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7 Famous Magicians In History


Who are the most famous magicians of all time?

  • Harry Houdini
  • David Blane
  • Val Valentino (Masked Magician)
  • David Copperfield
  • Derren Brown
  • Paul Daniels
  • Dynamo

The 7 famous magicians in history (yes there is a lot more…). There have been many great magicians in history. From the iconic illusionist Harry Houdini who famously made an Elephant vanish in the New York Hippodrome, to modern masters of TV mentalism such as Derren Brown and David Blaine.

But who are the most famous magicians in the world? Here are seven contenders for the accolade and the tricks that made them famous.

Harry Houdini

Harry Houdini remains one of the world’s most celebrated magicians. Although Houdini could do card tricks and traditional magic acts, he was most famous for his ability to escape. He famously claimed the ability to release himself from any kind of prison, leg-iron, steel lock, and chain.

After serving as a young circus acrobat, Houdini developed a fascination with lock-picking. One of his best known escapes was from a “Chinese water torture cell.” For this trick, Houdini had his ankles locked into a frame, from which he was dangled upside down over a tank of water. He would be locked in place and escape under the most dramatic conditions. It proved such a popular feat it is still replicated today by many of the world’s leading magicians.

Such is Houdini’s influence that even today, Houdini remains a byword for daring escapology against all odds.


David Blaine

Recognised as one of the most prominent modern magicians in the world, David Blaine helped bring magicians off the stage and onto the streets with close up magic. He shaped the industry for years to come with his idiosyncratic card tricks, coin tricks and everyday illusions.

Adapting magic for a TV audience, David Blaine shows also focused more on the reaction of the person he was performing in front of. Before this, there was a great focus on the the trick itself. Unquestionably, Blaine has set the stage for many other street magicians of the current age.


David Blaine | Street Magician | Tv Magic

Val Valentino (The Masked Magician)

Even famous magicians are always afraid that someone is going to reveal their secrets. This is probably what makes Val Valentino a.k.a. the Masked Magician, one of the most infamous magicians in the industry.

Valentino found fame starring undercover in the hit TV series Breaking the Magician’s Code: Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed. In the show, he uncovered the secrets behind famous tricks by magicians past and present. He exposed tricks including those of Harry Houdini, David Copperfield and David Blaine.

After learning his trade performing in the Casinos of Las Vegas, Nevada, Valentino brought magic to the masses. He revealed the secrets behind some of the most famous tricks in history. It caused outrage and shook up the industry in an era where the internet was only just beginning.

Why did Valentino reveal all these tricks? Valentino says he does it because he wanted to inspire more young kids to start to learn magic and become magicians.


David Copperfield

David Copperfield is the first living illusionist to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His face graces the postage stamps of six different countries, making him the only living magician to receive this honor.

At the age of 12, only two years after he started practicing magic. Copperfield was accepted to the Society of American Magicians, becoming its youngest member. Borrowing his now famous stage name from a novel by Charles Dickens, Copperfield was soon discovered by television producers and started a career as a television magician.

Copperfield went on to build a reputation on making the impossible look easy. He remains perhaps the most emulated magician in the industry on account of his long career and superb repertoire of tricks which include Vanishing the Statue of Liberty.


Derren Brown

Considered one of the best mind readers in the world, Derren Brown has provided some of the most memorable and notorious
moments of TV magic in recent decades. His best known tricks include predicting national lottery numbers and convincing members of the public to participate in a robbery through suggestion and subconscious influence.

Early in his career, Brown would astonish members of his audience by telling them things about themselves that he couldn’t possibly have known. He is know to using techniques such as sleight of hand, magic, cold reading and psychological influence. These techniques are widely used by those who mix magic with mentalism.

Over the years, Brown’s tricks and stunts have attracted a lot of attention and he continues to fascinate with elaborate and enigmatic mind reading tricks that appear to extract unbelievable information at the drop of a hat.


Psychological illusionist | Mindreader


Paul Daniels

Paul Daniels achieved international fame performing on The Paul Daniels Magic Show which reached a weekly audience of 15 million people each week in the UK alone. From simple sleight of hand to inexplicable illusions, Daniels brought magic to a primetime audience each Saturday. He remains one of the best-loved magicians for millions worldwide.

Daniels’ interest in magic began at the age of 11 when, during a holiday, he read a book called How to Entertain at Parties. He began performing magic as a hobby, occasionally entertaining at parties and youth clubs. He later began doing shows for fellow servicemen during his national service.

Nicknamed the “Godfather of Magic” Paul Daniels is frequently cited as an inspiration by many magicians performing today and has also encouraged many more to learn magic tricks as a hobby to share with family and friends.

Paul Daniels Magician | Happy Magician



Dynamo is perhaps the best known TV magician in the UK currently performing. He is famous for eye-catching illusions that capture the public imagination such as walking across the River Thames in London.

Dynamo now also performs to thousands of people in live arena shows and is credited with bringing magic to a younger audience, encouraging others to decode his secrets and inspiring younger audiences to learn magic tricks including sleight of hand.



About the Author: Fergus Flanagan is a BAFTA award-winning UK magician for hire who was recently named The Virtual Magician of The Year by The Magic Circle. Fergus has featured as a television magician over the last 10 years on BBC, SKY, ITV and CHANNEL 4.