Ricky Jay, a master magician who also starred in movies and television shows such as "Boogie Nights," "House of Games" and "Deadwood," died Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 72 years old.
Jay's manager, Winston Simone, said he died of natural causes, adding: "He was one of a kind, we will never see people like him again."
His lawyer Stan Coleman confirmed his death. Michael Weber, his partner in the company of Deceptive Practices, tweeted: "I am sorry to share that my remarkable friend, teacher, collaborator and co-conspirator has left."
A New Yorker's profile called him "the most talented hand-game artist," and Jay was also known for his card tricks and memory feats.
He appeared in several David Mamet films, including "House of Games," "The Spanish Prisoner," "Things Change," "Redbelt," and "State and Main."
Steve Martin, with whom he appeared in "The Spanish Prisoner," described Jay in the profile of The New Yorker, "I think Ricky is the intellectual elite of the magicians, he is skillfully able to act, and yet he knows the theory, the history and literature of the field. "
In "Deadwood", he played the sharp Eddie Sawyer during the first season, and also wrote for the show.
In the James Bond movie of 1997, "Tomorrow Never Dies," Jay played a cyber-terrorist in Pierce Brosnan's movie.
He also provided the narration for films like "Magnolia" by Paul Thomas Anderson. His Broadway show directed by Mamet, "Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants," was recorded for an HBO special in 1996.
With Weber, he created the company Deceptive Practices, which provided solutions for movies and television productions such as the wheelchair that hid Gary Sinise's legs in "Forrest Gump." They also worked on films such as "The Prestige", "The Illusionist" and "Oceans Thirteen".
Jay, who was born as Richard Jay Potash in Brooklyn, was introduced to magic by his grandfather. He started acting in New York, opening for rock bands. Jay worked for the first time in a movie with "The Escape Artist" by Caleb Deschanel.
A documentary about his life, "Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay," was released in 2012.
A student of all facets of magic, conjuring and deception, he maintained a large library of historical works and wrote two books, as well as numerous articles for the New Yorker; He also lectured frequently in museums and universities.