Jim Cellini (b. 1940-2009)

Jim Cellini, dubbed the king of street magic has grown to iconic status in the world of magic.

His revolutionary approach to this ancient art ushered in a new era for street magic and street magicians.


Real Name

Richard Timothy Sullivan


King of Street Magic


Magician, Street Performer, Lecturer, Author

Place of Birth

Nashua, New Hampshire, USA


5' 7"






Cellini possesses the ability of superior sleight-of-hand skills. A guru in the art of street magic, Cellini has mastered all facets of street performing, and is regarded as the foremost authority in modern day busking.

Interesting Fact

Cellini took his stage name from 16th century Italian Renaissance artist Benvenuto Cellini.


Jim Cellini was born Richard Timothy Sullivan September 6, in Nashua, New Hampshire.

As a child, Cellini witnessed a magic show at an orphanage he was raised in. While he and the other kids were eating, people from the show entered the cafeteria area and began greeting them.

Magician Cabbie Dieon walked by young Cellini, and Cellini asked him if he could do a trick. The magician picked up his table knife and made it vanish.

From that moment on, Cellini became hooked on magic.

While most budding magicians first take interest in performing close-up tricks, Cellini was fascinated by the performance of stage magic.

He found himself influenced by the older magicians, like Cardini, Malini, Silent Mora and Slydini.

In the 1960s, Jim Cellini met magician legend Tony Slydini in New York City, and auditioned to be a student of his. Cellini performed "Coins Through The Table" for Slydini.

Tony Slydini approved, and Cellini passed the audition becoming a bona fide Slydini student.

Cellini, equipped with Slydini routines, traveled different cities across the country performing magic shows, but it wasn't until he met fellow magician Johnny Fox who got him into the art of busking.

In the early 1970s, Jim Cellini delved deep into the illusive art of street magic, researching, practicing, perfecting, even changing the rules of performing street magic until he became a master of his craft.

His revolutionary approach to this ancient art ushered in a new era for street magic and street magicians.

For the next three decades, Cellini traveled around the world performing and giving lectures on street magic.

Cellini's vast knowledge in busking and street performing talents has been an inspiration to many magicians, and his influence can be seen in the work of practically every street magician working today.

Later in his career, Cellini published two books, entitled "The Royal Touch," in August, 1997, and "Cellini's Dreamer's Highway" in 2006.

In September, 2004, Cellini launched a three-volume DVD series, titled "The Art of Street Performing," and "Cellini: Street magic Lecture - Zurich," DVD in 2006.

Cellini retired from street performing after the 1990s, and bought a home in Baden, Switzerland with his wife Marianne. Cellini spent most of his later years lecturing around the world.

On November, 23, 2009, the magic world mourned the death of the "King of Street Magic," Jim Cellini. He was 69.

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