaco Toys. He occasionally made public appearances in the Chicago area and his autobiography, The Magical Life Of Marshall Brodien, was published. One of his Wizzo costumes is in the Bozo’s Circus collection of the Museum of Broadcast Communications.
Brodien was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2007.
In 2018, the mayor of Geneva, Illinois announced that July 10 would be known as “Marshall Brodien Day” in the city of Geneva.
Brodien and his wife Mary had six children and stepchildren.
Cause of Death
Brodien died on March 8, 2019 from Alzheimer’s disease in Geneva, Illinois. He was 84.
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