30 Facts To Know About The World-Famous Illusionist and Magician - David Copperfield


David Seth Kotkin, described as the most commercially successful magician in the history, has been named as a Living Legend by the US Library of Congress. Here are 30 interesting facts to know about the illusionist:

  1. He stated in an interview that he has come up with future illusion plans that include straightening the Leaning Tower of Pisa, bringing a woman’s face on Mt. Rushmore and disappearing of an Island and even the Moon.
  2. He is the first magician and illusionist to be honored with a Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  3. During an appearance on the show “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”, he presented a few prank devices to the host. O’Brien used the device incorrectly and Copperfield’s pants caught fire. He still carries the scar.
  4. During an onstage illusion performance in 1993 he flew effortlessly with a lady from the audience in his arms. This is considered by many as the greatest illusion onstage ever.
  5. He is a big fan of Carl Ballantine. He got the opportunity to perform with him on his first TV Special “The Magic of David Copperfield” in 1998.
  6. In 2003 a group of Russians including magicians, engineers and designers opened an online site “” that reveals dozens of his illusions with minute details accompanied with screenshots. They analyzed his tricks for 5 years before solving them.
  7. His first film role was in 1982 for the movie “Terror Train.” He played “The Magician” aka “Ken the Magician”. For him it was a routine performance as magic being his profession.
  8. He once said about performing the role of a magician in a movie, that he had to be ultra cautious as movies are magnifying glass for magic. What was shown on screen was what the extras saw during the shoot.
  9. Snow was an integral element of the exterior shoot for the movie “Terror Train”. All the crew members were praying for it, and were surprised to find inches of snow the next morning. They all attributed it to the presence of the greatest illusionist Copperfield in the crew.
  10. He played himself in many TV series that include “Mister Roger’s Neighbor” in 1997, an episode “My Lucky Day” in Scrubs in 2002 and “Oh My God”, a documentary in 2009.
  11. Some of the notable illusions created by Copperfield are: Portal (Disappearance of magician with an audience to a pre selected location), Walking through the Great Wall Of China, Laser illusion (Cut into 2 by a laser and then starts walking), Flying Illusion, Squeeze box and Death Saw.
  12. He was nominated a record 38 times for Emmy Awards and won a whooping 21 times. No magician has ever achieved this feat.
  13. He is the first magician ever to receive the award “Chevalier of Arts and Letters” from the French Government.
  14. He holds the Guinness World Record for the most magic shows performed in a year. Currently he is performing 556 shows per year.
  15. He also holds the Guinness World Record for most tickets sold worldwide for a solo entertainer. This also makes him the highest grossing magician for a year, another Guinness World Record in itself.
  16. “Project Magic” was founded by Copperfield in 1992 that helps disabled persons to regain lost dexterity skills by the use of sleight of hand magic trick. This was approved by American Occupational Therapy Association and is currently used in 1100 hospitals.
  17. In a charity show for UNISEF in 2007 in Los Angeles he performed the Orson Welles Buzz Saw illusion on the British TV presenter Cat Deeley and cut her in half.
  18. According to Forbes Magazine he earned around $55 million in 2003 making him the 10th highest paid celebrity. From his entertainment earnings alone he earned $30 million in 2009.
  19. He met his first wife Claudia Schiffer, a German Supermodel in a celebrity gala in Berlin in 1993. They got engaged in 1994 which lasted for 6 years before they divorced in 1999.
  20. Apart from being a life partner Schiffer had been part of Copperfield’s shows, sometimes acting as a special guest who is cut in two and sometimes as interviewer who took part in flying illusions.
  21. He was robbed at gun point, along with his two female assistant in April 2006. His assistants handed over everything but he used his sleight trick to hide his possessions. Later he described it to be stupid move that could have killed him.
  22. He has a daughter name Sky born in 2010 to his girlfriend Chloe, who is 28 years younger to him. The news was publicized only in August 2011 and was confirmed by his publicist.
  23. He is the proud owner of International Museum and Library of the Conjuring Arts that boasts of the world’s largest collections of magic memorabilia, books and artifacts.
  24. Hugh Jackman had described Copperfield’s museum as a “Sex Shop”. It is not open to public except to few Colleagues and fellow magicians. It opens via a secret door in his warehouse in Las Vegas.
  25. He and Schiffer sued the magazine Paris Match in 1997 for claiming their relationship was a sham. They won the case in 1999 for an undisclosed sum. Fellow magician and author Herbert L. Becker gave the testimony.
  26. In 1994 he sued Becker unsuccessfully to prevent the author’s book “All the Secrets of Magic Revealed” from being published as it exposed some of the tricks performed by Copperfield. However the publisher found that the descriptions of Copperfield’s methods were inaccurate and published the book without exposing any of his secrets.
  27. In 2007 Lacey L. Carroll accused Copperfield of sexually assaulting her; however the jury closed the investigation without bringing any charges against him. In 2010 she again filled a civil lawsuit against him but dropped it in April.
  28. He was sued by Viva Arts International and Maz Concerts Inc in 2007 for $2.2 million for breach of contract and for $550,000 for the cancelled shows in Jakarta. He counter sued and resolved the issue in 2009.
  29. In 2004, John Melk, previous owner of Musha Cay, an island chain sued Copperfield for fraud as he accused him of obscuring his identity during purchase. The case was settled in 2006 for an undisclosed amount.
  30. During an Illusion “Escape from Death” in 1984, he was handcuffed in a water of tank. He became tangled in chains and started taking in water. When he was pulled out he was in shock and had pulled tendons in his arms and legs. He used wheelchair for a week.

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