Ricky Jay was born Richard Jay Potash in Brooklyn, NY, and grew up in Elizabeth, NJ. He harbored a passion for magic from an early age, and began performing publicly as early as four years of age. He started out performing on local television and at comedy clubs and nightclubs in New York City. Jay lived and performed in the Lake George, NY area in his 20s, before relocating to Los Angeles, CA. His career as a sleight-of-hand magician blossomed, thanks in part to appearances on late night talk shows, earning Jay great notability and even led him to work in other areas of show business, including acting and writing. His first book, Cards as Weapons (1977), was critically revered, and praise attached to follow-up publications. Jay developed a rapport with director David Mamet, appearing in his films "House of Games" (1987), "Things Change" (1988), "Homicide" (1991). In the early 1990s, Jay co-founded a consulting firm called Deceptive Practices that lent his talents as an illusionist to film productions. After appearing in "The Spanish Prisoner" (1997), Jay expanded his acting reach beyond the realm of Mamet, appearing in the James Bond movie "Tomorrow Never Dies" (1997) and working twice with filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, appearing in "Boogie Nights" (1997) and providing narration for "Magnolia" (1999). On the small screen, Jay lent his talents both as an actor and a writer to the Western drama "Deadwood" (HBO 2004-06). He regularly channeled his talents and persona as an illusionist in his film appearances, notably in Christopher Nolan's "The Prestige" (2006) and the Tom Hanks-starring "The Great Buck Howard" (2008). Jay was ultimately the subject of the documentary "Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay" (2012). On Nov. 24, 2018, Jay died at the age of 72.