Famous Mentalists

Brief biographies of notable mentalists

Famous Mentalists and Mental Magicians

The following list includes many of the most influential mentalists and mental magicians from the late 19th century to the present day. This list is inevitably selective and does not include those who claim to be genuine psychics (for these, see Famous Psychics and Mediums.

Alexander the man who knows LCCN2014636877

Alexander (1880-1954)

Alexander (Claude Alexander Conlin) was an American stage magician and mentalist who specialised in psychic readings, often using a crystal ball. As well as writing texts for magicians, he was also the author of books and pamphlets on spiritual topics.

Theodore Annemann magician
Theodore Annemann

Annemann, Theodore (1907 - 1942)

Theodore Annemann was an American professional magician, mentalist and magical inventor. Publisher of magical magazine The Jinx and author of several manuscripts on magic and mentalism. Most famous for the classic book Practical Mental Magic. Annemann committed suicide prior to his first scheduled indoor performance of the bullet catch trick on January 12 1942.


Banachek (1960 - )

Banachek (Steven Shaw) is an American mentalist and magical author, inventor and consultant. In the 1980s he famously fooled University researchers into believing that he had genuine psychic powers.

Arthur T. Benjamin in 2007
Arthur T. Benjamin

Benjamin, Arthur T. (1961 - )

Arthur Benjamin is a professor of mathematics and expert on mental maths and mathemagic.

David Berglas appearing on "After Dark", 8 July 1989
David Berglas

Berglas, David (1926 - )

David Berglas is psychological magician and mentalist. Well-known from several TV shows and performances, he is a past President of The Magic Circle.

David Blaine

Blaine, David (1973 - )

David Blaine is an American street magician and illusionist, most famous for his high publicised feats of physical and mental endurance.

2018-09-17 Derren Brown at Foyles (cropped)
Derren Brown

Brown, Derren (1971 - )

Derren Brown is a British professional mentalist, illusionist, paranormal sceptic, and painter. Famous from several TV series and stage shows.

Canasta, Chan (1920 - 1999)

Chan Canasta (Chananel Mifelew) was an influential Polish performer of mental magic and memory feats, achieving fame from a series of TV shows and appearances in the 1950s and 1960s. Canasta presented his mental magic as "experiments" and was not afraid to make the occasional error, believing that this increased audience interest and acceptance of the genuineness of his magic.

Cassidy, Bob (1949 - 2017)

Bob Cassidy was an American mentalist and author of books on mentalism.

Corinda, Tony (c. 1931 - 2010)

Tony Corinda was a British magic dealer and author of the classic text Thirteen Steps to Mentalism.

Davenport brothers sketch
Davenport Brothers

Davenport, Ira (1839 - 1911) & William (1841 - 1877)

The Davenport Brothers were American magicians who performed spiritualist illusions, including the Spirit Cabinet, claiming their performance was genuinely paranormal.

Joseph Dunninger middle aged
Joseph Dunninger

Dunninger, Joseph (1892 - 1975)

Joseph Dunninger was a celebrated American mentalist, magical author and pioneer of radio and TV magic.

Martin Gardner
Martin Gardner

Gardner, Martin (1914 - 2010)

Martin Gardner was an American writer on recreational mathematics and magic (especially mathematical magic). He was also a prominent paranormal sceptic.

Uri Geller in Russia2
Uri Geller

Geller, Uri (1946 - )

Uri Geller is a controversial Israeli performer of mentalist effects which he claims demonstrate his genuine paranormal abilities. Sceptics believe that Geller uses magicians' techniques to achieve his results.

Hellstrom, Axel (1893 - 1933)

Axel Hellstrom was a German mentalist, most famous for developing the art of muscle reading (contact mind reading) often now known as "Hellstromism".

Jolley, Graham P. (1945 - )

Graham P. Jolley is a British magician and mentalist, known for his comedy approach.

Koran, Al (1914 - 1972)

Al Koran (Edward Doe) was a British mentalist, magical author and inventor.

Kreskin, The Amazing (1935 - )

Kreskin (George Joseph Kresge) is an American mentalist, famous for his TV series and appearances since the 1970s, often featuring predictions

Lorayne, Harry (1926 - )

Harry Lorayne is an American magician, mnemonist and author, famous as an expert in memory training.

Max Maven
Max Maven

Maven, Max (1950 - )

Max Maven (Phil. Goldstein) is an American magician, mentalist, magical author and magical consultant.

McCambridge, Gerry (1962 - )

Gerry McCambridge is an American stage mentalist and long-running Las Vegas performer.

Osterlind, Richard (1948 - )

Richard Osterlind is an American mentalist and magical consultant, well known among mind magicians for his instructional videos.

Paul, Marc (1968 - )

Marc Paul is a British mentalist and magician who is known from his cable TV series "Mind Games" and other TV appearances, as well as theatre performances. He specialises in corporate and other events.

Penn Jillette by Gage Skidmore
Penn Jillette
Teller 2012

Penn and Teller

Penn Jillette (b. 1955) and Teller (b. 1948) are American illusionists who combine comedy with a sceptical presentation of odd-ball magic and mentalism. They achieved fame from a series of highly-praised shows and tours, as well as many TV shows and guest appearances.

Leslie and Sydney Piddington
Lesley and Sydney Piddington

Piddington, Sydney (1918 - 1991) and Lesley (1924 - 2016)

Sydney and Lesley Piddington (The Piddingtons) were an Australian husband and wife team who specialised in a two-person telepathy stage act. They became famous through a series of radio broadcasts in the 1940s.

James Randi with Skull Cane 2014
James Randi

Randi, James (1928 - 2020)

James Randi (Randall James Hamilton Zwinge) was a Canadian-American stage magician, mentalist and renowned sceptic. As a magician he performed as "The Amazing Randi". In his later career he focussed on the sceptical investigation of alleged paranormal phenomena and abilities. The James Randi Educational Foundation, which he founded in 1996, formerly offered a prize of one million dollars to anyone who can satisfactorily demonstrate a paranormal ability under scientific scrutiny.

Lior Suchard

Suchard, Lior (1981 - )

Lior Suchard is an Israeli supernatural entertainer and mentalist.

Waters, Thomas Alan (1938 - 1998)

T.A. Waters was an American magician and mentalist famous as the author of the monumental classic of mentalism, Mind, Myth & Magick (1993).

Willard, Frances (1940 - )

Frances Willard is an American magician and mentalist. She is famous for the Spirit Cabinet act which she performed with her husband Glenn Falkenstein.

Julius Zancig
Julius Zancig
Agnes Zancig (2)
Agnes Zancig

Zancig, Julius (1857 - 1929) and Agnes (c.1855 - 1916)

Julius and Agnes Zancig were a Danish husband and wife mentalist team, who originated and specialised in a two-person telepathy stage act.

Paul Zenon 2012
Paul Zenon

Zenon, Paul (1964 - )

Paul Zenon is a British magician, mentalist and comedian who specialises in stunts, swindles, and street and bar magic. He is well known from a series of TV specials.

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