Salt and Pepper
Brooklyn, New York
Claim to Fame
Profile Bio Text
Richard Jay Potash (born 1948), better known by the stage name Ricky Jay, is an American stage magician, actor, and writer. He is a sleight-of-hand expert and is notable for his card tricks, card throwing, memory feats, and stage patter. Jay was born in Brooklyn, New York to a middle class Jewish family. His grandfather, Max Katz, was a well-to-do certified public accountant and amateur magician who introduced Jay to the profession.
At least three of his one man shows, Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants, On the Stem, and A Rogue`s Gallery were directed by David Mamet, who has also cast Jay in a number of his films. Jay has appeared in productions by other directors, notably Paul Thomas Anderson`s Boogie Nights and Magnolia, as well as The Prestige and season one of HBO`s Deadwood as card sharp Eddie Sawyer. He also wrote the season 1 episode, "Jewel`s Boot Is Made for Walking." He also played a henchman to villain Elliot Carver in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies. Until recently, Jay was listed in the Guinness Book of Records for throwing a playing card 190 ft at 90 miles per hour (the current record is 216 ft, by Rick Smith, Jr.). Ricky Jay can throw a playing card into a watermelon rind (which he refers to as the "thick, pachydermatous outer melon layer" of "the most prodigious of household fruits") from ten paces.
Jay created a consulting firm, Deceptive Practices, which provides "arcane knowledge on a need-to-know basis." His firm`s clients are often within the stage, television, and film industries. He has worked with libraries and museums on their collections, including the Mulholland Library of Conjuring and the Allied Arts and the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City, CA.
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Full Name at Birth
Richard Jay Potash
Richard Jay Potash (born 1948), known professionally as Ricky Jay, is an American stage magician, actor, and writer. In a profile for the New Yorker, Mark Singer called Jay "perhaps the most gifted sleight-of-hand artist alive". Jay is best known for performing sleight of hand, card tricks, card throwing, memory feats, and stage patter. He has also written extensively on magic and its history. He has acted in the films The Spanish Prisoner, Heist, Boogie Nights, and Magnolia and in the HBO series Deadwood.
Actor/Actress, Other Crew, Writer
Has Detailed Data (New)
Magician, actor, author
Talent Agency (e.g. Modelling)
William Morris Endeavor Entertainment
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