If you’re interested in magic, you’re probably also interested in knowing what are the best magicians in the world.
Whether you just want to increase your general knowledge of magic or if you search for inspiration, this article has you covered.
I did the research, found the best magicians in the world, and sorted them in alphabetical order (with just one exception at the beginning).
The best magicians in the world are:
Nadjib Haffaf little known but extremely talented magician from Algeria.
He amazes people with magic tricks on his YouTube channel, where is also teaching them.
Nadjib has a very original and unique style – he does not speak when performing or explaining magic tricks.
That’s why his YouTube channel is possibly the best magic tricks channel in the world!
Alexander Herrmann, born in 1844, died in 1896
A French magician born in Paris, youngest of sixteen children.
Member of a family of magicians.
His father, Samuel, was a full-time Doctor and part-time magician who was a favorite of the Sultan of Turkey.
His brother Compars (Carl) Herman left medical school to become a magician.
Alexander was married to a dancer and started as an assistant to his brother but eventually outgrew the role and started performing independently.
In 1883 he commenced a world tour where he performed for the Emperor of Brazil, then on to Russia where he was so well received the named in Hermann the Great!
He adopted this name for the rest of his career.
He performed for the Czar, Prince of Wales, and other notables.
His specialty was misdirection and Card tricks.
However, he did famously perform the Bullet Catch. [see Carl Hermann later in the list]
Apollo Robbins born in 1974
A sleight of hand artist and theatrical pickpocket, among magicians, is known as the leading exponent of this world’s field.
He was born in Plainview, Texas.
He gained fame by pick-pocketing several members of President Jimmy Carter’s Secret Service team.
Among other items, he stole Carter’s itinerary and the car keys to his motorcade.
This was obviously a great coup and led to him being approached by various law enforcement groups, not to arrest him, but to ask for his opinions on security issues and his techniques.
He created Whizmob Inc as a consultancy on fraud and theft.
Robbins has appeared several times on TV, including as host of Real Hustle.
He has been the subject of numerous documentaries and served as a consultant in several projects.
Giovanni Bartolomeo Bosco born 1793, died in 1863
A well known Italian magician in the 19th century.
He was drafted into Napoleon’s army and was wounded by a Cossack in the battle of Borodino.
While lying there, a Russian soldier searched the bodies for loot, and while he went through Bosco’s things, Bosco pick-pocketed him.
Bosco was later fighting in Siberia when he was captured, and he spent his time in captivity entertaining the guards and fellow prisoners with magic.
Bosco later returned to Turin and performed for heads of state of Russia, Prussia, Sweden, and France.
He is most remembered for his skill using cups and balls.
Samuel Bellachini born 1827, died in 1885
Bellachini was an officer in the Prussian services and one of the most popular magicians in the country.
In 1846 he took up performing and won the title of court conjuror.
His well-known tricks were a “magic pen” that would only write for him and produce eggs from his assistant’s mouth.
He also had a magic supplies business, selling to amateurs.
He was a very popular magician, and over 30 magicians have named themselves after him between his death and now.
Ben Ali Bey
Ben Ali Bey (also known as Max Auzinger) born in 1839, died in 1928
Born in Bavari, Max Auzinger was a German actor and magician.
His claim to fame was the invention of black art.
He discovered the process when he noticed that a black-faced actor shown in a dark dungeon scene was only visible when he opened his mouth, and his teeth showed white against the black.
He utilized this idea in several illusions such as “Indian and Egyptian Miracles” and “The Magnetized Drawing,” where a skeleton that had been drawn on a blackboard began to dance to music.
He also acted in several early black and white silent films between 1913 and 1920.
Carl Herrnmann (aka Compars Herrmann) born 1816, died 1887
Brother of Alexander Herrmann, mentioned earlier in the list.
His family has sometimes been referred to as the first family of Magic.
He left medical school to follow his interest in magic.
His father, Samuel Herrmann, was also a magician, as was his younger brother Alexander.
Samuel once performed for Napoleon, but eventually, his medical practice preventing him from following his magic career.
Carl Herrmann was really the first truly famous magician in the family.
Carl’s style of magic was very mysterious, and he had early success.
He also was a ventriloquist.
During his time in Paris, he was highly influenced by Houdini.
