magic The Greatest Famous Magicians  

Lawrence Wong
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59.4k votes 9.3k voters 649.3k views 102 items

List Rules Must be magicians or illusionists that exist(ed) in real life

The most famous magicians in the world are known for performing amazing magic tricks, stunning illusions, and starring in mesmerizing magic shows. The list of notable magicians includes famous illusionists like Criss Angel and David Copperfield, endurance artists like David Blaine, and old school magicians like Penn & Teller, and many Vegas magicians. Whatever your favorite magic style, this list of illusionists and magicians has all the greatest magic men and women in history.

The world of magic is a skilled and complicated place, shrouded in secrecy and mystery. The secrets of the world's greatest magic tricks are known by few, revered by many, and shared by almost no one. From the granddaddy of all magicians, Harry Houdini, to the new school of comic magicians and Las Vegas staples like The Amazing Johnathan, there are always new magicians coming up making their audience ponder the question of "how'd they do that?" From huge magician names, to lesser known illusionists, and arguably the best magician ever. the world of magic isn't just for Harry Potter books. Us muggles can enjoy it too.

Who is the best magician? This is not a complete list of all magicians, so if you don't see you favorite magician or he best illusionist (according to you) on here, make sure to add them to this magicians list so others can vote for them as their new favorite illusionist. 

If all this magic has raised your desire to see some great magic, get inspired with film quotes and movie clips from magic films like Now You See Me and The Prestige. And don't forget to see what these great magicians have inspired on the list of the greatest fictional magicians.

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Harry Houdini is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Harry Houdini Died at 52 (1874-1926) Harry Houdini was a Hungarian-American illusionist and stunt performer, noted for his sensational escape acts. He first attracted notice in vaudeville in the US and then as "Harry Handcuff ...more

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David Copperfield is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
David Copperfield age 61 David Copperfield is an American illusionist, and has been described by Forbes as the most commercially successful magician in history. Copperfield's television specials have won 21 Emmy Awards ...more

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Teller is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Teller age 70 Teller is an American magician, illusionist, actor, comedian, writer, director and usually silent half of the comedy magic duo Penn & Teller, along with Penn Jillette. Teller is an atheist, ...more

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David Blaine is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
David Blaine age 44 David Blaine is an American magician, illusionist and endurance artist. He is best known for his high-profile feats of endurance, and has made his name as a performer of street and close-up ...more

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Penn Jillette is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Penn Jillette age 63 Penn Fraser Jillette is an American magician, juggler, comedian, musician, inventor, actor, and best-selling author known for his work with fellow magician Teller in the team Penn & Teller. ...more

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Doug Henning is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
VinceVargas added Doug Henning Died at 53 (1947-2000) Douglas James Henning was a Canadian magician, illusionist, escape artist and politician.

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Harry Blackstone, Sr. is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Harry Blackstone, Sr. Died at 80 (1885-1965) Harry Blackstone was a famed stage magician and illusionist of the 20th century. Blackstone was born Harry Bouton in Chicago, Illinois, he began his career as a magician in his teens and was ...more

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Lance Burton is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Lance Burton age 58 William Lance Burton is an American stage magician. He performed more than 5,000 shows in Las Vegas for over 5,000,000 people. In 2010 he ended his 31-year career.

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Harry Anderson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Harry Anderson age 65 Harry Laverne Anderson is an American actor, writer, director and magician. He is best known for the role of Judge Harry Stone on the 1984-1992 television series Night Court. In addition to ...more

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Criss Angel is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Criss Angel age 50 Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos, better known by the stage name Criss Angel, is an American magician and illusionist. Angel began his career in New York City, before moving his base of ...more

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The Amazing Johnathan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
The Amazing Johnathan age 59 John Edward Szeles, better known by the stage name The Amazing Johnathan, is an American stand-up comedian/magician. His act is mostly composed of hijinks, interaction with one specific audience ...more

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Dynamo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Dynamo age 35 Steven Frayne, commonly known by his stage name "Dynamo", is an English magician, best known for his show Dynamo: Magician Impossible. Dynamo was born in Bradford, England.

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Harry Blackstone, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
JimmyHale added Harry Blackstone, Jr. Died at 63 (1934-1997) I would rank the Amazing Blackstones, Harry Jr and Harry Sr as number three and four respectively behind Houdini and Copperfield.  Classic magic, fantastic showmanship; Jr was a consummate performer. Harry Blackstone, Jr. was an American stage magician, author, and television performer.

