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FOX Facts: David Copperfield

The following facts provide background on David Copperfield.

David Copperfield has performed live around the world and starred in a series of well-received TV specials since the end of the 1970s.

He began performing magic professionally and teaching it at New York University while still a teenager. He left Fordham University when he was cast in the title role of the Chicago stage musical, "The Magic Man" (1974), in which he not only performed sleight-of-hand but also acted, sang and danced.

Copperfield made his TV debut in a special for ABC several years later, and shortly after he began his long-term relationship with CBS. He has produced or executive produced several of his specials and directed or co-directed (sometimes credited under his original name, David Kotkin) most of them as well.

Copperfield's carefully courted elegance and self-consciously sexy performing style has lent dash and grace to a series of exciting escapes from exploding buildings and Niagara Falls, and he regularly has made large objects ranging from elephants to jet airliners to the Statue of Liberty disappear.

Milestones

Copperfield began performing professionally as a magician while still a teenager and was the youngest person ever admitted to the Society of American Magicians.

1972 - Taught magic at New York University

1974 - Left college when he was cast in the lead of the original musical "The Magic Man," produced in Chicago

1977 - Hosted and performed in his first TV program, the ABC special "The Magic of ABC"

1980 - Appeared in the Canadian-made feature film "Terror Train," in which he played a magician and staged several illusions

1981 - Signed by CBS to star in a series of magic specials; first for the network, "The Magic of David Copperfield," which he also produced

1982 - Founded Project Magic, a rehabilitation project that helps disabled hospital patients learn basic sleight-of-hand tricks to strengthen motor skills

1983 - TV directorial debut, the CBS special "The Magic of David Copperfield"

1983 - First executive producer credit, "Kraft Salutes the Magic of David Copperfield IX: The Escape from Alcatraz"

1991 - Bought much of the collection of the International Museum and Library of the Conjuring Arts from the Resolution Trust Corp. when the company had to clean up the assets troubles of First Network Savings of Los Angeles and its chairman, Carl M. Rheuban, a magic buff

1994 - Executive produced, produced, directed and starred in the retrospective compilation "David Copperfield: 15 Years of Magic"

1996 - Made Broadway debut in "Dreams and Nightmares"

1999 - Toured with magic show "You!"

2000 - Starred in the CBS special "David Copperfield: The Great Escapes"

Source: Studio System