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David Blaine: 1973—: Magician and Daredevil Biography

Constantly Practiced Card Tricks, Spent 61 Hours In Ice Block

David Blaine: 1973—: Magician and daredevil.

Part magician, part street performer, and perhaps part mystic, David Blaine emerged as one of the entertainment world's most intriguing figures in the late 1990s. Blaine grabbed public attention with a series of amazing televised feats, including spending three days encased in a block of ice. He became known for approaching ordinary individuals on the street in an un-assuming way and dazzling them with magic effects. Blaine has cultivated an intense, mysterious image, and while some observers in the magic community have felt that his tricks could easily be duplicated, most have agreed that his presentation was extraordinary in its effectiveness. In his ability to command sheer fascination from the public, Blaine has sometimes been compared with the greatest magician of them all, Harry Houdini.

Like past performers who cultivated an air of eccentric charisma—he has named Orson Welles and Charlie Chaplin as inspirations in this regard—Blaine has remained extremely close-mouthed about his own background. He was born on April 4, 1973, in Brooklyn, New York, and Blaine is his middle name. He has used various last names, including that of his mother, Patrice White, and it has been reported that his father was a half-Puerto Rican, half-Italian-American Vietnam War veteran who abandoned the family when Blaine was three years old. Blaine wrote in his magic manual-cum-autobiography, Mysterious Stranger, that he grew up in Brooklyn. His mother, he wrote, was his prime inspiration: "No matter what I did, she encouraged me."

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