Mentalist Max Maven and ‘Wide Country’ Actor Andrew Prine Die

Max Maven and Andrew Prine
MagicWeek YouTube; Ken Whitmore / TV Guide / Courtesy Everett Collection

Max Maven, the influential magician and mentalist, and character actor Andrew Prine, who starred in many Westerns, both died earlier this week. Maven was 71, while Prine was 86.

According to Deadline, Maven passed away at his home in Hollywood on Tuesday, November 1, after a two-year battle with glioblastoma. Born Philip Goldstein on December 21, 1950, in Ithaca, NY, the famous magician created the Max Maven character in the mid-1970s, often appearing on television magic shows to perform “interactive” mind-reading tricks.

Always dressed in black and sporting a widow’s peak, Maven became an iconic figure in the world of magic. He appeared in countless TV programs, including the lead role on Fox’s Count DeClues’ Mystery Castle and guest spots on General Hospital, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Mork & Mindy, and many more. Maven also featured in the highly-rated NBC special The World’s Greatest Magic in 1994 and returned for subsequent editions in 1995 and 1997.

Recognized as a respected magical historian, Maven was honored with a number of awards for his creativity and performance, including from the Society of American Magicians, the International Brotherhood of Magicians, and the Academy of Magical Arts.

He is survived by his sisters, Sara Goldstein Gall and Naomi Goldstein.

Prine, meanwhile, died on Monday, October 31, in Paris of natural causes while on vacation with his wife, actress-producer Heather Lowe. “He was the sweetest prince,” Lowe told The Hollywood Reporter.

Born on February 14, 1936, in Jennings, Florida, Prine made his acting debut in an episode of United States Steel Hour in the late 1950s. He would go on to play Helen Keller’s older brother James in the Academy Award-nominated film The Miracle Worker in 1962.

Prine became known for his roles in Westerns, including Bandolero!, Chisum, and Wide Country, the latter of which he played Earl Holliman across 28 episodes. After the cancellation of Wide Country, Prine continued to work throughout the 1960s and 1970s, appearing in series such as Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Dr. Kildare, Barnaby Jones, Hawaii Five-O, Twelve O’Clock High, The Bionic Woman, and The Fugitive.

He remained active throughout the 1980s and 90s, appearing in shows like The Fall Guy, Danger Bay, Murder, She Wrote, Matlock, Weird Science, and Melrose Place. His last TV role came in a 2008 episode of Saving Grace.

Prine is survived by his brother, John, and nephews Nick (and his wife, Rhonda) and Kevin (and his wife, Kathy).