In fact, he bought most of his tricks from Houdini’s assistant LeGrande.
Houdini was non too impressed with his tricks being pirated.
Carl was also responsible for Alexander starting magic, and he kidnapped his younger brother and took him to Russia, where he trained him in magic.
When the brothers reached Vienna on their tour, Samuel, Alexander’s father, came to snatch young Alexander back, but there was a compromise, and it was agreed that Alexander would stay with Carl until the end of the tour.
Carl gained and lost fortunes during his career, always a rivalry with his younger brother.
Eventually, they agreed that Alexander would concentrate on America and Carl Europe.
Charles Arbre (aka Carl Baum), born in 1846, died in 1907
Carl Baum was born in Olmutz, Austria.
He toured Europe under the stage name of Charles Arbre.
He was influenced by Ben Ali Bey (see above), from whom he learned Black art, which he performed as Ben Azra El Muz. Arbre remained mostly in Austria, Hungary, Germany, and Turkey until his retirement in the 1880s when he became a hotelier.
Born Carl August Bohm 1821, died 1876
Carl was a German magician who had a specialization in Ghost shows.
In the 1860s, he tried to run a ship that went up and down the Rhine, docking, and then performing magic shows in the “magic drawing-room.”
It was called the floating Temple of Mystery but never proved successful.
Touring Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Switzerland he set up a stage called Salon Agoston for his performances, including drawing-room magic, Wonder Fountain and Fog Pictures, and finally Ghost Apparitions.
His greatest trick was called Flying Bird Cage.
He died in Berlin from starvation.
Following his death, his wife took to the stage as a magician.
And it was quite successful. She then trained Carl’s nephew, who performed as Prof. Ernst G A Agoston.
Paul Cosentino born 1982
Paul Cosentino is an Australian Illusionist and escapologist.
Born in Victoria to an Italian family, he came across a magic book when he was just a child, which sparked an interest in him.
As a child with learning difficulties, the book he read with his mother helped him.
One day his mother got locked out of the house, and Cosentino managed to pick the lock.
A skill which he developed.
A century after Houdini had jumped off Queens Bridge in Melbourne, Consentino performed a trick in Melbourne Aquarium where he was chained to a 60 kg concrete block.
He had several TV appearances, including America’s Got Talent, in which he performed a mix of illusions and escaped at different stages.
He came second on the show. He undertook several foreign tours.
Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos (aka Criss Angel) born in December 1967
Criss Angel was born in Hempstead, New York.
His early magic career was based in New York, but he eventually moved to Las Vegas.
He is best known for his TV specials, Criss Angel Mindfreak, a TV show and the name of his stage show.
He worked with Cirque du Soliel at the Luxor Casino in his show “Believe”
The show made $150 million in tourist revenue in 2010, but that show has now been replaced by Mindfreak LIVE, which Criss Angel owns the rights to.
He is perhaps one of the top three best-known Magicians today and he has performed more hours on Prime Time TV than any other magician.
As well as the highly lucrative Casino work at Las Vegas, he has also done several high profile events, such as the Water torture Cell in Times Square.
Criss Angel has received multiple awards over the years, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Cyril Takayama born 1973
Cyril Takayama is an American magician who has French, Moroccan, and Japanese ancestry.
He is best known in Japan.
He was raised in Hollywood and had a difficult childhood, being expelled from school and general misbehavior.
In despair, Cyril’s father sent him to Japan, but during a stopover in Tokyo, he left the plane and ended up as a busker in Shinjuku.
Times were hard with barely enough money to live.
He made several attempts to break into the magic community in Japan who rejected him as an outsider, but he was lucky enough to meet a sympathetic businessman who hires him to perform at his hotel several nights a week.
Together with performances at weddings and parties, that work sustained him while he put together a show in just two months.
The businessman assisted Cyril to attend competitions, and in 1991 Cyril gained top prize from the International Federation of Magic Societies.
He went on to win other prestigious prizes. One of Cyril’s most famous tricks is the head falling off the shoulders trick.
He is a celebrity in Japan and is often forced to go out in disguise.
Dai Vernon (aka The Professor), born 1894, died 1992
Dai Vernon was a Canadian magician with a specialty for sleight of hand work.
His great knowledge of the magic genre resulted in him having a great influence in the world of magic.
