David Copperfield is an American illusionist, actor, and television producer. His career spans over four decades, during which he has performed illusions in front of live audiences and on television. He has been nominated for 21 Emmy Awards and has won 11, including the Emmy Award for Outstanding Magic Special in 1999. He has also won the prestigious Academy of Magical Arts’ Magician of the Year award a record-breaking 12 times.
Copperfield was born David Seth Kotkin on September 16, 1956, in Metuchen, New Jersey. His father, Hyman Kotkin, was a rabbi and his mother, Rebecca, was a homemaker. He has two older sisters, Deborah and Lisa. Copperfield’s father died when he was ten years old, and his mother remarried when he was thirteen.
Copperfield began practicing magic at the age of twelve, and began performing professionally at the age of sixteen. He attended New York’s High School of Performing Arts and graduated from Fordham University with a degree in history.
Copperfield’s first major television appearance was on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1977. He has since appeared on numerous television shows, including his own specials for CBS, ABC, and NBC. He has also guest-starred on such shows as Miami Vice, Friends, and The Simpsons.
In 1983, Copperfield founded Project Magic, a therapeutic program that uses magic to help people with physical and cognitive disabilities. The program has been credited with helping thousands of people worldwide.
In 1987, Copperfield married Claudia Schiffer, a supermodel. The couple had one child together, a son named Dylan. They divorced in 2002.
In 2006, Copperfield was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush.
Copperfield currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada with his partner, Chloe Gosselin. He has an estimated net worth of $875 million.
Date Of Birth
September 16, 1956
Screenwriter, Film producer, Film director, Illusionist, Actor, Magician
Fordham University, Metuchen High School
Rebecca Kotkin, Hyman Kotkin
Chloe Gosselin, Chloe Gosselin
Academy Award for Best Picture, Academy Award for Best Film Editing, Academy Award for Best Assistant Director
Each five-minute piece you now see in my show takes two years from idea to execution. That is why - when someone steals my creations - it's very difficult to deal with.
(on working with Claudia Schiffer in his magic shows) I really love having Claudia with me in my shows. She's a great performer and a real natural with the illusions. And she's really trusting too - It's not every woman who'll trust someone like me enough to let me strap her to a guillotine and chop her head off. But the best thing about having her in my shows is that I can say that I spend my evenings sawing the most beautiful woman in the world in half.
He was nominated for the 2016 New Jersey Hall of Fame in the Performance Arts category.
On January 9th, 2003, it was opened www.copperfield.ru, a Russian site with the explicit intention to reveal the largest possible number of tricks performed by David Copperfield, with the justification: "Copperfield deceives the spectators, and we only open your eyes on the truth". Site authors (a team of magicians, designers and engineers lead by Timur Abdulov) worked for more than 5 years, documenting and analyzing the illusions of Copperfield. The illusions revealed (in Russian and English) were dozens, minutely described and also accompanied by screenshots, images and some animation created by computer. Many of these illusions were never revealed before by anyone, remaining for years shrouded in mystery. The authors also published recording of the call made by Copperfield himself, who expressed his disagreement with the opening of a site so vast, which however has been deleted from the World Wide Web in 2005-2006.
In April 2010 he appeared at the Hollywood Theater, at the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Copperfield performs over 550 live shows every year since 1983. This is the list:
The Magic of David Copperfield: Live on Stage (from 1983 to 1986)
The Magic of David Copperfield (from 1987 to 1990)
David Copperfield: Radical New Illusions (from 1991 to 1992)
David Copperfield: Magic for the 90's (from 1992 to 1994)
David Copperfield: Beyond Imagination (aka The Best of David Copperfield) (from 1995 to 1996)
David Copperfield: Dreams and Nightmares (aka Magic is Back) (from 1996 to 1998)
David Copperfield: Journey of a Lifetime (aka U!) (from 1999 to 2000)
David Copperfield: Unknown Dimension (aka Global Encounter) (from 2000 to 2001)
David Copperfield: Portal (from 2001 to 2002)
David Copperfield: An Intimate Evening Of Grand Illusion (aka World of Wonders) (from 2003).
Actor Robert Hegyes was born in Perth Amboy but raised in nearby Metuchen, New Jersey, the hometown of Copperfield.
In 1993, David did an on-stage illusion in which he weightlessly flew with a lady from the audience in his arms. His flight illusion was considered by many experts and historians of magic to be the greatest illusion ever performed on stage.
Has appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1993) where he presented his collection of turn-of-the-century prank devices. One, a paddle that when used to spank someone exploded powder, was used incorrectly by host O'Brien. Copperfield's pants (and behind) caught on fire, an accident from which he still carries a scar.
One of his schoolteachers New Jersey school days was ABC News correspondent Judy Muller.
In 1993 he met supermodel Claudia Schiffer at a Berlin celebrity gala, and in January 1994 they became engaged. During this engagement, she sometimes used to appear in his stage shows as a special guest assistant in a number of illusions: first he would levitate her high in the air before making her vanish and reappear, then he would use a large guillotine to behead her. Finally, he would saw her in half inside a glass-sided box in what has sometimes been voted by other magicians as one of the most baffling versions of the sawing in half ever performed. Claudia also appeared in David Copperfield: 15 Years of Magic (1994), a documentary in which she played the role of a reporter interviewing Copperfield in his Magic Warehouse. After a six-year engagement, in September 1999 they announced their separation.