Magicians

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Magicians are the entertainers who perform tricks and illusions for people. They amuse and thrill their audiences by performing optical illusions that seem too fantastic to be true and are fascinating to watch. There are several types of magic tricks and the magicians may also be referred to by names reflecting the type of magical effects they present, such as prestidigitators, conjurors, hypnotists, mentalists, or escapologists. Even though the art of entertaining people with magic tricks and illusions is an ancient one, for a long time magic was associated with witchcraft and thus stage magicians did not get the respect they deserved. However things began to change in the 18th century when belief in witchcrafts began waning and the art of performing magical tricks became increasingly respectable. One of the founding figures of modern entertainment magic was Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, originally a French clockmaker, widely considered the father of the modern style of conjuring. John Henry Anderson was another pioneer who helped bring the art of magic from street performances into theatres. With the progress in technology, magic easily moved from theatrical venues to television specials, opening up newer venues for magicians to display their talents. This section provides you information about the life and works of various famous magicians from all over the world.
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 1 
Harry Houdini
(Illusionist and Stunt Performer Known for His Sensational Escape Acts)
Harry Houdini
4
Birthdate: March 24, 1874
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: October 31, 1926

Legendary magician Harry Houdini initially worked as a trapeze artist named “Ehrich, the Prince of the Air” and was later known for his iconic stunt of escaping from handcuffs, at times even under water and while buried alive. He died after a blow to the gut damaged his appendix.

 2 
David Blaine
(Illusionist, Endurance Artist and Extreme Performer)
David Blaine
6
Birthdate: April 4, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York City, United States

David Blaine is a one of the most popular magicians and illusionists globally who fascinates others with his magic tricks, endurance stunts and extreme performances. His famous stunts include Frozen in Time and Above the Below. He started as a street performer and later began doing television shows.

 3 
Penn Jillette
(American Magician, Author and One Half of the Magician Duo 'Penn & Teller')
Penn Jillette
6
Birthdate: March 5, 1955
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Greenfield, Massachusetts, United States

American magician Penn Jillette is part of the magician duo Penn & Teller, which he formed with fellow magician Teller. A graduate of the Ringling Bros. clown college, he began his career with a Broadway touring show. He has been part of several TV shows and has penned the NYT bestseller God, No!

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 4 
David Copperfield
(American Magician Known for Making the ‘Statue of Liberty’ Disappear and Walking Through the ‘Great Wall of China’)
David Copperfield
9
Birthdate: September 16, 1956
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Metuchen, New Jersey, United States

David Copperfield is a famous American magician. Such is his popularity that his TV specials have received 38 Emmy Award nominations, out of which they have won 21 awards. He also has 11 Guinness World Records under his belt. Also known for his charitable activities, Copperfield founded a rehabilitation program called Project Magic, which is used in over 1100 hospitals.

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 5 
Teller
(Magician and Illusionist Best Known as One-Half of the Comedy Magic Duo ‘Penn & Teller’)
Teller
5
Birthdate: February 14, 1948
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
 6 
Siegfried Fischbacher
(German-American Magician and Entertainer Who was Part of the Duo 'Siegfried & Roy')
Siegfried Fischbacher
4
Birthdate: June 13, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rosenheim, Gau Munich-Upper Bavaria, German Reich
Died: January 13, 2021

One half of the German-American entertainer duo Siegfried & Roy, Siegfried Fischbacher teamed up with his partner Roy Horn to perform awe-inspiring stunts with white tigers and lions. They hosted one of Las Vegas’s most visited shows, till Horn was severely injured after a tiger attacked Horn on stage.

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 7 
Harry Anderson
3
Birthdate: October 14, 1952
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Newport, Rhode Island, U.S.
Died: April 16, 2018
Harry Anderson is best remembered for is Emmy-nominated role of Judge Harry Stone in Night Court and for his portrayal of Dave Barry in Dave's World. He was also a skilled magician and participated in magic shows such as Harry Anderson's Sideshow. He has also written several books.
 8 
Roy Horn
(Magician)
Roy Horn
4
Birthdate: October 3, 1944
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rosenheim, Gau Munich-Upper Bavaria, German Reich
Died: May 8, 2020

Roy Horn was a German-American entertainer and magician. He was one half of the magician duo Siegfried & Roy. Horn and Siegfried were famous for appearing alongside tigers and lions. From 1990 to 2003, their show performed at The Mirage was considered the most-visited show in Las Vegas. Their act inspired the biographical movie Siegfried & Roy: The Magic Box.

