Vampira! (Gloria Marcom)


Gloria Ruth Jacobsen Palmer Marcom

Gloria Ruth Jacobsen was born 21 August 1927 in Dingle, Idaho. She grew up in Cokeville, Wyoming and attended the University of Wyoming.

In 1947, she married Tom Palmer (aka Maskelyne ye Mage and Tony Andruzzi), with whom she toured and performed for many years. Their award-winning comedy act was the basis for the acts of Kohl and Company and The Great Tomsoni and Company. It was at this time that Gloria originated her act -- Vampira! -- which she performed for many years. She won the PCAM trophy in 1961 and the Best Stage Magic Trophy at the Texas Association of Magicians convention in Dallas in 1975. Her Vampira! act was published as a book and later re-released as part of MarcoM Presents Magic.

In 1963, she divorced Tom and went to work at Douglas Magicland in Dallas, Texas. Her magical skills and unique personality made her a fixture at this legendary magic shop for many years. Gloria was one of the founders of The Elders, a magic company based in Dallas. The other Elders were John and Rose Gladfelter and Van Cleve.

Gloria was the international secretary of Magi-gals, and she also was in charge of the Dallas Magic Club's Wizards' Scroll for several years. She was a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, Magi-gals and the Texas Association of Magicians.

In 1968, she left Magicland to marry Ralph Marcom (MarcoM the Mountebank). Gloria performed with her husband MarcoM for many years, and together they won best comedy magic trophy at TAOM in Fort Worth in 1973. They also performed together at renaissance festivals for several seasons.

Gloria was one of those rare performers who could be an assistant or an act by herself. She had a sharp wit and an incredible sense of humor. Her magical activities and her conspicuous position in the world of magic were such that she knew almost every major performer of the last half of the twentieth century. Among her friends were Clarke Crandall, Van Cleve, Harry Blackstone, Jr., Mark Wilson, Howard Hale, Al Sharpe, Dai Vernon, Bob White (all three of them), Siegfried and Roy, the list is simply too long to write here. It would look like a membership list of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and just about every other major magic society in the world. She was a kind and generous person.

Gloria died 17 May 2002. She is survived by her husband, Ralph Marcom, and three children, Tom Palmer, Nicolette Palmer and Madelyne Marcom. Memorial services were held on May 24, 2002 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Honey Grove, Texas. Bill Palmer read the Wand ceremony and Howard Hale, I.B.M. Gold Cups winner, presented Ralph Marcom with a special memorial wand which he made for Gloria.

She always said that "it was magic that took her all over the world and other places."

Bill Palmer, M.I.M.C.

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