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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.

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