Actor and magician Ricky Jay has died at the age of 72.
Famous for his roles in Boogie Nights and Magnolia, the artist passed away at his home in Los Angeles on Saturday. His attorney Stan Coleman confirmed his death.
His longtime manager, Winston Simone, told Variety that Jay died of natural causes. “He was one of a kind,” Simone said. “We will never see the likes of him again.”
A profile in The New Yorker in 1993 called him “the most gifted sleight of hand artist alive” and Jay was also known for his card tricks and memory feats. In 2002, he broke the Guinness World Record for the farthest throw of a single playing card — he flung one more than 216 feet (65.96 metres).
Jay was also an admired figure in Hollywood. Films and TV shows he appeared in included James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, Mystery Men, the HBO series Deadwood, House of Games and The Spanish Prisoner.
Jay’s partner in their Deceptive Practices consulting firm, Michael Weber led the tributes, tweeting: “I am sorry to share that my remarkable friend, teacher, collaborator and co-conspirator is gone.”
I am sorry to share that my remarkable friend, teacher, collaborator and coconspirator is gone.
— Michael Weber (@mwisme) November 25, 2018
He founded the consulting firm with Weber in the early 1990s, and they provided solution to production challenges for movies such as Forrest Gump, Congo, and The Prestige.
“Oh man, Ricky Jay. Just a genius. One of the best who ever lived. We’ll all miss you, Ricky. Oh man,” fellow magician Penn Jillette wrote.
American actor Josh Gad tweeted: “God, this man was such a badass in every way. I remember first seeing him in Magnolia and being desperately obsessed with him.”