Described by David Mamet as "one of the world's great people", Ricky Jay is an actor who definitely should not give up his day job. Long considered one of the world's best sleight-of-hand artists, he began honing his skills at the age of four when his grandfather first introduced him to card tricks. Over the years, he has worked as a side-show barker and a carnival magician, as well as an opening act for numerous performers, including Tina Turner, Emmylou Harris and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, but it his film roles for directors Mamet and Paul Thomas Anderson that have brought his bearded features and ample frame mainstream international recognition. Jay has further distinguished himself as an author, humorist and historian and, when not performing, continues to expand his encyclopedic knowledge of history's weirdest incidents, collected quarterly in Jay's Journal of Anomalies (published in book form in 2001). He has also hosted the TV specials "Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women" (CBS, 1992, based on his 1986 book) and "The Story of Magic" (A&E, 1997), not to mention appearing on "The Virtual Ed Sullivan Show" (UPN, 1998).