Ricky Jay, ‘Boogie Nights’ and ‘Magnolia’ actor, dies at 72

Rosemary Rossi

Ricky Jay, a magician and character actor known for his roles in such films as “Boogie Nights,” “Magnolia,” “Tomorrow Never Dies” and “The Spanish Prisoner,” has died. He was 72.

“I am sorry to share that my remarkable friend, teacher, collaborator and coconspirator is gone,” tweeted Michael Weber, Jay’s partner in the Deceptive Practices consulting firm, which advises movie, TV and theater projects on various illusions and magic secrets during their productions. Among the films they consulted on were “The Prestige,” “The Illusionist” and “Oceans Thirteen.”

He was also credited as “Illusion Wheelchair Designer” for “Forrest Gump” — it was Jay and CGI specialists who made it appear as if Gary Sinise’s wheelchair-bound character Lt. Dan was a double-amputee.

In addition to guest starring roles in numerous TV shows, including “Deadwood,” “Lie to Me,” Flashforward” and “The X-Files,” Jay was an accomplished magician and an expert card technician, and is listed in the Guiness Book of World Records for throwing a playing card 190-feet at 90 mph.

Condolences immediately began to pour in from some of his famous fans.

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