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 9 
Shin Lim
(Canadian-American Magician Known for His Use of Card Manipulation and Sleight of Hand)
Shin Lim
3
Birthdate: September 25, 1991
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vancouver, Canada

Canadian-American magician Shin Lim became an international sensation after winning on America’s Got Talent. Originally an aspiring pianist, he quit music after being diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. A sleight-of-hand master, he believes magic is more of an art than a trick. He is married to fellow performer Casey Thomas.

 10 
Criss Angel
(American Illusionist and Magician)
Criss Angel
5
Birthdate: December 19, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hempstead, New York, United States

Criss Angel is an American illusionist, magician, and musician. He is best known for appearing in the popular reality television series, Criss Angel Mindfreak. He also holds numerous world records as a magician and was adjudged Magician of the Century by the International Magicians Society in 2010. Criss Angel also has a star on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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 11 
Aleister Crowley
(British Occultist, Ceremonial Magician and Founder of the Religion 'Thelema')
Aleister Crowley
0
Birthdate: October 12, 1875
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England
Died: December 1, 1947

Aleister Crowley was an occultist, writer, and ceremonial magician. He is credited with founding a religion called Thelema and promised his followers with guiding them into the Aeon of Horus, a time of self-realization. More than seven decades after his death, Crowley remains influential among those who revere counterculture and Western esotericism and is considered a prophet in Thelema.

 12 
Debbie McGee
(Widow of Magician Paul Daniels)
Debbie McGee
3
Birthdate: October 31, 1958
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Surrey, England

Debbie McGee is an English radio, television, and stage performer. She is best known as the widow of magician Paul Daniels, with whom she often appeared on stage. A former ballet dancer, Debbie McGee worked as an artistic director for three years in her own ballet company. She then went on to achieve popularity as a TV and radio personality.  

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 13 
Uri Geller
(Magician)
Uri Geller
3
Birthdate: December 20, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tel Aviv
Illusionist, magician, and psychic Uri Geller is best known for his spoon-bending skills, which he has highlighted on many TV shows. He has also acted in the horror film Sanitarium. He has attributed his powers to aliens. He, however, failed to bend spoons on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
 14 
Paul Daniels
(Magician)
Paul Daniels
3
Birthdate: April 6, 1938
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: South Bank, Middlesbrough, England
Died: March 17, 2016
 15 
Derren Brown
(Illusionist)
Derren Brown
3
Birthdate: February 27, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Croydon, London, England

British illusionist Derren Brown was first drawn to the world of magic after watching a hypnotism show at the University of Bristol. The star of the long-running show Mind Control, Brown has participated in stage shows and written books, mostly with the aim of debunking the claims of false psychics.

 16 
James Randi
(Canadian-American Stage Magician Who Extensively Challenged Paranormal and Pseudoscientific Claims)
James Randi
0
Birthdate: August 7, 1928
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
Died: October 20, 2020

World renowned stage magician James Randi, better known by his stage name, The Amazing Randi, had been drawn to magic while recovering from a bicycle accident. He later dropped out of high school to become a road magician. He is also fond of debunking theories of paranormal activity.

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 17 
Jon Dorenbos
(Retired American Football Long Snapper and a Professional Magician)
Jon Dorenbos
3
Birthdate: July 21, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Humble, Texas, USA
 18 
Michael Carbonaro
(American Actor, Magician and Improv Artist)
Michael Carbonaro
3
Birthdate: April 28, 1977
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oakdale, New York, United States

Best known as the star of the hidden-camera reality series The Carbonaro Effect, Michael Carbonaro is a magician who has also delivered an award-winning performance in Another Gay Movie. Openly gay, he is married to American actor Peter Stickles. He has also appeared on shows such as Grey’s Anatomy and CSI Miami.

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 19 
Ricky Jay
(American Stage Magician and Actor Considered as the 'Master of Sleight-of-Hand Acts')
Ricky Jay
2
Birthdate: June 26, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: November 24, 2018

The grandson of Max Katz, who once headed the Society of American Magicians, Ricky Jay started his career as an opening act for prominent entertainers such as singer Tina Turner. He gradually established himself as the greatest sleight-of-hand artist of his time. He has also appeared in films such as Boogie Nights.

 20 
Steve Valentine
2
Birthdate: October 26, 1966
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: nowrap Bishopbriggs, Scotland
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 21 
Val Valentino
(American Magician Who Revealed the Trade Secrets of Magicians as 'The Masked Magician')
Val Valentino
7
Birthdate: June 14, 1956
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles

American magician Val Valentino soared to fame with his magic shows in Las Vegas. He also revealed the secrets behind several magic tricks on the 4-part special Breaking the Magician’s Code, disguised as the Masked Magician. He is a cancer survivor and is also famous in Brazil as Mister M.

