The Royal Family of Magic
Jack and Anne Gwynne
the round table
As far back as I can remember, the Gwynnes were family friends. Gigi, Buddy and Helen's daughter, was close to my age so we would play together. Her little sister Gaylen would sometimes join us, but older brother Jack was just that, "older brother." He did not want to have anything to do with us "kids." I remember seeing him in his military uniform looking very important. Last I heard he worked in the airline industry in Colorado, but that was some time ago.

Buddy picked Gigi up from our house one time in his Thunderbird, the two-seater kind and was it slick. They also had a beautiful house and I loved going to play over there.  And there were magic parties, too, that often ended with everyone walking down the block to "Mystery Manor," Anne and Jack's house on Cicero.
(L) Dressed up for a magic show in our Oak Lawn living room. That's Helen Gwynne, me, Sis Laura, Jack Gwynne Jr., Gigi and little Gaylen standing by her mother.
(Counter clockwise) Dad and Jay Marshall at Anne and Jack's; Jack, Anne and Ruth Ellenstein, Marshall's mother; My mom with Jack while Beth Cole sneaks off; Anne smiling at Jack outside at son Buddy's.
Anne came to see me in a show at Drury Lane one time, and said she really enjoyed it because "it's theatre people, you know." Despite being in her 70s, she was dressed to the teeth, hair gorgeous and of course she had on her spiked heels. She had a tiny frame and she was the most gorgeous "senior citizen" I've ever seen! Always a character, she solved the problem of no benches in the lobby during intermission by just sitting down on the floor! Everyone thought she needed assistance, but she was just resting. I sometimes visited her after Jack died, when she lived on 95th Street above the travel agency owned by her son . While everybody smoked back then, I once commented I'd never really seen Anne smoke a cigarette. She always had a lit one in her hand, took a puff, and then let it burn until there was a long ash ready to fall before she'd plunk it into an ash tray.
Litttle Red House Guests
Jack Gwynne: Master Showman
by Steve Draun