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Howard Thurston is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
ChristopherHartnett added Howard Thurston Died at 67 (1869-1936) Howard Thurston was a stage magician from Columbus, Ohio, United States. His childhood was unhappy and he ran away to join the circus, where his future partner Harry Kellar also performed. ...more

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Dai Vernon is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
ZachMerriman added Dai Vernon Died at 98 (1894-1992) Dai Vernon, aka The Professor, was a Canadian magician. His expert sleight of hand technique and extensive knowledge garnered him respect among fellow magicians. His influence was considerable ...more

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Mac King is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Mac King age 58 Mac King is a comedy magician who has performed on television specials, often as a co-host. He has his own family-friendly show, "The Mac King Comedy Magic Show," at the Harrah's Las ...more

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Derren Brown is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Derren Brown age 47 Derren Brown is an English illusionist, mentalist, trickster, hypnotist, painter, writer, and sceptic. He is known for his appearances in television specials, stage productions, and British ...more

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Ricky Jay is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Ricky Jay age 70 Richard Jay Potash, 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, ...more

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Johnny Thompson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
JakeySmith added Johnny Thompson 83

Along with his wife Pamela Hayes, he performs a slapstick comic magical act in which he plays the role of a dapper but buffoonish vaudeville gentleman, with a gum-popping assistant, and they endure various mishaps during their performance. One of his trademarks is producing pure white doves on stage, which are trained to play along with the act once they have appeared.

Johnny Thompson is a Polish American Las Vegas illusionist who performs under the stage name The Great Tomsoni with his wife, Pamela Hayes. They have a comedic slapstick act with the ...more

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Mark Wilson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Mark Wilson age 89 James "Mark" Wilson is an American magician and author. He is widely credited as becoming the first major "television magician" and in the process establishing the viability ...more

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Shin Lim is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
AmigoBomb added Shin Lim

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Jeff McBride is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Jeff McBride age 58 Jeff McBride is an American magician from Monticello, New York. He is known for his sleight of hand skills and specializes in the manipulation of playing cards, coins, and other small objects. ...more

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Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin Died at 66 (1805-1871) Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin was a French magician. He is widely considered the father of the modern style of conjuring.

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Piff the Magic Dragon is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Liz Zam added Piff the Magic Dragon age 37 John van der Put, known as Piff the Magic Dragon, is a magician and comedian from the United Kingdom. He currently lives in Las Vegas with Mr Piffles, his magic performing Chihuahua.

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The Pendragons is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
The Pendragons Jonathan and Charlotte Pendragon were a husband-and-wife team of American illusionists who called their work "physical grand illusion". They are widely known thanks to numerous ...more

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Siegfried Fischbacher is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Siegfried Fischbacher age 78 Siegfried Fischbacher is a magician.

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Michael Ammar is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
AddWilson added Michael Ammar age 61 Michael Ammar is an American close-up magician. He is recognized worldwide as one of the greatest living magicians.

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Dante is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Dante Died at 72 (1883-1955) Harry August Jansen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark and settled in the United States. He traveled the world as a professional magician under the name Dante the Magician.

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Paul Daniels is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Paul Daniels age 80 Newton Edward Daniels, known by his stage name Paul Daniels, is a British magician and television performer. He achieved international fame through his television series The Paul Daniels Magic ...more

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Roy Horn is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Roy Horn age 73 Roy Horn is a magician.

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The Clairvoyants is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
AaditArora added The Clairvoyants

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Michael Carbonaro is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
dragonlady222 added Michael Carbonaro age 35 1982 Michael Carbonaro is an American actor, magician, and improv artist. He is known for his hidden-camera "Magic Clerk" segments on The Tonight Show, in which he tricks unsuspecting ...more

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Dr. Mitch Magic aka Hokey Pocu... is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Mitch Goodkin added Dr. Mitch Magic aka Hokey Pocus .

Dr. Mitch Magic, inventor, authour and famous Long Island Expert Magician also volunteers to perform as Hokey Pocus on behalf of the Shriners Childrens Hospitals.
https://www.facebook.com/DrMitchMagic/
https://www.facebook.com/Hokey-Pocus-142352229708473/

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Cyril Takayama is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Cyril Takayama age 44 Cyril Takayama is an American-Japanese magician of Japanese, French, and Moroccan descent. He is perhaps best known for his magic performances around Japan.

