10 Famous Mentalists of all Time.

Mentalists have a way of playing with your mind, leaving you with numerous unanswered questions. Below we give you a list of 10 of some of the most famous mentalists of all time.

  1. Max Maven.

Max maven

He was born on the 21st December of the year 1950. He is widely respected as one of the few famous mentalists who can attest to being able to provide the history and origins of most magic tricks. He has awed many in TV shows, where he practices interactive mind reading. Unlike most mentalists, he interacts with an audience full of strangers and is still able to predict their answers correctly.

He is also an acclaimed author on the art of magic, in addition to publishing articles in magic journals like ‘Geni’. Additionally, he has been known to invent his own unique magic tricks. The mentalists have also worked as a consultant or mentor to some of the greatest magicians of today.

Max Maven has had a good run on TV, having his own talk show, ‘something strange with Max Maven’ involving paranormal talk, and a couple magic related acts.  He played the star in ‘Count DeClues’ mystery castle, and guest stars In other shows, mostly as himself, such as ‘Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ and ‘Magic.’

In 1988, he won the Tenkai prize, the highest magical award in the Japanese culture. He was the first foreigner to be awarded the prize. In 2000, he won the Best mentalist prize. He has won numerous other prizes over the years from both the Society of American Magicians and International Brotherhood of magicians.

  1. Uri Geller.

uri geller showing spoon

Another of the famous mentalists, he was born on the 20th of December in the year 1946. He is a magician, television personality and self-acclaimed psychic. Uri is best known for his trademark bending the spoon trick. He also claims to have the power to create psychokinesis and telepathy effects. In his own words, he is able to achieve his tricks by the virtue of willpower and raw brain strength.

His major performances include;

    • Bending spoons or having them jump out of the tv.
    • Either stopping, starting, increasing the speed of or slowing down the movement of the clock hands.
    • Being able to describe the fine details of a hidden drawing.
    • Moving tables.
    • Dowsing

He wrote his magic autobiography in 1975 titled ‘ my story’. In the 1980’s, he became a millionaire by working as a mineral dowser for several mining companies. He also starred in the horror movie ‘sanitarium’ in the year 2001. He later put up tv shows in German, Dutch, and Hungary aimed at identifying the best mentalist in each of the countries.

  1. Banachek

He was born on 30th November in the year 1960. Banachek is said to be the best mind reader in the world of famous mentalists. He is so good that he at one time successfully fooled scientists into actually believing that he had supernatural powers. He later revealed to them that it had all been just a trick.

Banachek’s greatest performances include his brilliant mind blowing mind reading techniques and being able to turn cutlery to a near liquid state. He has also been known to invent his own magical or rather mentalism effect, such as the iconic ‘buried alive’ trick.

He has also written a couple of books and motion pictures, in which he had featured performances. He is also a consultant to top performers and tv shows in the world of magic. He has been cast in the past in television shows such as ‘the mind freak’. Being a great mentalist, he has received several awards spanning between the years 1987-2010.

  1. Richard Osterlind.

Richard osterlind

Born on 6th March in 1948, the famous mentalist started off his career by learning the art of hypnotism, which he first did as a closing stage performance after his band’s play. Today, his is acclaimed to be the creator of several tricks that makes us want to question reality. Regardless, in most of his shows, he prefers to close his acts by performing a stage live hypnosis to a guest in the audience.

Richard is one of the most sought mentalists in the world today, with broad and versatile clienteles that surpass borders, not to mention the numerous televisions shows he is featured as a guest in. He has been praised as being one of the leading teachers in the world in the art of mentalism. A survey conducted praised him as being the most influential mentalist alive.

He has written books and created numerous CDs in the art of magic. He also received the prestigious Melbourne Christopher award for contributions to the art of magic in the year 2006.

  1. Theo Annemann.

He was born on 22nd November in 1907 and died after committing suicide on the 12th of January in 1942. Theo started out as a magician’s assistant but went on to nature and perfect his own practice. He is best known for his famous bullet catch illusion. He refined a once old trick to provide a new twist to the illusion.  He always performed the trick outdoors. It is said that he would fall when performing the trick due to the impact of the gun but come back up smiling with a bloody mouth but with the bullet safely lodged between his teeth.

Annemann went on to being one of the most talented mentalists of the 1930s. additionally, he invented and refined standard routines tricks, most of which are still in use in the world of magic today. He was also the founder of the great magic magazine jinx, which concentrated on mentalism and other magic news. Its publishing ceased after his death. The magazine then turned into a collectible. Most of the information contained in them has been partly used in other books and journals.

The famous mentalist committed suicide two weeks prior to what would have been his first indoor bullet catch illusion performance.

  1. Washington Irving Bishop.

Another of the famous mentalists, he was born in the year 1855 but passed on 34 years later in the May of 1889. Bishop started off his career as Anna Eve Fay’s manager, who was a psychic. He was later displeased with her deception and exposed her to the public. He went on to be an anti-spiritual performer, mostly performing  Fay’s illusions and explaining them to the public.

