Magician Ricky Jay, who also acted in films and TV shows such as Boogie Nights, House of Games and Deadwood, is dead at 72. Jay’s manager, Winston Simone, said he died of natural causes here on Saturday, reported variety.com. “He was one of a kind. We will never see the likes of him again,” Simone said.
Jay’s attorney Stan Coleman confirmed his death. His partner in the Deceptive Practices company, Michael Weber, tweeted: “I am sorry to share that my remarkable friend, teacher, collaborator and co-conspirator is gone.”
Jay was also known for his card tricks and memory feats. He appeared in several David Mamet movies, including House of Games, The Spanish Prisoner, Things Change, Redbelt and State and Main.
In Deadwood, he played card sharp Eddie Sawyer during the first season, and also wrote for the show. In the 1997 James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, Jay played a cyber-terrorist to Pierce Brosnan’s Bond.
He also provided the narration for movies such as Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia. His one-man Broadway show directed by Mamet, Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants, was recorded for an HBO special in 1996.
Jay, who was born Richard Jay Potash in Brooklyn, was introduced to magic by his grandfather. He began performing in New York, opening for rock bands. Jay first worked in film with Caleb Deschanel’s The Escape Artist, variety.com reported.
A documentary about his life, Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay, was released in 2012. A student of all facets of magic, prestidigitation and trickery, he maintained a large library of historic works and wrote two books.