Richest CelebritiesActors
Net Worth:
$3 Million
Jan 1, 1946 - Nov 24, 2018 (72 years old)
5 ft 4 in (1.651 m)
Magician, Actor, Screenwriter, Author, Voice Actor, Consultant, Writer
United States of America
šŸ’° Compare Ricky Jay's Net Worth

What Was Ricky Jay's Net Worth?

Ricky Jay was an American magician, actor, and writer who had a net worth of $3 million at the time of his death in 2018. At the age of 7, Ricky Jay appeared on the television series "Time for Pets," making him the youngest person to perform a full magic act on TV. He was also said to be the first magician to perform at comedy clubs as well as the first magician to serve as an opening act for a rock band. Ricky was the subject of the 2012 documentary "Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay," and he published numerous books, such as "Cards as Weapons" (1977), "The Magic Magic Book" (1997), "Jay's Journal of Anomalies" (2001), and "Matthias Buchinger: 'The Greatest German Living'" (2016). He also released a CD of songs about poker, "Ricky Jay Plays Poker" (2007), which earned him a Grammy nomination.

Jay had more than 40 acting credits to his name, including the films "Boogie Nights" (1997), "Tomorrow Never Dies" (1997), "Mystery Men" (1999), "Magnolia" (1999), "State and Main" (2000), and "The Prestige" (2006) and the television series "The X-Files" (2000), "Deadwood" (2004), "Kidnapped" (2006ā€“2007), "The Unit" (2007ā€“2009), "FlashForward" (2009ā€“2010), and "Sneaky Pete" (2019). Onstage, Ricky appeared in a 1982 New York Shakespeare Festival production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and starred in the one-man shows "Ricky Jay & His 52 Assistants" (1994), "Ricky Jay: On The Stem" (2002), and "Ricky Jay: A Rogue's Gallery" (2009). In the early '90s, Ricky and Michael Weber launched the consulting firm Deceptive Practices, which offered "Arcane Knowledge on a Need-to-Know Basis" for stage, film, and TV productions. Sadly, Jay passed away on November 24, 2018, at the age of 72.

Early Life

Ricky Jay was born Richard Jay Potash on June 26, 1946, in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up in a Jewish household in Elizabeth, New Jersey, with mother Shirley and father Samuel, and Ricky was introduced to magic by his maternal grandfather, Max Katz, an amateur magician. Jay said that "the only kind memory [he] ever had of [his] parents" was when they hired magician Al Flosso to perform at his bar mitzvah. Ricky attended the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.


In 1953, 7-year-old Ricky performed magic on the television show "Time For Pets." In the '60s, he performed at an event where he did his magic act between a musical performance by Tina and Ike Turner and a lecture on LSD by Timothy Leary. He lived in Ithaca, New York, during the '60s and '70s, but he later moved to Los Angeles. Famed playwright David Mamet directed the one-man stage shows "Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants," "Ricky Jay: A Rogue's Gallery," and "Ricky Jay: On the Stem," and he cast Ricky in the films "House of Games" (1987), "Things Change" (1988), "Homicide" (1991), "The Spanish Prisoner" (1997), "State and Main" (2000), "Heist" (2001), and "Redbelt" (2008). Jay set a Guinness World Record when he threw a playing card 190 feet, though the record has since been broken by Rick Smith Jr. (216 feet). Ricky published his first book, "Cards as Weapons" in 1977, and he followed it with "Learned Pigs & Fireproof Women" (1986), "Many Mysteries Unraveled: Conjuring Literature in America 1786ā€“1874" (1990), "The Magic Magic Book" (1994), "Jay's Journal of Anomalies" (2001), "Dice: Deception, Fate, and Rotten Luck" (2002), "Extraordinary Exhibitions: Broadsides from the Collection of Ricky Jay" (2005), "Magic: 1400sā€“1950s" (2009), "Celebrations of Curious Characters" (2010), and "Matthias Buchinger: 'The Greatest German Living'" (2016).

Ricky Jay Net Worth


Jay gave numerous lectures during his career, such as "Sleight and Shadow" (New York Metropolitan Museum of Art), "Hocus Pocus in Perfection: Four Hundred Years of Conjuring and Conjuring Literature" (Brown University's Harold Smith Memorial Lecture), "The Origins of the Confidence Game" (Police Against Confidence Crime conference), and "Sense, Perception, & Nonsense" (University of Rhode Island Festival of the Arts). According to a 1993 "New Yorker" article, Ricky had a "relentless passion for collecting rare books and manuscripts, art, and other artifacts connected to the history of magic, gambling, unusual entertainments, and frauds and confidence games." Exhibitions of items from his collections have been held at the Museum of Jurassic Technology, the Hammer Museum, and the University of California, Davis, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art hosted the 2016 exhibit "Wordplay: Matthias Buchinger's Drawings From the Collection of Ricky Jay."

As an actor, Ricky played Eddie Sawyer on HBO's "Deadwood" (2004), Roger Prince on NBC's "Kidnapped" (2006ā€“2007), Agent Kern on the CBS series "The Unit" (2007ā€“2009), and T.H. Vignetti on Amazon Prime Video's "Sneaky Pete" (2019). He also wrote the "Deadwood" episode "Jewel's Boot Is Made for Walking." In 1997, Jay appeared in Paul Thomas Anderson's "Boogie Nights" and the James Bond movie "Tomorrow Never Dies," and in 1999, he played Vic Weems in "Mystery Men" and Burt Ramsey / Narrator in Anderson's "Magnolia." He also appeared in films such as "Heartbreakers" (2001), "Incident at Loch Ness" (2004), "The Prestige" (2006), "The Great Buck Howard" (2008), and "The Automatic Hate" (2015), and he guest-starred on "Simon & Simon" (1983), "The X-Files" (2000), "Lie to Me" (2009), "FlashForward" (2009ā€“2010), and "Getting On" (2014). He also voiced himself in "The Great Simpsina" episode of "The Simpsons" in 2011.

Personal Life

Ricky married Chrisann Verges in 2002, and they stayed together until his death in 2018. Verges is a producer who has worked on TV shows such as "Getting On," "Girlboss," "Vida," and "Blindspotting."


Ricky died of natural causes on November 24, 2018, at the age of 72. His death was confirmed by his attorney, Stan Coleman, and his manager, Winston Simone, stated, "He was one of a kind. We will never see the likes of him again."

Awards and Nominations

Jay and his "Magnolia" co-stars won Best Ensemble awards from the Awards Circuit Community Awards and Florida Film Critics Circle Awards and earned a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Theatrical Motion Picture. The "State and Main" and "Boogie Nights" casts also won Florida Film Critics Circle Awards. "State and Main" received a National Board of Review Award for Best Acting by an Ensemble and an Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble, and "Boogie Nights" earned a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast. Ricky received a Grammy nomination for Best Album Notes for 2007's "Ricky Jay Plays Poker," and he earned a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance for his 2002 one-man show "Ricky Jay: On the Stem."

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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