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Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, after attending Yale University, Endfield began his career as a theater director and drama coach, becoming an important figure in New York's progressive theatre scene. Despite this shared background, it was largely Endfield's skill as a card magician which brought him to the attention of Orson Welles, who recruited him as an apprentice for Mercury Productions.
In 1951 Endfield was named as a Communist at a HUAC hearing. Blacklisted by the movie studio bosses, he was unable to get work in Hollywood and moved to Britain where he wrote and directed films under various pseudonyms. His most famous work is 1964's Zulu.
Another accomplishment that Endfield is credited is a pocket-sized/miniature computer with a chorded keypad that allows rapid typing without a bulky single-stroke keyboard. It functions like a musical instrument by pressing combinations of keys that he called a "Microwriter" and later, "CyKey", to generate a full alphanumeric character set.
Endfield was an accomplished magician and creator of card magic. Some of his creations in card magic were written up in "Cy Endfield's Entertaining Card Magic" by Lewis Ganson, which was originally run in the Gen. Cy wrote the forward for Versatile Card Magic book by Frank Simon.
Cy Endfield died in 1995 in Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire, England, at the age of 80.