×

Hollywood Mourns ‘Unsurpassed Artist’ Ricky Jay

Master magician Ricky Jay, who had several ties to Hollywood from both his appearances in films and TV and his company Deceptive Practices, died Saturday in Los Angeles at 72.

Many Hollywood denizens count themselves among his fans and were quick to pay tribute to him on social media.

“Rest In Peace, Ricky Jay,” wrote “Veep’s” Julia Louis-Dreyfus. “You were an unsurpassed artist and an exceptionally kind soul. I will miss you, xo, your pal, Louis.”

Neil Patrick Harris lauded Jay’s skill: “The breadth of his knowledge and appreciation for magic and the allied arts was truly remarkable. Such sad news, such a profound loss.”

“Twin Peaks” co-creator Mark Frost, who described Jay as his friend and neighbor for 30 years, wrote that “a irreplaceable world of arcane history, theatrical passion, and his particular, singular performing genius passes with him.”

Michael McKean called him “one of a kind.”

“Criminal Minds” star Joe Mantegna tweeted that “the world has truly lost a little of its magic today.”

Author Neil Gaiman recounted seeing Jay for the first time: “It was a remarkable night, as fascinating for the stories told as for the magic.”

Filmmaker Errol Morris simply wrote, “Oh no. My friend Ricky Jay is gone.”

Several recounted working with Jay in film or TV.

“The X-Files” executive producer Frank Spotnitz explained that the show creators “wrote ‘The Amazing Maleeni’ expressly for him, fans eager to share his sleight of hand with @TheXFiles audience.”

Jim Beaver remembered working with Jay on Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Magnolia” and HBO’s “Deadwood.” “I got to see his amazing prestidigital talents at close hand as his character Eddie…”

“Mission Impossible” director Christopher McQuarrie expressed appreciation for Jay’s input as a consultant on “Rogue Nation”: “An off-handed comment he made inspired the climax of the opera sequence. Its safe to say it would not be the same scene without him.”

See more reactions below.

More Biz

  • Passengers wait to depart for China

    Entertainment Stocks Tumble in Hong Kong as True Cost of Wuhan Virus Emerges

    UPDATED: The Hong Kong stock market tumbled by nearly 3% as it reopened on Wednesday. This was the first opportunity for local equities to be traded since the Chinese New Year holidays and the escalation of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan, central China. There were steep falls for some of the companies most [...]

  • Ben Smith Buzzfeed

    Ben Smith Stepping Down as BuzzFeed News Editor-in-Chief to Join New York Times

    BuzzFeed News editor-in-chief Ben Smith is leaving the company to join The New York Times as its media columnist, stepping into the role once held by the late David Carr. Smith announced the news today to staff at BuzzFeed minutes before it broke publicly via NBC’s Dylan Byers. His last day will be in March, [...]

  • Kobe Bryant helicopter crash

    Kobe Bryant Helicopter Did Not Have Terrain Awareness and Warning System, NTSB Says

    The bodies of all nine passengers aboard the helicopter that crashed in Calabasas, Calif., on Sunday have been recovered, the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner said on Tuesday. The crash took the lives of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, along with the pilot and six others. Bryant was on his way to [...]

  • Univision logo

    Final Bids for Univision Communications Expected by Next Week

    The sale process around Univision Communications is set to accelerate as final bids for the Spanish-language broadcaster are believed to be due by the end of next week. Univision hung out the “for sale” sign last July, when the company hired Morgan Stanley, Moelis & Co. and LionTree to advise on a sale process that [...]

  • Kobe Bryant Dead

    Kobe Bryant's Best Days Were Still Ahead of Him (Column)

    I was strolling around my local flea market Sunday morning when I looked down at my phone and read the horrible news: “Kobe Bryant Dies in Helicopter Crash.” I let out an audible gasp. Of course, my utter shock instantly morphed into journalistic concerns over how we were going to cover this unfathomable news. I [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content