When still a young man, Dai moved to New York wherein the back of a magic shop owned by Clyde Powers, he became popular with many of the magic “Greats.”
While in New York, David Verner (his real name) was called Dai by a newspaper (the Welsh version of David), and the name stuck.
His surname was also changed because people kept calling him Vernon instead of Verner’s real name, so he just gave up and adopted Dai Vernon.
His career was not full of glamor and exciting venues, but his reputation with other magicians and their regard for his skills make him one of the greats.
He spent his last few years at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, where they still have his ashes on a shelf with Magic memorabilia.
David Blaine born 1973
David Blaine is an American illusionist, also known as an Endurance Artist and Extreme Performer.
Probably one of the most high-profile Magicians of recent years.
He is best known for his spectacular Endurance Feats which are all performed in high-profile locations.
He is the holder of several world records.
He was raised in Brooklyn and at the age of 4, saw a street magician in the subway, which influenced him.
At the age of 17, he moved to Manhattan.
In 1997 Blaine performed on his own Television Special on ABC where he performed Street magic.
Another special was Magic Man in which Blaine and a small crew with handheld cameras traveled across the country filming Blaine doing street magic.
Both specials were very well received and set new ground attracting positive comments from other magicians.
In 1999 Blaine was buried alive under a 3-ton water-filled tank in Trump Plaza.
His only communication device was a handheld buzzer for emergency use.
75,000 people visited the site including Houdinis niece who said that her uncle could never have done this.
Following this were a whole host of similar high profile stunts which made David Blaine a household name.
David Seth Kotkin (aka David Copperfield), born 1956
Forbes described David Copperfield as the most commercially successful magician in history.
His TV Specials have over 21 Emmy Awards and a further 38 nominations.
Copperfield has a unique storytelling style when he presents his illusions.
His 40-year career has earned him 11 Guinness World Records, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and a Knighthood in France.
He also owns a chain of eleven resorts located on islands in the Bahamas.
At 19 he headlined at the Pagoda hotel in Hawaii. Copperfield then went on to host a show on ABC called The Magic of ABC.
He featured in several TV Specials “The Magic of David Copperfield specials on CBS.”
Copperfield has become famous for a series of high profile, large scale illusions, including,
- The disappearance of a Learjet (1981)
- Vanishing and reappearance of the Statue of Liberty (1983)
- Levitating over the Grand Canyon (1984)
- Walking through the Great Wall of China (1986)
- Escaping from Alcatraz prison (1987)
- The disappearance of an Orient Express dining car (1991)
- Flying on stage for several minutes (1992).
Copperfield is most recently performing in a residency in Las Vegas.
David Wighton (aka David Devant) born 1868, died 1941
David Devant ia an English Magician and Shadowgraphist.
Particularly highly regarded by magicians for his suave and witty performances.
Some have called him England’s greatest magician.
His performance was very different from the presentation of earlier conjurers and was full of wit and charm.
It has been said that princess Alexandra laughed out loud at his patter during the first Royal Command Performance.
He was also a pioneer of early cinema.
Derran Brown born 1971
Derren Brown is an English Mentalist and illusionist.
He is also a painter and author.
Derren made his TV debut in 2000 with”Mind Control.”
He has also produced several other stage shows and TV specials.
He made his Broadway debut in 2019.
Brown is known for his exposure of faith healers and mediums who claim supernatural powers and he often explains how the effects are achieved by non-supernatural means.
Several of Derren”s TV shows have created controversy and generated many Ofcom complaints because of the content.
However, the authorities have generally ruled against the complaints in the end. Brown claims to use a variety of techniques to achieve his illusions, including psychology, cold reading, and subliminal perception.
Brown has also written five books on magic-related themes.
He also has opened a virtual reality ghost train ride at Thorpe Park theme park,
Derren Brown is probably the best-known British Mentalist and has established himself as an authority on the genre.
Douglas James Henning born 1947, died 2000.
Doug Henning was a Canadian illusionist, magician, and escape artist.
He was also a politician.
Born in Winnipeg he performed his first show at the age of 14 at a friend’s birthday party.
Within months he had a thriving magic business and had appeared on local TV in Toronto.
When Doug left school he gave up magic as it did not appeal to him as a full-time career.
