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Ricky Jay
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Ricky Jay

Ricky Jay is a sleight-of-hand artist who has performed before audiences on stage and television in five continents. As an actor, Jay has worked extensively with David Mamet, previously appearing in the director's House of Games, Things Change, Homicide, The Spanish Prisoner and State and Main. He also appeared in the James Bond blockbuster Tomorrow Never Dies and the Paul Thomas Anderson films Boogie Nights and Magnolia. On television, he recently guest-starred in an episode of The X Files.

Jay's one-man show, Ricky Jay & His 52 Assistants, directed by Mamet, set records as the fastest-selling attraction in Off-Broadway history and garnered Jay both Lucille Lortel and Obie Awards. Subsequent sold-out productions were staged at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater, The Tiffany Theatre in Los Angeles, the Melbourne International Arts Festival and the Old Vic in London.

Jay is an historian in the fields of deception, unusual entertainment and conjuring, and has defined the terms of his art for the Cambridge Guide to American Theatre and the Encyclopedia Britannica. He is the author of The Magic Magic Book, Many Mysteries Unraveled, Cards as Weapons and Jay's Journal of Anomalies, just published by Farrar, Straus, Giroux. His best-selling book, Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women, was the basis for a CBS television special which he wrote, hosted and produced.

He has also written and performed his own television specials for HBO and the BBC. He presented a six-hour series, The Story of Magic" for A&E, and recently introduced a series of films on confidence games for Turner Classic Movies.

Jay established the firm Deceptive Practices, which provides consultation for film, television and stage. Among the many projects on which he has provided expertise are the motion pictures House of Games, Sneakers, Leap of Faith, I Love Trouble, Congo, Forrest Gump, Heartbreakers and the Broadway production of Angels in America.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Ricky Jay Facts

BirthplaceBrooklyn, New York, USA

Selected Filmography

Not available.