 22 
Doug Henning
(Magician)
Doug Henning
2
Birthdate: May 3, 1947
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Winnipeg, Canada
Died: February 7, 2000
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 23 
The Amazing Johnathan
(American Comic-Magician Known for Wearing a Headband for Every Performance)
The Amazing Johnathan
2
Birthdate: September 9, 1958
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Detroit

American comic-magician John Edward Szeles, better known as The Amazing Johnathan, was known for his unique mix of stage magic and stand-up comedy. A regular at Las Vegas shows, he also appeared on several TV shows. He also penned a book on practical jokes, but sadly passed away due to a heart condition.

 24 
Chung Ling Soo
(American Magician Famous For His 'Bullet Catch' Trick)
Chung Ling Soo
2
Birthdate: April 2, 1861
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Westchester County, New York, United States
Died: March 24, 1918

Chung Ling Soo was an American magician best remembered for his final act, a failed bullet catch trick, which ended his life. Born William Ellsworth Robinson, Soo assumed the identity of a Chinese man to perform his magic tricks. He even created a back story for himself and only a few knew about his real identity until his accidental death.

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 25 
Alessandro Cagliostro
2
Birthdate: June 2, 1743
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Palermo, Italy
Died: August 26, 1795
 26 
Eliphas Levi
(French Ceremonial Magician, Occultist and Author of 19th Century Book 'Transcendental Magic')
Eliphas Levi
2
Birthdate: February 8, 1810
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 31, 1875
Alphonse Louis Constant, better known by his pseudonym, Eliphas Levi, had abandoned his wish to become a Catholic priest to become a famed magician, occultist, and author of the 19th century. He is best remembered for his iconic work Transcendental Magic, its Doctrine and Ritual and his theory of magic. 
 27 
Carl Ballantine
(American Magician Best Known for Vaudeville-Style Comedy Routine)
Carl Ballantine
2
Birthdate: September 28, 1917
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: November 4, 2009

Carl Ballantine was an American magician, actor, and comedian. He is best remembered for his vaudeville-style comedy routine which involved his famous transparent magic tricks. Carl Ballantine is credited with creating comedy magic and was honored by the Academy of Magical Arts with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Fellowship in 2006. He has influenced magicians and comedians alike.

 28 
Kreskin
(American Mentalist and Stage Magician Who became Famous on Television During the 1970s)
Kreskin
4
Birthdate: January 12, 1935
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Montclair, New Jersey
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 29 
Ed Alonzo
(American Professional Magician, Comedian and Actor )
Ed Alonzo
2
Birthdate: July 26, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: California
 30 
Misty Lee
(The First Female Magician Who Became a Staff Séance Medium at the ‘Magic Castle’)
Misty Lee
2
Birthdate: 1976 AD
Birthplace: Mount Clemens, Michigan, United States
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 31 
Lance Burton
(Magician)
Lance Burton
1
Birthdate: March 10, 1960
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Columbia, Kentucky, United States

Lance Burton is an American retired stage magician who performed over 15,000 shows in Las Vegas alone. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Burton entertained over five million people with various tricks. Lance Burton is the recipient of several prestigious awards such as the Blackstone Theatre Award and the David Devant Award.

 32 
Banachek
(English Magician, Mentalist, and Mind Reader)
Banachek
2
Birthdate: November 30, 1960
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Middlesex

Banachek is an English magician, mentalist, and mind reader. He is best known for his contribution to James Randi's Project Alpha experiment. Banachek is also known for testing the genuineness of numerous self-described psychics as part of the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge organized by the James Randi Educational Foundation.

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 33 
Wizard of New Zealand
(Comedian and Magician)
Wizard of New Zealand
2
Birthdate: December 4, 1932
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England

Ian Brackenbury Channell, who is popularly known as The Wizard of New Zealand, is an illusionist, comedian, educator, and politician. He is best known for his public speeches, especially in front of the famous Christchurch Cathedral. His life and career have inspired a couple of documentaries.  

 34 
Brian Brushwood
(American Magician, Comedian, Podcaster and YouTuber Known for His 'Scam Nation' Series)
Brian Brushwood
2
Birthdate: January 17, 1975
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Fountain Valley
 35 
Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin
(French Watchmaker and Magician)
Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin
0
Birthdate: December 7, 1805
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Blois, France
Died: June 13, 1871

Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin was a French watchmaker turned magician and illusionist. The son of a watchmaker, he followed in his father’s footsteps and had a successful career in this field. He ventured into magic by chance and ended up revolutionizing the field. He is today widely regarded as the father of the modern style of conjuring. 