He went to university to study psychology instead.
But later during his time at University, he started performing with a partner at local bars and nightclubs.
On leaving University, back on his magic career, he got a grant for one year of study, he studied magic, mime, and dance.
At the Magic Castle in Hollywood he met Dai Vernon (see above) and Vernon took him on as a student.
Hennings career really took off when he developed a show which combined a story with magic and it broke box office records in Toronto.
The show then went to Broadway where it ran for four and half years. in December 1975, 50 million viewers tuned in for Doug Henning’s World of Magic hosted by bill Cosby.
Doug also created illusions for the Earth Wind and Fire tour, and for two Michael Jackson concerts.
In 1986 Doug sold all his illusions to David Copperfield and other magicians to devote his time to transcendental meditation.
His final career move was as a politician when he fought the constituency in South Blackpool (UK) as a candidate for the Natural Law Party, a political party promoting Transcendental Meditation.
Johann Nepomuk Hofzinser (aka Dr Hofzinser) born 1806, died 1875
Dr. Hofzinser was an Austrian magician (later portrayed in the movie, The illusionist).
He was born in Vienna and never performed outside Austria.
He was primarily an inventor of small manipulative tricks.
His magic was primarily with playing cards.
The brilliance of his inventions earns him a place on this list.
Steven Frayne (aka Dynamo) born 1982
Dynamo is a British magician who was born in Bradford.
He first came to fame with his Dynamo: Magician Impossible TV show, which ran from July 2011 to September 2014.
Dynamo has entertained audiences worldwide with his “Seeing is believing Tour” and is one of the world’s top magicians today.
While appearing at a Houdini centenary celebration in new York Hilton, with David Blaine and David Copperfield in the audience, one of the crowd shouted out “This kid is an effing dynamo,” and the name stuck.
He used YouTube to build a fan base successfully.
Dynamo was featured in several TV specials and high-profile stunts, sponsored by various corporations.
He frequently appears at fundraisers like Comic Relief.
He has won many awards and appeared in the Forbes list of the world’s highest-paid magicians in 2016 and 2017.
Eric Chien Born 1992
Eric Chien is an award-winning magician from Taiwan.
His family moved him to the USA when he was four years old.
After graduating from college in the USA he was called back to Taiwan to complete his military service. His specialty are tricks involving cards, coins, and other small objects.
He was a contestant on the 14th series of America’s Got Talent, following his win in Asia’s Got Talent season 3. the prize money for this was $100,000.
Gopinath Muthukad, born 1964
Gopinath is an Indian magician born in Kerala.
He founded the world’s first Magic Academy at Thiruvananthapuram (The Capital of Keral).
Gopinath uses magic to get his message across.
A winner of many international magic awards and has made over 8,000 performances internationally.
He is an activist and supports many charitable institutions.
Guy Bavli, born 1971
Guy Bavli is an Israeli magician who developed a mind-reading act while serving in the Israel Defence Force.
In 2002 he moved to the USA.
He has performed at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, Carnegie Hall, and Caesars Palace.
On NBC’s Phenomenon show he performed a heart-stopping demonstration of Russian Roulette routing using acid, and spoon bending (one of his influences was fellow Israeli Uri Gellar).
Harry Blackstone Senior
Harry Blackstone Snr (aka Harry Bouton), born 1885, died 1965
Blackstone was born in Chicago and began his magic career during his teenage years.
He was a USO Entertainer throughout World War II, frequently billed as “The Great Blackstone.”
Blackstone had a formal elegant style very much of an age gone by.
He typically wore a black tie and tails when performing and he had a large number of uniformed male and female assistants.
He had levitation tricks, cabinet tricks, and a trick where he sawed a woman in half using a massive electric saw blade.
He also featured in the Blackstone, Magic Detective comic book series.
He finished his career at the Magic Castle in Hollywood.
Harry Blackstone Junior
Harry Blackstone Jnr was born in 1934, died 1997.
Harry Blackstone Jnr was a son of Harry Blackstone SNR (see above).
He resisted the temptation to reuse the routines of his father and developed his own new ones, although occasionally he would do short tributes to his father in period costume.
During his career, Harry toured the USA with several shows, most notably his “Magnificent Musical Magic Show.”
