Ricky Jay Death

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Scott Wells
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Ricky Jay Death

Postby Scott Wells » November 24th, 2018, 8:24 pm

I just read a post from Eric Mead on Facebook reporting the death of Ricky Jay. Is this true and what are the details?
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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Dustin Stinett » November 24th, 2018, 8:53 pm

It is true. I have no other details.

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 24th, 2018, 8:58 pm

Same report from multiple sources and now confirmed.

Obit in Variety: https://variety.com/2018/film/news/rick ... 203035879/
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Final Curtain - Ricky Jay

Postby Diego » November 24th, 2018, 9:39 pm

I just read on the online sites of The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, that Ricky Jay has passed away from natural causes.

Michael Weber was quoted in the publications note above, confirming the news.

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Re: Final Curtain - Ricky Jay

Postby Ted M » November 24th, 2018, 9:49 pm

(This thread title is more literary than the other one, so I'm posting here.)

It was Mark Singer's lengthy 1993 New Yorker profile of Ricky Jay that rekindled my childhood affinity for magic and inspired my study and explorations of the field as an adult. He brought artistry and respect to a field which was too often content with laffs. His tide raised all magicians' boats.

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Matthew Field
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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Matthew Field » November 25th, 2018, 5:21 am

Very sad to learn of this. I loved Ricky's writing and saw both of his off-Broadway shows in New York, Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants" and "On the Stem." My friend David Roth was Ricky's 53rd Assistant. He made appearances on Simon Drake's "Secret Cabaret" on British TV, co-produced by Jim Steinmeyer and directed by Jim's wife, Frankie Glass.

I just got off the phone with Gordon Bruce, who called to tell me of Ricky's death (I already knew). He was devastated.

Ricky was a thoughtful magician. His "Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women" is a favourite book of mine, as is his reaearch regarding Matthew Buchinger.

He will be missed.

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby MitsuMatsu » November 25th, 2018, 6:00 am

His birthday is generally known as January 1, 1948. However the news tells us that he passed away at his age 72, not 70. So I wonder which birth year is correct. Anyone know?

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby MagicbyAlfred » November 25th, 2018, 6:46 am

Sincere condolences to Ricky's family.

Never has the saying, "one of a kind," been more apropos.

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby JustinM » November 25th, 2018, 9:31 am

This is sad and creepy for me, because last night, for the first time in months, i thought to myself " i should read Ricky Jay's New Yorker Article". That thought just popped into my head randomly and then i find out this morning that he's passed away!!!!


R.I.P. to one of the most thoughtful and skilled practitioners of our craft


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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby JHostler » November 25th, 2018, 9:57 am

I never met him, but Ricky was where it all started for me. Saw him on the box in the mid-'70s and - having been bitten by the bug - never looked back.

So sad to hear this.
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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Tom Frame » November 25th, 2018, 10:29 am

I've been a rabid fan of Ricky's for over 40 years. He was a unique, inspirational treasure. This is a terrible loss.
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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 25th, 2018, 11:44 am

Ricky was born one year before Doug Henning, and was 72 when he died.
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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby chetday » November 25th, 2018, 11:55 am

This sure is sad news. I've been entertained by Ricky Jay for most of my life. I wish I'd been able to see his shows in person, but that wasn't in the cards (so to speak). But I have repeatedly enjoyed his work in Mamet's films, as well as his much-too-limited role in Deadwood, where, darn it, the director never did show us nearly enough of Jay's card skills. Sitting here about to turn 71 in forty-three days, I hate the way the Reaper's starting to collect so many performers I've admired during my life. Though I'm not religious, I like to picture Ricky throwing cards at a watermelon in the Great Beyond. That image pleases me to no end.

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Bob Farmer » November 25th, 2018, 1:20 pm

Very sad news. On my first visit to the Magic Castle, Ricky gave me and my wife a small private show. It was great. My condolences to his family and to Michael Weber, his business partner. Ricky did a lot, more than can be measured, to elevate the art of magic in the public's eye.

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Jack Shalom » November 25th, 2018, 1:29 pm


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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Jason Ladanye » November 25th, 2018, 1:42 pm


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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Steve Bryant » November 25th, 2018, 5:30 pm

The New Yorker is making its Profile on Ricky available:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1993 ... k0MDc2OQS2

-- Steve

http://littleegyptmagic.com/magic.html

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Bill Mullins » November 25th, 2018, 8:04 pm

Los Angeles Times obit.

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Joe Mckay » November 25th, 2018, 9:10 pm

Ricky Jay was somebody I idolized when I first became obsessed with card magic.

When I was 17 years old I visited London to attend a lecture at The Magic Circle given by Alex Elmsley. A lot of the magicians at the lecture headed out that night to watch Ricky Jay give a performance of his 'Ricky Jay and his 52 Assistants' show in the West End.

