Magic The Greatest Famous Magicians  

Lawrence Wong
Originally by
65k votes 10k voters 673.1k views 105 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 the greatest 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 magicians ever, the world of magic isn't just for Harry Potter books. Us muggles can enjoy it too.

Who is the best magician in the world? This is not a complete list of all magicians, so if you don't see your favorite magician or the 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.

list ordered by

1
3,078 607
Harry Houdini is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Dec. 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

2
2,245 1,003
David Copperfield is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
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

3
2,444 1,080
David Blaine is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
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

4
1,513 645
Penn Jillette is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
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

5
1,834 1,650
Criss Angel is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
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

6
1,600 633
Teller is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
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

7
444 228
Shin Lim is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
AmigoBomb added Shin Lim

8
606 395
Harry Blackstone, Sr. is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Dec. 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

9
806 804
Doug Henning is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
VinceVargas added Dec. at 53 (1947-2000) Douglas James Henning was a Canadian magician, illusionist, escape artist and politician.

10
881 677
Lance Burton is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
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.

11
628 622
Harry Anderson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
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

12
1,417 1,060
Dynamo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
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.

13
565 690
The Amazing Johnathan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
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

14
462 327
Harry Blackstone, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
JimmyHale added Dec. 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.

15
363 353
Howard Thurston is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
ChristopherHartnett added Dec. 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

16
518 389
Dai Vernon is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
ZachMerriman added Dec. 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

17
642 556
Derren Brown is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
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

18
141 161
Mat Franco is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
PixarAnimate added Mat Franco

19
405 468
Mac King is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
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

20
304 498
Smoothini is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Magic Man added Smoothini America's Got Talent

21
465 425
Ricky Jay is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
age 70 Richard Jay Potash (June 26, 1946 - November 24, 2018), known professionally as Ricky Jay, was an American stage magician, actor, bibliophile, and writer. In a profile for The New Yorker, Mark ...more

22
206 80
Johnny Thompson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
JakeySmith added 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

23
346 507
Mark Wilson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
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

24
282 198
Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Dec. at 66 (1805-1871) Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin was a French magician. He is widely considered the father of the modern style of conjuring.

25
411 458
Jeff McBride is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
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

26
226 157
Michael Ammar is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
AddWilson added age 61 Michael Ammar is an American close-up magician. He is recognized worldwide as one of the greatest living magicians.

27
331 479
The Pendragons is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
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

28
265 344
Piff the Magic Dragon is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Liz Zam added 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.

29
474 524
Siegfried Fischbacher is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
age 78 Siegfried Fischbacher is a magician.

30
608 714
Neil Patrick Harris is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
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

31
178 156
Eugene Burger is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Christian Sheppard added 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

32
516 442
James Randi is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
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

33
332 385
Paul Daniels is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
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

34
175 184
Dante is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Dec. 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.

35
361 485
Roy Horn is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
age 73 Roy Horn is a magician.

36
291 359
Michael Carbonaro is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
dragonlady222 added 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

37
150 59
Justin Miller is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Justin Miller added Justin Miller

If you have been in magic more than 1 week..you know who Justin Miller is!

Justin Miller has created some of the most astounding and visual effects for the magic and mentalism community. With over 41 DVD's, over 4k effects created, Justin has made his mark on the community of wizards. His original magic and mentalism been seen on SyFy's Wizard Wars, Americas Got Talent, FOX News, The world Famous Magic Castle and many T.V. and Movies. His influence has been hailed as game changing energy by his students at his ORIGINAL On-Line School, Meeting Of The Minds. 

38
301 422
Cyril Takayama is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
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.

39
63 16
Eric Jones is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Paul David Carpenter added Eric Jones

An award winning performer, Eric’s magic has been showcased at Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA, and NYC’s Monday Night Magic, the longest running magic show in New York. Eric has appeared on television in 13 countries spanning 4 continents and has wowed dozens of A List celebrities. As an author, creator, performer and consultant, Eric's expertise is sought out by Fortune 500 companies such as Merrill Lynch, State Farm and Coca-Cola. [1]

Eric was a contestant on Season 2 of Penn & Teller: Fool Us where he successfully fooled the duo.

40
155 157
Kevin James is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Liz Zam added 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

41
96 189
The Clairvoyants is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
PixarAnimate added The Clairvoyants

42
94 201
Richiardi Jr is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Dec. 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

43
96 99
Derek DelGaudio is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Richard Tuckerman added

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!

44
41 128
Dr. Mitch Magic aka Hokey Pocu... is listed (or ranked) 44 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/

45
91 46
Bentley Burns is listed (or ranked) 45 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. 

46
124 519
Val Valentino is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
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

47
120 87
Naathan Phan is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Bao-Quoc Phan added age 29

Naathan Phan is a Asian-American magician, actor, and internet personality who has been featured on America's Got Talent, Wizard Wars, Masters of Illusion, Don't Blink, Penn & Teller: Fool Us, Celebrity Name Game, Reno 911!, Tosh.0, and Superbad. Trademarks include his Scottish brogue, ability to sing, and talent for vocal mimicry.

Naathan Phan is an Asian Scottish magician, actor, and internet personality. He had a small role as a party-going teenager in the 2007 comedy film Superbad and he also played a driver's ed ...more

48
162 269
Lu Chen is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
YujiaWang added 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

49
82 223
Gary Kurtz. One of the best th... is listed (or ranked) 49 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.

50
89 212
Ed Alonzo is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Famous Magicians
Bomalley added age 49 Ed Alonzo is a Mexican American comedian, actor and professional magician.