 36 
Dai Vernon
(Canadian Magician Best Known For His Sleight of Hand Technique)
Dai Vernon
1
Birthdate: June 11, 1894
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ottawa
Died: August 21, 1992

Dai Vernon was a Canadian magician best remembered for his sleight of hand technique, which involves close-up magic and card tricks. Respected by fellow magicians, Vernon served as a mentor to his contemporaries and aspiring magicians. His life and career inspired a documentary film titled Dai Vernon: The Spirit of Magic, which released in 1999.

 37 
Cyril Takayama
(American Magician Who is Best Known for His Magic Performances Around Japan)
Cyril Takayama
1
Birthdate: September 27, 1973
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States

Cyril Takayama is an American magician best known for his performances around Japan and on the internet. He has also appeared on MTV and AXN, performing various magic tricks amidst unsuspecting victims. Cyril Takayama has also won several awards, including the Magic Woods Award.

 38 
Harry Blackstone Jr.
(American Magician, Television Performer, and Author)
Harry Blackstone Jr.
1
Birthdate: June 30, 1934
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Three Rivers, Michigan, United States
Died: May 14, 1997

Harry Blackstone Jr. was an American magician, television performer, and author. Apart from modernizing and developing the techniques and routines developed by his father, Harry Blackstone Jr. also created best-selling magic kits and appeared on popular TV shows like The Tonight Show. He was also one of the most decorated magicians at the time of his death in 1997.

 39 
David Nixon
(Magician, Television presenter)
David Nixon
0
Birthdate: December 29, 1919
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Muswell Hill, London, England
Died: December 1, 1978
 40 
Howard Thurston
(One of the Most Popular Magicians of His Time)
Howard Thurston
1
Birthdate: July 20, 1869
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, United States
Died: April 13, 1936

One of the most popular magicians of his time, Howard Thurston was born to working-class parents and ran away from home as a child to join a circus. He popularized the floating woman illusion previously performed by Harry Kellar and was best known for his card tricks.

 41 
P. C. Sorcar
(Stage magician)
P. C. Sorcar
1
Birthdate: February 23, 1913
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tangail District
Died: January 6, 1971
 42 
Bob McAllister
(American Magician, Entertainer Best Known as the Host of the Children's Show 'Wonderama')
Bob McAllister
0
Birthdate: June 2, 1935
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 21, 1998

Popular magician and entertainer Bob McAllister started his entertainment career as a ventriloquist on the Today Show and soared to fame in the 1970s with his children’s show Wonderama. He also performed in the award-winning series Kids Are People Too and The Bob McAllister Show.

 43 
Hans Klok
(Magician, Actor)
Hans Klok
1
Birthdate: February 22, 1969
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Purmerend, Netherlands
 44 
Ali Bongo
(Magician)
Ali Bongo
1
Birthdate: December 8, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: England
Died: March 8, 2009
 45 
Harry Kellar
(American Magician & Predecessor of Harry Houdini)
Harry Kellar
1
Birthdate: July 11, 1849
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Erie, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: March 10, 1922

Harry Kellar was an American magician who performed extensively around the world. A predecessor of Harry Houdini, Kellar was nicknamed the Dean of American Magicians. Harry Kellar is best remembered for his levitation trick where he would make a girl levitate.

 46 
Harry Blackstone, Sr.
(Celebrated American Magician and Illusionist of the 20th Century)
Harry Blackstone, Sr.
1
Birthdate: September 27, 1885
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: November 16, 1965

Harry Blackstone, Sr., or The Great Blackstone, was known for his illusions, which he performed mostly in silence, as an orchestra or an organist played along. His signature acts included the Vanishing Birdcage and the Dancing Handkerchief. He also performed extensively for the troops and was made a character of a comic book.

 47 
Magnus Krepper
1
Birthdate: January 10, 1967
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Norrköping, Sweden
 48 
John Nevil Maskelyne
3
Birthdate: December 22, 1839
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cheltenham, England
Died: May 18, 1917
 49 
John Henry Anderson
0
Birthdate: July 14, 1814
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Craigmyle, Scotland
Died: February 5, 1874
 50 
Johann Nepomuk Hofzinser
0
Birthdate: June 19, 1806
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: March 11, 1875