June 14, 1956
East Los Angeles, California
Val Valentino (born June 14, 1956) is a American magician, illusionist, and actor, who gained notoriety by starring in four magic specials exposing magic secrets on the Fox Network as the Masked Magician.
Valentino was born as Leonard Monatono in East Los Angeles, California.
In his teens, Valentino performed with the “International Cultural Awareness Program” for over a million students throughout the Unified School Systems. The performances also included revealing magic secrets to encourage others to become magicians.
By the end of the 1980s and into the 1990s, Valentino had moved to Las Vegas, Nevada and was performing in casino shows including Viva Las Vegas and Splash, after having appeared on The Merv Griffin Show, as well as in a music video by Herb Alpert.
While he was performing in Las Vegas showrooms, Valentino was recruited by the Fox Network which was looking for a magician to appear in a series of specials revealing the secrets behind selected illusions. Although he initially turned the network down, Fox was willing to negotiate, and Valentino eventually signed, promising that he would only reveal the secrets behind old illusions. However, when the programs aired, many newer illusions were also revealed. This sparked controversy, as many feared that their illusions were now worthless.
For a span of two years (circa 1997-1998), Valentino was known as the Masked Magician on FOX specials called Breaking the Magician's Code: Magic's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed. He also appeared in this persona on a 1999 episode of Diagnosis Murder.
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