I didn't attend because Ricky Jay had a "No children" policy. And I was unsure if 17 would count as a child or not.

I often find myself thinking about magic and magicians in a way I rarely see discussed. When it comes to making magic impactful - the biggest impact ultimately comes from the aura that surrounds you. This is something that Houdini, Max Malini and David Berglas are masters of. In more recent times this is something that Steve Cohen has pulled off as well.

What is interesting about Ricky Jay's work is that he was a master at creating that image not just with laypeople but also with magicians. This side to his persona comes across best in the New Yorker profile that Mark Singer wrote back in 1993.

I used to read and re-read that profile over and over back when I was a teenager. Even more than his performances I feel that article does the best job of capturing what was most important about the magic of Ricky Jay.

The relationship between magicians and secrets is a complicated one. And it was this tension that most embodied Ricky Jay's magic to me.

Ricky Jay's goal in magic was to make secrets precious again. He did this by memorializing a bygone age where secrets were handed down from mentor to student, and you had to devote your life to proving yourself a worthy recipient of such arcane knowledge.

When was the last time you felt you were part of such a history whilst browsing The Magic Cafe?

He created this image by communicating to the public the strange history associated with our art. And - more subtly - he helped reconnect the magic community with it's mountebank roots.

I can figure out how most of Ricky Jay's tricks were done. Not hard in a repertoire that did not change much in 30 years. But the one secret I will never uncover is how you he was able to use a deck of cards to hint at something wonderful that will forever be hidden from view.

Jim Steinmeyer once wrote that magicians guard an empty safe. Ricky Jay devoted his life to proving otherwise.

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Bill Mullins » November 26th, 2018, 1:17 am

Washington Post obit

The only survivor I've seen mentioned is his wife, Chrisann Verges. If AskAlexander is to be believed, he did a number of shows ca. 1958 with his sister, Cathy. I wonder if he was estranged from her, as he seemed to be from his parents, and if she still lives.

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Bill Mullins » November 26th, 2018, 1:09 pm

Found on Instagram:
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Joe Lyons
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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Joe Lyons » November 26th, 2018, 1:12 pm

Steve Bryant wrote:The New Yorker is making its Profile on Ricky available:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1993 ... k0MDc2OQS2

-- Steve

http://littleegyptmagic.com/magic.html


According to the New Yorker article he got on with his sister like gangbusters.

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby I.M. Magician » November 26th, 2018, 2:53 pm

Having magic in my blood for so very long, I don’t get too excited about performers anymore unless they are really really good. Ricky Jay fit that category.

He was so very serious about the art and so darn entertaining to watch. I never got fatigue watching him perform. He unique style and remarkable competence was hypnotizing.

I think it’s safe to say that he was truly a rare breed not only as a performer but as an author as well.

An irreplaceable one of a kind IMHO.

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Bill Mullins » November 28th, 2018, 12:40 am

Ricky Jay's final acting role.

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Jason England » November 28th, 2018, 12:56 am

Hmmm. Didn't know that. I helped out in a small way with the poker scene from the final episode of S1 of that show. Met with the head writer for an afternoon and came up with the poker hands and assisted them with some of the language. Spoke with Bryan Cranston on the phone the day of shooting since they wanted to make some last minute changes.

A nice connection with Ricky. Thanks for that.

Jason

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Bill Mullins » November 28th, 2018, 2:05 am

A Peanuts "Cards as Weapons" tribute to Ricky?

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Bill Mullins » November 28th, 2018, 2:32 am

https://www.vulture.com/2018/11/ricky-jay-magic-tricks-best-videos.html

And a tribute from the costume designer of Sneaky Pete. Jason, I seem to remember you mentioning that consulting gig at MagicLive last year.

"Every girl crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man . . . "

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Joe Lyons » November 28th, 2018, 11:29 am

I first watched Ricky Jay’s “Deceptive Practice” in Austin when he presented it at the Alamo Drafthouse in 2013. I just watched it again and had forgotten how good it was. The old Vernon and Miller footage was especially fun to see.
Like all of the truly greats Ricky not only had mad skills but he was a unique talent as well.
He will be missed.

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Brad Henderson » November 28th, 2018, 1:53 pm

i was at that show. Went to dinner with him and my friend Richard Garriott after. Great memory

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 28th, 2018, 6:58 pm

By David Mamet in today's New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/28/thea ... e=Homepage
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MaxNY
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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby MaxNY » November 28th, 2018, 11:45 pm

I just spent the night digitizing Ricky on several chat shows. I think 5 in total. Stuff I didn't see posted any where on YouTube. Too late to upload tonight, but stay tuned... Ricky on Sally, Kimmel, and two double secret uploads that must remain secretive due to a tight grip on behalf of the Production Companies that shall remain nameless.