He went on to design special effects for movies and musical artists including Alice Cooper and Michael Jackson.
Erik Weisz (aka Ehrich Weiss, Harry Weiss, Harry Houdini) born 1874, died 1926)
Harry Houdini was born in Hungary but later became an American Citizen.
He was an illusionist and stunt performer.
He was most famous for his escape acts. He first came to prominence in Vaudeville as Harry “handcuff” Houdini.
On a tour of Europe, he would challenge police forces to keep him imprisoned.
He gradually expanded his repertoire and began larger scale, high-profile escapes.
An example of this would see harry hung from skyscrapers or submerged wearing straitjackets.
He was also buried alive. He was also particularly interested in exposing fakes.
Houdini made several movies but ultimately he decided that there was not enough money in it.
He also tried his hand at aviation where he was falsely credited with making the first flight in Australia.
Houdini is almost synonymous with escapology and this will be where he is always remembered.
Later performers often used Houdini as a benchmark with which they could compare their feats.
In the 1920’s Houdini turned his attention to debunking spiritualists, a task that was carried on by many modern performers such as Derren Brown.
Before he died, his last words were, “I am tired of fighting. I don’t want to fight anymore.”
Herbert L Becker
Herbert Lawrence Becker, born 1956
Herbert L Becker was born in Florida and originally trained as an accountant.
He was voted the Best USA Magician in 1975 and 1976 by the Houdini Magic Magazine.
He performed originally with Mark Nicols as the Kardeen Brothers, then solo as The Great Kardeen, and then later under his own name.
He toured the world as a magician and played as the opening act for some top bands, like Elton John, and Genesis.
He also had long residencies in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
He published a book “All the Secrets of Magic Revealed: The Tricks and Illusions of the World’s Greatest Magicians,” which showed how Harry Houdini, Doug Henning, Siegfried and Roy, and David Copperfield performed their tricks.
This made Becker less than popular with some fellow magicians.
This was made worse when he appeared on Maury Povich in March 2007 and discussed how some common tricks were performed.
He is also believed to be the “Masked Magician” who was featured on Fox TV Specials revealing how tricks were done.
Randall James Hamilton Zwinge, born 1928, died 2020
James Randi a Canadian-American stage magician who began his career as The Amazing Randi.
He took up magic after seeing Harry Blackstone Snr (see above).
He dropped out of High School at 17 to work as a conjurer at a carnival roadshow.
He performed as a Mentalist in local nightclubs and at the Canadian Exhibition in Toronto.
In his 30s he worked in nightclubs in the UK, Europe, and the Philippines.
Later he toured Japan. Early in his career, he performed as an escapologist.
In 1956 he appeared on NBC’s Today Show and broke Harry Houdini’s record for being submerged in a metal coffin submerged in a swimming pool. Generously he did point out that he was much younger than Houdini.
He toured with Alice Cooper during 73 and 74.
Later in his career, he almost exclusively spent his time debunking frauds.
The funny thing is when doing demonstrations that he openly said were based on trickery and not the supernatural, members of the audience would shout out that he was a fraud and that he actually was using paranormal powers.
Jeff McBride, born 1959
Jeff McBride (aka Magnus) is an American magician who also teaches magic.
He is a specialist in sleight of hand and card tricks.
He has been recognized by the Academy of Magical Arts, and the Society of American Magicians.
He also is a holder of several Guinness World records.
The McBride Magic & Mystery School was set up to teach magic as performance art.
The establishment is recognized globally as the finest magic school.
John Henry Anderson
John Henry Anderson, born 1814, died 1874
Anderson was a professional magician from Scotland.
His main claim to fame was to assist in bringing magic off the streets and into theatres.
He began his showbusiness career traveling with a wandering group of actors.
In 1830 when he was 17 he commenced his magic career and at the age of 23 Lord Panmure endorsed Anderson and inspired him to put together a traveling show.
In 1830 Anderson arrived in London and settled there.
He opened the New Strand Theatre.
Sir Walter Scott saw him there and christened him “The Great Wizard of the North.”
Anderson had a flair for marketing and became probably the earliest magic superstars.
He is famed for making the bullet catch popular, although he did not invent it.
He opened a second theatre in Glasgow.
