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.
Master magician and historian Ricky Jay has passed away. The breadth of his knowledge and appreciation for magic and the allied arts was truly remarkable. Such sad news, such a profound loss. #RIPhttps://t.co/VRYRxhkQKr
Just learned we lost Ricky Jay today, my friend and neighbor for 30 years. A irreplaceable world of arcane history, theatrical passion, and his particular, singular performing genius passes with him. RIP buddy. #rickyjay
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 14: Actor Ricky Jay attends the premiere of Music Box Films' 'Norman Lear: Just Another Version Of You' at The WGA Theater on July 14, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - MARCH 11: Actor Ricky Jay attends the premiere of 'The Automatic Hate' at Laemmle Monica Film Center on March 11, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actor Ricky Jay attends Noel Coward's 'Blithe Spirit'-Los Angeles Opening Night Performance at Ahmanson Theatre on December 14, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 3: Actor Ricky Jay arrives at the World Premiere of 'Los Otros' at Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum on June 3, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ryan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - JUNE 21: Actor Ricky Jay (L) and director Sean McGinly arrive at 'The Great Buck Howard' screening during the 2008 CineVegas film festival held at Brenden Theatres inside the Palms Casino Resort on June 21, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for CineVegas)
CULVER CITY, CA - MAY 18: (L-R) Actors Joe Mantegna and Ricky Jay pose with cast member actor Ed O'Neill at the opening night party for Two Unrelated Plays by David Mamet 'The Duck Variations' and 'Keep your Pantheon' held at Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre on May 18, 2008 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Ryan Miller/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 10: Magician/actor Ricky Jay, director/actor Werner Herzog, actor Willem Dafoe and director Zak Penn pose at the premiere for 'Incident at Loch Ness' held on August 10, 2004 at The American Cinematheque Egyptian Theater, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 10: Director/actor Werner Herzog, director Paul Thomas Anderson, magician/actor Ricky Jay and director Zak Penn pose at the premiere for 'Incident at Loch Ness' held on August 10, 2004 at The American Cinematheque Egyptian Theater, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - APRIL 07: Actor Ricky Jay and actress Emily Mortimer arrive at the Los Angeles special screening of 'Redbelt' held at The Egyptian Theatre on April 7, 2008 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD - APRIL 07: Actor-magician Ricky Jay and producer Chrisann Verges attend the screening of the film 'Redbelt' at the Egyptian Theatre on April 7, 2008 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)