David Copperfield (magician)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
David Copperfield (2011)

David Copperfield (born on 16th September 1956 in Metuchen , New Jersey , as David Seth Kotkin ) is an American magician . Since the 1970s he has become known through numerous TV appearances. He gives up to 600 live shows around the world every year and has sold more tickets than any other solo artist.

Artistic career

David Kotkin, who grew up in a middle-class family and whose parents ran a men's fashion store in Metuchen, learned his first magic tricks in a holiday camp for ventriloquists. After the Canadian magician Doug Henning invented the genre " magic musical", Kotkin was cast in the musical The Magic Man at the age of only 17 . Initially, the son of Jewish immigrants from Russia called himself "Davino"; Because of the elegant sound, he decided - after the main character from the novel by Charles Dickens - for David Copperfield .

The magician Doug Henning, who had also been a pioneer of television-friendly magic and had revived the "grand illusion show" that had died out since Kalanag , surprisingly withdrew from magic and sold his props to Copperfield. This also took over the transmission slot for the annual Christmas special as well as Henning's adviser. In his first TV shows, Copperfield staged magic numbers in the form of game scenes and emulated the escape artist Harry Houdini .

In order to promote his annual TV special with a more spectacular trick, Copperfield made larger and larger objects disappear, first a Ferrari and then even an entire airplane. Henning's consultant Jim Steinmeyer convinced Copperfield as a further step to make the Statue of Liberty disappear during a live show. After the show, which ran with sensationally high ratings in 1983, Copperfield was no longer a magician, but "the man who made the Statue of Liberty disappear". If he had previously upgraded his show with guest stars, he had now become a star himself. In the film Monster im Nachexpress he was cast for the role of a magician. His style corresponded to the show convention of the time, often alluded to current films and was shaped by musicals. However, Copperfield occasionally used more current music such as that of Earth, Wind and Fire , for whose stage show Copperfield had contributed special effects. In 1987 he made a cameo in Michael Jackson's video for Liberian Girl , for whose later Dangerous tour Copperfield contributed illusion technology.

TV specials

In his annual television shows, after the missing Statue of Liberty, Copperfield had to perform similarly spectacular tricks, which he mostly staged outdoors: a Houdini-inspired escape from Alcatraz (1987), the walk through the Great Wall of China (1986), an esoteric appearance of a ship in Bermuda Triangle (1988), the escape from a building that was blown up for demolition (1989), a floating wagon of the Orient Express (1991), an escape in Niagara Falls (1990) etc. During his shows with meanwhile 21 Emmys were honored, his illusions filmed without a live audience, such as floating through the Grand Canyon or the feature film-like show in the Bermuda Triangle, were artistic dead ends that he left immediately.



He travels to many parts of the world with his elaborate illusion show, but mainly appears in Las Vegas . Here the show has changed significantly since 2013.

Project Magic

Copperfield has been the patron of American disabled athletes at the Paralympics for decades . With the Magic project, he started a program in which children in hospitals regain motivation and self-confidence by learning magic tricks.

Magic Museum

Copperfield began collecting historical props and magical memorabilia in the 1990s. So he acquired u. a. the extensive John Mulholland library, Harry Houdini's magic case and the rifle with which Chung Ling Soo was shot on stage. His magic museum is located in the secret warehouse , a secret warehouse in Las Vegas that is only accessible to fellow magicians.

Musha Cay

On his Bahamas island of Musha Cay , which also plays a role in his stage show, Copperfield had a private resort built. At "Copperfield Bay" the well-to-do, such as celebrities, can stay without paparazzi and the like. to be harassed. Copperfield also includes three neighboring islands in the Exuma chain .


Copperfield was in a relationship with the German model and actress Claudia Schiffer from 1993 to 1999 .

According to press reports, Copperfield has a son and a daughter with the Czech model Maria Petličková. Petličková lives with the children in a villa near Las Vegas. The $ 1.5 million property is owned by a Copperfield company.

His net worth is estimated at $ 800 million.

Spectator is injured in trick

For the magic trick "13", in which 13 people disappear from the stage and reappear a little later in the audience, volunteers were selected from the audience. A Briton said he stumbled in a dark corridor that led away from the stage and was seriously injured. Copperfield was acquitted of the injury but had to explain the trick to the jury. Copperfield hasn't performed the trick since 2015.


  • 1968: Admitted as the youngest magician and illusionist in the history of the Society of American Magicians
  • 1972: Active teaching at New York University on the art of magic
  • 1974: Star and creative mind of The Magic Man , a musical comedy that achieved the longest running time in Chicago history
  • 1977: The Magic of ABC presents Copperfield's magic and 14 stars on the station to announce the upcoming television season
  • 1979: The Magic of David Copperfield II receives multiple Emmy nominations; technical advice for Earth, Wind and Fire ; Supporting role in Monster in the Night Express
  • 1980: Disappearance of a $ 100,000 Ferrari; The Magic of David Copperfield III becomes one of the most watched shows of the year; Elected Magician of the Year
  • 1981: Disappearance of a Lear jet
  • 1983: disappearance of the Statue of Liberty
  • 1984: Floating Over the Grand Canyon (he "floats" cross-legged over the Grand Canyon )
  • 1986: Walk through the Great Wall of China
  • 1987 escape from Alcatraz ( Escape from Alcatraz )
  • 1989: Escape from a collapsing high-rise ( Explosive Encounter )
  • 1991: Disappearance of a 70-ton wagon on the Orient Express
  • 1992: Flying (overcoming gravity)
  • 1993: Fires of Passion (unleashing a burning rope that hangs in the air ten meters above the ground)
  • 1995: Unexplained Forces ("Unexplained Forces", Copperfield shows a series of mystical illusions, in some cases he claims that ghosts help with his tricks.)
  • 2001: Tornado of Fire (Copperfield presents with protective clothing in a warehouse in a 2,000 ° C hot fire whirl .)


  • David Copperfield's Tales of the Impossible , with Janet Berliner, HarperPrism, 1995, ISBN 978-0061054921
  • David Copperfield's Beyond Imagination , with Janet Berliner, HarperPrism, 1996, ISBN 978-0061052293


As a producer:


Copperfield today has a place in the Hall of Fame for the Society of American Magicians .

He also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (stage category) (7021 Hollywood Boulevard).

Web links

Commons : David Copperfield  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ US magazine Genii, Issue 7, 1983, volume 47
  2. ^ US magazine Genii, Issue 10, 1992, 55th volume
  3. ^ US magazine Genii, Issue 10, 2001, 64th volume
  4. Magic Lexicon: David Copperfield . In: zauber-pedia.de . Retrieved December 16, 2014.
  5. Interview in the journal Magische Welt , issue 5, 2013, 62nd year
  6. ^ Project Magic
  7. ^ US magazine Genii, Issue 12, 2001, 65th volume
  8. http://www.forbes.com/sites/garywalther/2012/11/27/muscha-cay-david-copperfields-magic-island-in-the-bahamas/
  9. Interview in the journal Magische Welt , issue 5, 2013, 62nd year
  10. National Enquirer of January 23, 2008 ( Memento of March 28, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  11. On the throw to the richest of the rich . In: Handelsblatt . October 16, 2013. Retrieved December 16, 2014.
  12. Court declares Copperfield free of spectator injury orf.at, May 30, 2018, accessed May 30, 2018.
  13. David Copperfield trial: Jury finds magician not liable for tourist's injuries usatoday.com, May 30, 2018, accessed October 21, 2019