After just four months, the New Theatreburnt in a fire, and Anderson took a major financial hit.
Anderson toured Europe and met the Russian Tzar. He also toured America.
Three of Anderson’s children became magicians. In 1862 one of his children, John Henry Anderson Jnr. left the Anderson show and set off on his own career as a magician, causing a rift and Anderson never spoke to him again he died in 1874 and another magician Philip Prentice Hind started to use the name Anderson and toured Australia claiming to be the true successor to the Wizard of the North.
Joseph Michael Hartz
Joseph Michael Hartz born 1836, died 1903
Joseph Michael Hartzwas born in Liverpool, UK.
He was a pioneer Vaudeville performer.
At the age of just 18, he was doing a whole evening performance in London.
He had a strange idea, and that was to construct his magical equipment from the glass.
He called this idea Crystal magic.
In 1866 Hartz and his brother went to the USA and he toured the country in the years just after the civil war. Eventually, he opened his own magic store in New York.
Juan Tamariz-Martel Negrón, born 1942
Juan was a Spanish magician, born in Madrid.
Juan played Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques in Stockholm, Beijing, Rimini, and South Korea.
It is a great honor when a magician just plays at one FISM but Juan played at four.
Juan is a celebrity in both Spain and South America.
He wrote several books on magic and made a great impression during his long career.
William Lance Burton, born 1960
Lance Burton is an accomplished magician who has performed for over 5 million people and in 2010 he finally closed his show in Las Vegas after 31 years.
Burton first became interested in magic at the age of five and by the time he reached his teens, he was fortunate enough to acquire a mentor in Harry Collins.
He progressed and by the time he was twenty he had already been awarded a Gold Medal of Excellence from the International Brotherhood of Magicians.
He has appeared on the famous Tonight show over 20 times. Burton has had four TV Specials and a long career in Vegas.
Mac King, born 1959
Mac King is an American magician born in Kentucky.
He appears frequently in TV specials often as a co-host.
He has appeared on four editions of the World’s greatest magicians’ TV Specials.
After college King started a grueling schedule of 200 shows a year for several years before he started appearing at Las Vegas.
One of the notable things about King is that he stands at the door of the theatre greeting the audience as they leave, signing autographs.
Matt Franco, born 1988
Mat Franco is an American magician.
His claim to fame is that he was the first magician to win America’s Got Talent, in the ninth season.
He won the $1 million dollar prize and gained a huge following.
A specialist in sleight of hand style magic performed with his huge personality.
NBC was so impressed they launched a spin-off series based around Matt Franco.
This was the first time ever that they had done this.
Matt is currently performing in Las Vegas and his show has been rated highest of all Vegas shows according to Trip Advisor, Ticketmaster, and Vegas.com.
Matt was fortunate enough to have some advice from Jeff McBride when he was still just 12.
Now an established magician with a lot of awards Matt is one of today’s new stars.
Michael Joseph Carbonaro, born 1976
Michael Carbonaro is an American magician and actor from New York.
He began performing magic to help finance his college. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Drama.
He is perhaps best known for tonight’s Show’s hidden camera segment, where he tricks unsuspecting customers at a convenience store.
This led to his own show with a similar vein called The Carbonaro Effect.
He has acted in six movies, and thirty TV shows, in addition to his magic.
Penn & Teller
Penn and Teller are American magicians who have worked as a partnership since the 1970s.
Their act has a combination of comedy and magic.
They have had several TV specials and shows, as well as performing in Las Vegas.
Because of TV exposure, they are well known to the general public.
Penn Jillette does virtually all the talking for the duo.
They have also become known for their shows which take a skeptical view of magic.
The duo performed together for the first time at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.
From the end of the seventies until 1981 they performed as a trio with Weir Chrisemer, who introduced them.
The act was called “The Asparagus Valley Cultural Society.“ In 1981 Chrisemer left showbiz and Penn and Teller continued as a duo.
By 1985 they were performing off-Broadway.
They had also had a PBS show called “Penn and Teller Go Public.”
During the 1990s they toured extensively and were featured in many TV shows.
From 2003 to 2010 they had a TV show called bullshit which took a look at psychics, mediums, religion, and conspiracy theories.
Since then they have has more Tv shows and appearances in Las Vegas.
