Bull said that Pelaez, who became an American citizen in 1967, loved his adopted country. His insisted that his corporation, White Horse Productions, remain a for-profit business because he did not want the government having a say in its operations.
"He saw what happened in Cuba where, with the stroke of a pen, Castro could nationalize businesses," Bull said.
Pelaez's sister and father eventually came to the United States from Cuba but have since passed away. Pelaez never married.
Bull said a prominent magician from England and several of Pelaez's Cuban friends from Florida will fly to Beverly to attend the services. The wake will be held Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. at Campbell Funeral Home, 9 Dane St. The funeral is scheduled for Saturday at 9 a.m. at St. Mary Star of the Sea Church on Cabot Street.