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David Berglas

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David Berglas
BornJuly 30, 1926

CategoriesBooks by David Berglas

David Berglas is a psychological illusionist and mentalist.

Known as the "International Man of Mystery", he is said to be one of the world's leading mentalists. Known for his numerous publicity stunts including going down the notorious Cresta Run blindfolded, manipulating and even smoking cigarettes underwater(!), performing various versions of Russian roulette, presenting hilarious pick-pocketing routines and touring the world, lecturing on and demonstrating memory feats. His signature pieces include the levitation of a heavy table and a dangerous pulse stopping routine.

In his 2009 Enigma show brochure, Derren Brown describes David Berglas as "One of our greatest living magical performers" and thanks him "-for his constant inspiration and generosity. Each show is indebted to his artistry and astonishing body of work. Thank you David".

The "Holy Grail" of Card Magic is known as "The Berglas Effect" which is his version of Any Card At Any Number (ACAAN).

Some of the celebrities he has entertained include Winston Churchill, Aristotle Onassis, Paul Getty, Lord Mountbatten of Burma, the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Michael Jackson, the Sultan of Brunei and most of the British Royal Family.

In 1999 he established a non-profit organization called, the Foundation for Promoting the Art of Magic (FP-AM). This has benefited the magical fraternity and has donated substantial funding for educational establishments like The College of Magic in Cape Town, South Africa. The Foundation presents the prestigious 'Berglas Award' annually at the International Magic Convention held in London. In 2008 it was awarded to Uri Geller and in 2009 to David Copperfield.

David Berglas is the father of Marvin Berglas of Marvin's Magic, the world's leading supplier of professional magic sets.


He has acted as creative consultant on numerous major films including:

  • The 1967 version of Casino Royale, with Orson Welles, Peter Sellers, David Niven and Woody Allen.
  • Tim Burton's Batman with Jack Nicholson in 1989
  • George Lucas's Willow with Warwick Davis
  • Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon with Ryan O'Neal
  • Albert R. Broccoli's Octopussy with Roger Moore and up to date, four other James Bond movies.


He was one of the first magicians to appear on British television with his own show Meet David Berglas in 1954. Numerous other television series followed and were highly acclaimed in Holland, Sweden, Norway and Germany. In the 1970s he presented a one hour television special in Las Vegas. In the UK he caused a sensation with his Channel 4 series The Mind of David Berglas 1985/86, where he interviewed and entertained celebrity guests including Omar Sharif, Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland, Peter Cook and Max Bygraves.


  • President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians (British Ring) 1976-1977.
  • In 1979 he was voted "King Rat" of the Grand Order of Water Rats, the world's leading show business charity organization.
  • He is a past President of The Magic Circle (1989-1998)
  • In 1991 he was surprised by Michael Aspel when he became the subject of television's This Is Your Life.
  • The Magic Circle presented him with the coveted "Gold Medal" in the year 2000, which was only the sixth ever to be awarded since 1905.
  • He has been honoured internationally by receiving top magic awards, including in 1980 the "Gold Plaque" in Sweden, in 1995 The Magic Circle's "Maskelyne Award", in 2005 the "Masters Fellowship" from the Academy of Magical Arts, [Hollywood] and in 2008 the prestigious "Grolla" in Italy.
  • Also in 2008 he was bestowed the "Griffin Award" and named "Grand Master of Mystery" by PSYCRETS (The British Society of Mystery Entertainers).


Berglas has written a substantial number of articles and lecture notes for the magical fraternity including:

  • "David Berglas onthult...bijna alles" (David Berglas reveals...nearly everything), published by H.J.W. Becht's Uitgeversmaatschappij N.V. (1988)
  • David Berglas Reveals (1967)
  • The David Berglas Files No. 1 (1976)
  • "A Question of Memory" (with Guy Lyon Playfair), published by Jonathan Cape Ltd. (ISBN 0224025570) (1988)
  • The Mind and Magic of David Berglas - As Revealed to David Britland, Hahne Publications (2002)
  • The Berglas Effects with Richard Kaufman (2011)


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