The two credit James Randi (see above) for their success as skeptics.
Penn Fraser Jillette
Penn Fraser Jillete, Born 1955
He was born in Greenfield, Massachusetts.
At an early age, he showed his skeptical views and was asked to leave the church after he influenced other young people.
At the age of 18, he saw a show by James Randi (see above) and liked his skeptical and honest approach to magic.
He says that Randi is the one person he loves most besides his parents.
Penn graduated from “Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College.”
Just after that, he met Teller.
Raymond Joseph Teller
Raymond Joseph Teller, born 1948
Teller was born in Pennsylvania.
He was brought up as a “half-assed Methodist.”
Teller graduated from Amherst College, with a Bbachelor’sdegree in Classics and worked as a Latin teacher. Neither teller of Penn use drugs or drink alcohol.
Teller began performing with his friend Wier Chrisemer.
The act was called “The Othmar Schoeck Memorial Society for the Preservation of Unusual and Disgusting Music.”
That was when they met Penn Jillette.
Piff The Magic Dragon
John van der Put, born 1980
John van der Put is a British magician and comedian.
He has won many awards from British Magical Societies and toured with the British band, Mumford and Sons.
He has appeared on Penn and Teller Fool us (see above) and America’s Got Talent.
He was inspired to take up magic after seeing Jerry Sadowitz.
He completed a computer science career as a backup and then began a career in IT.
After being sick for two years with pancreatitis he quit IT and enrolled in the Central School of Speech and Drama.
After graduating he began his career proper and won the 2009 Buxton fringe Award for the Best Production. Van der Put says that Fay Presto, mentioned in our female magicians’ article, is becoming a professional magician.
He started off with cruise ship performances, corporate work, and all the routine jobs that aspiring performers undertake.
In 2008 Van der put created “Piff the Magic Dragon” based on a costume party costume Piff appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe and broke all records, and was nominated for the Time Out Award.
In 2011 Piff appeared in the first season of Penn and Teller Fool Us (see above).
Penn and Teller rated the Piff act as the favorite of the season.
In May 2015 Pidd appeared in America’s Got Talent and Piff got a Golden Buzzer that sent him through to the quarter-finals.
He eventually reached the top 10. Van der put also worked as a consultant for Penn and Teller.
In late 2015 Van der Putt got the residency at the Flamingo in Las Vegas.
See Herbert Becker above
Prof. Hartwig Seeman
Hartwig Seeman (aka B
aron Hardwig Seeman), born 1833, died 1886
Also sometimes referred to as “The Emperor of Magicians,”
Hartwig set off in 1860 on tour as a conjurer with just $30 and some small boxes of homemade tricks. It took less than a year to buy some more equipment.
He became known for the Sphinx Illusion in Norway and Sweden.
He became the first modern conjurer to visit India and gained a solid reputation there.
He returned to Germany with solid silver equipment, and people referred to him as the richest magician of all time.
The suit for his performances was covered in diamonds and cost 50,000 marks.
He moved on to the USA where he died six years later.
His son Adolph carried on the act.
Date of birth and death not known
Prof. Liebholz was an innovator who lived in Munich.
He is credited with starting a whole new genre of magic with the introduction of mechanical instruments in magic.
He designed and built many tricks that he and other magicians used, including Prof. Hartwig Seeman (see above).
Some of his tricks include the Indian Basket, Hindoo Box, Trick the Speaking Head, and the Sphinx.
Prof. St. Roman
Samuel Thiersfeld, born 1829, died 1918
Samuel Thiersfeld was an Austrian magician who left his previous career as a pastry cook and began his magic career in 1857.
He went to America and was performing during the American Civil War period.
Richard Evens (aka Rich Ferguson), born 1970
Rich Fergusonborn in Salinas, California, is also referred to as “The icebreaker.”
He performs a mixture of mentalism and magic with an improvisation style of magic he had a tough upbringing with his mother murdered and his father serving multiple life sentences.
He was adopted at the age of 12. He is best known for a series of poker chip and card handling DVDs that he created.
Richard Jay Potash, born 1948, died 2018
Richard is a stage magician and actor.
He has also done some writing
. He is considered to be one of the most adept sleights of hand practitioners in the USA.
He is best known for his stage pattern and his signature card tricks.