He later met J. Randall Brown who sparked the interest of mind reading in him. He started off as his assistant but went on to establish his own act. During his performances, he would ask the audience to hide something in the room without his knowledge. He would then take up a guest from the audience and hold their wrist. He would ask them to think of where the object was hidden after which he would go on to always find it. When asked how he did it, he articulated his abilities to muscle sensitivity.

Another of his famous performances was a trick known as ‘blindfold drive’, where he attempted to identify numbers on plain a surface while blindfolded through muscle reading.

  1. Bob Cassidy.

bob cassidy

Bob Cassidy was born on June 23rd in 1949. He later died early this year on the 14th of February. As one of the famous mentalists of all time, he has toured the world for numerous shows either live or on tv.

He was the acclaimed author of several classics in the field of the magical arts with books like ‘ Art of Mentalism’ and ‘Principia Mentalia’.  He also co-founded the Psychic Entertainers Association alongside other famous mentalists namely;  Dian Byehelmeir,  May Linn, Scott Gordon and Tony Raven.  To date,  this is the primary mentalism international professional society.

The mentalist won two great awards in his time,  namely;  David Lederman award of creativity in mentalism in 1966 and the Dunniger Memorial Award for distinguished professionals in the performance of mentalism in 2011.

  1. Craig Karges.

The famous mentalist has made numerous appearances in shows in 4 continents all over the world and over 40 TV appearances, boasting of holding an international audience. He is known to have created the perfect mind-blowing illusion by combining the art of magic, the science applied in psychology and the added power of rationing. He has been able to awe audiences with unexplainable acts like that of floating tables, bending of metal out of shape or desired shapes and mind reading.

The American Entertainment magazine proclaimed that he would be the one to ‘bring the next era in mystery entertainment. He won the NACA entertainer of the year award for 6 consecutive years, among other numerous awards when he was in college. The Psychic International Association named him as a top worldwide performer in his profession.

Craig has sworn that all the acts he performs on stage are never pre-arranged with members of the audience. He also created a program titled ‘Ignite your imagination’ for the purpose of empowerment. He uses this project to mentor on memory techniques, give intuition tests and tap the subconscious mind. This, he believes, will help ignite creativity, give one a broader view in life and affect decision making, ultimately leading to success.

  1. Marc Salem.

marc salem

Another icon among the world famous mentalists of all time, Marc Salem is a renowned American mentalist and mind reader. He has numerous books in his names exploring and imploring on the vast world of magic. He is famed for his proficiency in the arts of mind reading and kinesis.

According to him, the art of mind language is majorly dependant on the body language. For him, it is all about training to interpret the mind tool. When asked how he does it, he says his trick in mind language lies on three factors,

  • Observation- he believes that by observing the unconscious and involuntary expressions created by an individual can help you learn loads about them and their behavior; you can even be able to predict their next move by just observation.
  • Effective listening- he says to listen to what you would not normally hear; concentrate and you could effectively learn things you never imagined possible.
  • Behavioral interpretation- by learning someone’s behavior patterns, it is easier to predict their actions or even tell their mind flow.

He worked with the founder of kinesis, Ray Birdwhistell, where he learned the art of body language. He goes around making performance on this and often works as a public speaker.

  1. Marc Paul.

The final but not least in our famous mentalists list was born on May 29 in 1968. He is a UK based mentalist and magician. His journey as a mentalist started at the very young age of 7. A relative bought him a magic set as a present, which he was initially unable to use. He later fell sick and with nothing much to keep him occupied, he was able to learn the vanishing coin trick. He awed his mother and classmates with this.

At the age of 12, he was introduced to his mentor Fred Castle, a member of the inner magic council, by Bill Stickland, a past president of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Fred Castle went on to be his greatest mentor and teacher, training him in all aspects of magic known to him.

As a teenager, Marc Paul was an avid reader of magic books. At age 13, with the guidance of Fred, he was able to have his first stand up magic show which was followed by many others. Years later, after he completed school, he got a job at the famous Marvin’s Magic store. Here he worked for 7 years. During this time, he joined the magic circle. He earned their trust and got accepted as a member of the inner magic circle. Around this period, he developed an interest in mentalism.

In 1995, he co-founded a magic company with some of his colleges. In 1999 produced his own TV series, dubbed the ‘mind games’, in which he started. In the same year, he was awarded two awards; best Mind reader, a world magic award, and the World’s greatest mentalist award.

Over the years, he has made regular appearances on numerous TV shows. Today you can catch him on “sky one’ where he plays as part of an undercover magic team.

As a mentalist, he says that his best trick yet is the ‘Berglas effect, a card trick that needs a lot of concentration. It has been revised and re-used but he has his own unique way of going around it that is unexplainable to any of his audiences, but then, we would not expect less from one of the world famous mentalists.

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