In 1976, Jay showed off his card-throwing skills as a guest on Doug Henning’s World of Magic, and performed a trick situated right at the center of the Venn diagram of his interests: pulling four queens from a deck in the style of an American magician, a European magician, and—here’s where his eyes light up—as a 19th-century mountebank, complete with period-appropriate patter: Jay’s skill with a deck of cards landed him a role in David Mamet’s 1987 film House of Games, where he traded his usual erudite hyperarticulation for flat vowels and pure menace: He worked with Mamet again in 1988’s Things Change and 1991’s Homicide. Ricky Jay Death. Over the decades he was a regular on talk shows hosted by Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas, Dinah Shore, Johnny Carson, David Letterman and Conan O’Brien and on various incarnations of “The Tonight Show,” beginning in the Carson era. In stage shows, with titles like Ricky Jay And His 52 Assistants, he amazed audiences with card tricks and magic.

As a writer, Jay specialized in excavating long-forgotten entertainers in books like 1986’s Learned Pigs & Fireproof Women, 2011’s Celebrations of Curious Characters (an anthology of brief historical sketches Jay wrote for KCRW in the aughts), and his most recent book, a 2016 profile of an armless, legless 18th century German entertainer with the period-appropriate title Matthias Buchinger: “The Greatest German Living” by Ricky Jay, Whose Peregrinations In Search of the “Little Man of Nuremberg” are herein Revealed. Jay died on November 24, 2018, aged 72.

A documentary about his life, “Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay,” was released in 2012. He was often asked to reveal at least some of the secrets of his magic acts, but he considered that sort of thing grossly counterproductive.

In 2002 Mr. Jay married Chrisann Verges, an Emmy-winning producer, and she survives him.

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In 1994, Jay, whose fame had grown exponentially because of an extraordinary New Yorker profile by Mark Singer the previous year, appeared off-Broadway in a celebrated one-man-show called Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants. “It’s safe to say that my parents just didn’t get it or didn’t get me, and we had no rapport,” he recalled in the film documentary and similarly in a 1993 profile in The New Yorker, explaining why he deliberately refused to talk about them or his childhood in any detail. In the aughts, he had a recurring role as a card sharp in the first season of HBO’s Deadwood, and continued his collaborations with Mamet, showing up in State and Main, Heist, and Redbelt. He was later booked at the Electric Circus, the East Village hippie-era temple, doing his act between Ike and Tina Turner’s music and Timothy Leary’s lectures on LSD. In a profile for the New Yorker, Mark Singer called Jay "perhaps the most gifted sleight-of-hand artist alive". He also narrated the 1999 anthology film “Magnolia,” whose ensemble cast included Jason Robards, Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

... confirmed the death but did not specify a cause.

“Early on, I knew I didn’t want to do the kind of magic other people were doing,” he said in the New Yorker profile.

He’s expertly able to perform and yet he knows the theory, history, literature of the field.”. He appeared in several David Mamet movies, including “House of Games,” “The Spanish Prisoner,” “Things Change,” “Redbelt” and “State and Main.”, Steve Martin, with whom he appeared in “The Spanish Prisoner,” described Jay in the New Yorker profile, “I sort of think of Ricky as the intellectual élite of magicians.

Ricky Jay, the master-showman magician, actor, scholar, special effects consultant and author who was called “the most gifted sleight-of-hand artist alive” by writers for the most prestigious publications of his time, died on Saturday at his home in Los Angeles. Ricky Jay, the greatest sleight-of-hand magician of his age, died Saturday at home in Los Angeles at the age of 72, the New York Times reports.

Ricky Jay, a master magician who also acted in films and TV shows such as “Boogie Nights,” “House of Games” and “Deadwood,” died Saturday in Los Angeles.He was 72. “The key to that is surprise. If you value our work, please disable your ad blocker. He died of natural causes. With Weber, he created the Deceptive Practices company, which provided solutions to movies and TV productions such as the wheelchair that hid Gary Sinise’s legs in “Forrest Gump.” They also worked on films including “The Prestige,” “The Illusionist” and “Oceans Thirteen.”, Jay, who was born Richard Jay Potash in Brooklyn, was introduced to magic by his grandfather. He and a business partner, Michael Weber, founded Deceptive Practices, a consulting firm, in the 1990s. Jay, born Richard Jay Potash, was the grandson of Max Katz, a Brooklyn-based accountant and amateur magician who, as the head of a magician’s society called the Knights of Magic, introduced his grandson to the world of deception and misdirection. ‘Jeopardy!’: Who Could Possibly Replace Alex Trebek? In “Deadwood,” he played card sharp Eddie Sawyer during the first season, and also wrote for the show. A New Yorker profile called him “the most gifted sleight of hand artist alive,” and Jay was also known for his card tricks and memory feats. Read Next: How To Watch the 2020 Gotham Awards Nominations, Norm Crosby, Comedian Who Was Master of Malaprops, Dies at 93, Bernie Sanders Responds to Biden Win, Calls for a ‘Nation Built on Justice, Not Greed and Bigotry’, Hollywood Mocks ‘Fox News Sucks’ Chants, Ballot Counting Chaos: ‘It’s Like an Episode of Veep’, 'The Masked Singer' Reveals the Identity of the Snow Owls: Here's the Duo Under the Masks, YouTube Experienced Widespread Technical Problems Playing Videos, 'Emily in Paris' Renewed for Season 2 at Netflix, India’s Allu Arjun Starts Smuggling Saga ‘Pushpa’ (EXCLUSIVE), MTV and Nick Cannon Inch Closer to ‘Wild ‘N Out’ Revival, Britney Spears Loses Bid to Remove Father From Conservatorship, Refuses to Perform, Tiffany Haddish, Ilana Glazer, Dave Franco Among Nine Cast in Lord and Miller Apple Series ‘The Afterparty’, Jeffrey Toobin Fired by The New Yorker Following Zoom Call Incident, Rapper Mo3 Killed in Dallas Shooting at 28.

The news … Slate relies on advertising to support our journalism. His last book, titled (in part) “Matthias Buchinger: ‘The Greatest German Living’” (2016), was pronounced awe-inspiring by The Los Angeles Times, beguiling by The New York Review of Books and tantalizing by Bookforum. A large man, he could have been mistaken for a roadie in the years he was opening for rock groups. His attorney Stan Coleman confirmed his death; further details were not immediately released. Jay’s manager, Winston Simone, said he died of natural causes, adding, “He was one of a kind. All rights reserved.