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Kevin James is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Liz Zam added Kevin James age 55 Kevin James is an award-winning French-born American magician, known for creating several unique magical effects, such as the "Floating Rose" which is performed by David Copperfield. ...more

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James Randi is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
James Randi age 89 James Randi is a Canadian-American retired stage magician and scientific skeptic best known for his challenges to paranormal claims and pseudoscience. Randi is the co-founder of Committee for ...more

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Richiardi Jr is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Richiardi Jr Died at 62 (1923-1985) Richiardi Jr., was the stage name of magician Aldo Izquierdo, who became famous for dramatic and gory stage presentations of classic stage illusions. Richiardi was the son of another ...more

The Best Things About Fall

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Mat Franco is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
AaditArora added Mat Franco

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Smoothini is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Magic Man added Smoothini America's Got Talent

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Val Valentino is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Val Valentino age 61 Val Valentino, born Leonard Monatono is an American illusionist who gained fame by starring in four magic specials exposing magic secrets on the Fox network, using the stage name the Masked ...more

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Derek DelGaudio is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Richard Tuckerman added Derek DelGaudio

If Beethoven had written only the 9th Symphony, he would have a place in the pantheom of great composers. DelGaudio has created and performed in two of the most successful "parlor" shows ever brought to the New York stage, Nothing to Hide and In & Of Itself. 'Nuff said!

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Gary Kurtz. One of the best th... is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Kåre Vergmann added Gary Kurtz. One of the best thinking magicians. A great creator of UNBELIVABLE magic with slight-of-hand-magic.

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Eugene Burger is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Christian Sheppard added Eugene Burger age 78 Eugene Burger is an American magician. He was born in 1939 and is based in Chicago, Illinois. He is reputed for his close-up skills and his work in mentalism and bizarre magic. He is also a ...more

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Bentley Burns is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Lion91 added Bentley Burns 27

Hailed as “the new generation of magic” Bentley has been astonishing audiences for over 13 years. His fresh and modern approach to magic has made him unique in the industry.

Bentley was always interested in magic especially at the age of 5 when he saw David Copperfield perform. 7 years later Bentley went to a magic shop and was hooked from then on. His background in theater helped mold him as a performer and took his magic to the next level.

Now 27 Bentley has been seen on television and performs all over the country with his hilarious award winning  show. He has sold out theaters and performs at colleges and universities sharing his love of magic. It’s no wonder why his fellow magicians voted him the 1st place winner in 2009.

Born in Mississippi, near the birth place of Rock and Roll and Elvis Presley Bentley began his journey. He fell in love with theater and acting but later found he belonged in the world of magic. 

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Ed Alonzo is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Bomalley added Ed Alonzo age 49 Ed Alonzo is a Mexican American comedian, actor and professional magician.

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Neil Patrick Harris is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Neil Patrick Harris age 44 Neil Patrick Harris is an American actor, writer, producer, director, comedian, magician, singer, and television host. He is known for playing Barney Stinson in the television comedy series How ...more

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Lu Chen is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
YujiaWang added Lu Chen age 41 Lu "Louis" Chen is a Taiwanese magician and is credited to be the only Taiwanese magician to perform in Hollywood's Magic Castle, commonly referred to as Taiwan's most renowned ...more

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Brian Curry is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Samir Mustafa added Brian Curry

Northern Virginia's favorite magician, and perennial champion of magic duels.

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Joe Lantiere is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Joe Lantiere added Joe Lantiere 66

Long time award-winning magician, ventriloquist, escape artist and master Tarot Reader. In the early 1980's. he was one of the relatively unknown pioneers & solitary practicioners in the "new" Bizarre Magick movement - he was a co-founder of The Inner Circle of Bizarre Magick in 1991. He has written many books in several fields (includng the classic book on the "History of the Magician's Wand"), and performed & taught all actoss the country. He is the Creator & Founder of the "League of Allied Mystical Performers" (L.A.M.P.). He is also the Dean of his local S.A.M. Assembly, and a Mentor at his local S.Y.M. Assembly.

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Lee Asher is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
LanceT.Miller added Lee Asher