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby erdnasephile » November 29th, 2018, 9:04 am

Michael Weber has a couple of great RJ stories posted on his twitter feed.

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby I.M. Magician » November 29th, 2018, 9:29 am

erdnasephile wrote:Michael Weber has a couple of great RJ stories posted on his twitter feed.


Great stories! I can relate to the refill issue. On so many occasions, I get my cup of coffee just the way I want it when the waitress comes by to refill the cup and destroy the fine balance of coffee, sugar, and cream. The attentiveness is appreciated but the destruction of the coffee just the way I want it is not. :D

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Joe Lyons » November 29th, 2018, 9:54 am

Brad Henderson wrote:i was at that show. Went to dinner with him and my friend Richard Garriott after. Great memory



Not a bad way to spend an evening....

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Bill Mullins » November 29th, 2018, 4:23 pm

An early (1975) Ricky Jay profile
Image

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MaxNY
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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby MaxNY » November 29th, 2018, 10:46 pm

Please read all of my comments before clicking through to the videos. Sit back and relax, as I have just uploaded some really rare Ricky Jay footage from various chat shows. There are two uploads that are unlisted, and I will be leading you to their place in cyber space, at this forum only. Please nobody grab the URL and post it at the Cafe. If I wanted it there, I would have posted them there. Please do not mention the Hosts name, as they are still in the business of selling footage, they don't want their footage out in public. If you enjoy viewing rare magicians here at the Forum, please respect my wishes, and lets have some fun...

The first footage was from The Sally Jessy Raphael Show, 1985. I worked on the Sally show for about two years editing shows and promos. This footage did not come through their archives, but landed in my lap years later through Charlie Reynolds. There were two shows, both 1/2 hour shows. They also had on Max Maven, and Jeff McBride. I only have the Ricky Jay segments here...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOyo2j4MW5g&t=5s

The second footage was also from the Sally Jessy Raphael Show, Shot the same day, but aired on a different day. Can be seen here...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dF4mbxUDDII

The third footage was from the Jimmy Kimmel Show. Maybe 2007? Here Ricky Jay promotes his DVD?CD Ricky Jay Plays Poker....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXlAN_Ev3hc

This next piece is from an un-named Show. Please lets not name the show in ANY COMMENTS, as they (the estate of...) can Google the name, and this thread just may pop up. Im am trying to remain in the good graces of YouTube, but also realize there are a few syndicated talk shows from the 60''s, 70's and 80's that still want profits from selling old footage. I have this URL on a double secret probation URL, and will only allow it to be placed here. It will not search, please don't ever mention the Host, and lets see if you guys can co-operate with me, or else...NO More secret videos!!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QCGWQO ... e=youtu.be

This next piece is from an un-named Show. Please lets not name the show in ANY COMMENTS, as they (the estate of...) can Google the name, and this thread just may pop up. Im am trying to remain in the good graces of YouTube, but also realize there are a few syndicated talk shows from the 60''s, 70's and 80's that still want profits from selling old footage. I have this URL on a double secret probation URL, and will only allow it to be placed here. It will not search, please don't ever mention the Host, and lets see if you guys can co-operate with me, or else...NO More secret videos!!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oixfOCZmF9k

There are also two older Ricky Jay clips I posted last year...feel free to view these also
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QwTSnu8m3g

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwY1i1cR-VM

I'm a guy who speaks honestly, and I know it's not nice to talk about a man after he passes...but I attended about 5 lectures in NYC throughout the years, and always had one of his latest books I was hoping he could sign for me. I must say, after every lecture, he was escorted directly out of the room, and I never got a stupid autograph. I understand the views of "autographs,", but? Really? He was never such a big star, that autographs were below him. And...I traveled out of the country to attend FISM 2000 (Portugal) where they billed a lecture by Mr Ricky Jay. There were advertisements, his bio and picture were even on the Program. For whatever reason. he bailed about a week prior. I just want to say that may he rest in peace.

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Bill Mullins » November 29th, 2018, 11:08 pm

Thanks, Max, for posting these.

Ricky Jay's top ten films.

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Bill Mullins » November 30th, 2018, 12:26 am

Ricky's girl friend during the "Cards as Weapons" era was Tracy Newman (SNL actress Laraine Newman's sister) (I believe she appears in the book) (she's talented in her own right -- she got an Emmy for writing the "coming out" episode of Ellen in 1997, and was a founding member of the Groundlings). Here are some reminisces.

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Dustin Stinett » November 30th, 2018, 3:39 am

That was great, Bill. Thanks for finding and sharing it.

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Re: Ricky Jay Death

Postby Dustin Stinett » November 30th, 2018, 4:28 am

Max, those clips were great. I hadn't some of those since they originally aired.


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