He also works as a consultant on movies and anyone else who needs advice on his specialty areas.
Rune Klan, born 1976
Rune Klan is a Danish comedian and magician.
He is known for bringing traditional entertainment to a new younger audience and for an instructional DVD he created which was called three pieces of silver and taught magic.
Klan has lived and toured in the Middle East and Canada.
He has had several shows and one of them Hocus Fucking Pocus was broadcast on Danish TV in 2009.
His tours in Denmark are a combination of stand-up comedy and magic.
He also worked on dubbing the main character Po, in Kung Fu Panda 1 and 2 into Danish.
Shawn Farquhar, born 1962
Shawn Farquhar is a Canadian magician and illusionist.
He has a whole rack of awards and is the only magician who has won First Place at the International Brotherhood of Magicians for both Stage Magic, and Sleight of hand Magic two times.
He travels around the globe as a performer and consultant and has been featured on the cover of several international magic magazines in Europe, North America, and Asia.
He has also served as a President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.
Perhaps his best-known trick is a signed card in a sealed deck.
He has also appeared on Penn & Teller’s Fool Us.
Liang-Shun Lim (aka Shin Lim), born 1991.
Born in Vancouver, British Columbia.
His stage name is Shin Lim and is most well known for his card manipulation and sleight of hand.
He won both season 13 of America’s Got Talent, and America’s Got Talent: The Champions.
His influence was David Blaine.
This award-winning magician initially taught himself tricks from YouTube.
Once he was proficient he started to perform on YouTube and earned money selling the tricks he devised.
In 2013 he was approached by an agent and given the opportunity of a Chinese Tour.
This resulted in him modifying his act and cutting out the narration since he could not speak Chinese.
He also appeared on Penn and Teller Fool Us.
All this publicity resulted in Shin Lim getting work in las Vegas at the Mirage Casino Hotel.
Siegfried & Roy
Siegfried and Roy were a duo comprising Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn.
From 1990 until 2003 they performed at the Mirage Hotel and Casino which was regarded as the most-visited show in Las Vegas.
They were best known for their magic act which included White Lions and White Tigers.
The act came to an end in 2003 when there was an attack by one of the Tigers prompted by an accident where Roy fell over.
The Tiger stood over him and when the helper rushed onto the stage to help the Tiger bit into Roy’s neck and dragged him off stage.
On his way to the hospital, he was pleading that no harm should come to the Tiger.
Born in Rosenheim, Gemany.
His early work was performing on the cruise ship T.S.Bremen.
While performing he asked Horn to assist him.
The two ended up getting fired for bringing a live cheetah onto the ship.
Born 1944, died 2020
Born in Nordenham, Uwe Ludwig Horn (aka Roy Horn).
He worked as a waiter on the cruise ship T.S.Bremen where he met Siegfried.
Theodore John Squires (aka Theodore Annemann), born 1907, died 1042
Theodore Annemann, who performed as Ted Annemann, was an American magician whose specialization was mentalism.
He is most well known for taking established mentalism routines and refining them.
Routines that are still used today. He started his show business career as a Tenor singer and magician.
He perfected a unique version of the bullet catch trick where he would collapse with the force of the gun, and then produce the bullet from a bloody mouth.
In 1934 he started to publish the magazine “The Jinx,” a publication for magicians.
This lasted until his death when it ceased publication.
He also wrote the book “Ted Annemann’s Practical Mental Magic,” which is considered an important work on mentalism.
Leonard Montano (aka Val Valentino, The Masked Magician, Mr. M), born 1956
Val Valentino’s career began in his teens performing with a cultural awareness show.
By the 1980s and into the 1990s, Valentino has relocated to Las Vegas where he was working the casinos.
Valentino took on the role of the masked magician for four Fox Specials that revealed other magicians’ tricks, which did not make him popular.
At the end of the final series, Valentino revealed his true identity, although to be fair, by that time most of the magic community knew who he was.
With some of the illusions costing as much as $50,000 revealing their secrets was not seen as helpful.
The world of magic of amazing and fascinating.
While there are not a lot of female magicians in this industry, there are far more male magicians than any article can ever cover.
I did my best and put together a list of the 50 Best Magicians in the world through the years and I hope that you enjoyed this journey with me.