André Kole (born Robert J. Gurtler Jr.; September 30, 1936 – October 17, 2022) was an American magician and inventor of magical effects. He was also a committed Christian and a public speaker for the evangelical group Campus Crusade for Christ.
He was also known for using his magical knowledge to debunk frauds and hoaxes.
Robert Gurtler was inspired to take up magic at the age of seven after seeing a performance. By the time he was 20, now known as André Kole, he was performing his Table of Death trick on the national network television show You Asked for It.
Among the illusions Kole is credited with devising are the Squeeze Box illusion (licensed to builder John Gaughan), and the Head Mover illusion (as performed by David Copperfield, Tim Kole and Kirby Van Birch).
He also used his magical knowledge and skills to debunk frauds and hoaxes. He was reported in 2003 as offering one million dollars to the Rev. Dr. Donald Stewart if Stewart could prove a statement made in the Jamaican newspaper the Jamaica Gleaner that Satan gives supernatural powers.
Kole’s wife, Alice Jean Gurtler, died at age 38 from brain cancer. She was known by the stage name, Aljeana. He notes on his website that he does not perform the classic trick of pulling a rabbit from a hat because he is allergic to rabbits. He is the father of illusionist Tim Kole.
In 1955 he received the annual Al Sharpe Award for Originality in Presentation from the Texas Association of Magicians.
Andre Kole and AL Janssen, “MIRACLES OR MAGIC? ESP, Faith Healing, Fortune Telling, Hypnosis, UFO’s, Astrology, MindReading, Levitation,”
Published: Harvest House Publisher (c.1984), ISBN 0-89081-579-8
André Kole with Jerry MacGregor, “Mind Games: Exposing today’s psychics, frauds and false spiritual phenomena,”
Pub. HarvestHouse (February 1998), ISBN 978-1-56507-826-0
André Kole and Terry Holley, “Astrology and psychic phenomena,”
Published: Grand Rapids, Mich., Zondervan, (c.1998), ISBN 0-310-48921-0 (pbk.)
Robert “Andre Kole” Gurtler Died Oct 17, 2022 Robert J. Gurtler passed away after a long and valiant battle with Alzheimer’s. A native of Mesa, Arizona, he had just turned 86.
Professionally known as André Kole, he became world-renowned as a performer, and one of the foremost creators of magical effects. His genius was utilized by stage and television stars David Copperfield, Siegfried & Roy, Doug Henning, and countless other magicians throughout the world. At seven years old one of his father’s business associates showed the young Bob Gurtler a coin trick, which
sparked his interest in the magical arts. By age 14, he created The Gurtler
The pivotal moment of his life came when, at age 25, he was challenged to investigate the miracles of Christ from the point of view of an illusionist. This led to the next fifty-plus years touring his show, ‘André Kole’s World of Illusion’ in all 50 states as well as more than 80 countries under the banner of Campus Crusade for Christ International.
He not only presented a full-evening magic and illusion show, but audiences were given the opportunity (if they wished) to hear and witness through a unique presentation, why he believed Jesus Christ was exactly who He claimed to be. Robert (André) shared the Gospel with an estimated 10 million people in live performances with approximately a million of those indicating their choice to follow Christ via comment cards. Robert has been a long time member of Grace Community Church in Tempe.
There is currently a full-length documentary and a limited docu-series being produced with Robert (André) as the central character, focusing on another aspect of his career: investigating and debunking supernatural phenomena and paranormal activity.
Robert is survived by his wife Kathryne, daughters Robyn and Stacey, his son Tim, and his grandchildren Dustin, Dillon, Colin, Camden, and Skyler, as well as his brother Dr. Richard Gurtler and his family. Loved by thousands around the world, Robert will always be remembered as the Magic Warrior for Christ.