HOLLYWOOD — Record-setting illusionist Criss Angel became the latest celebrity to be immortalized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame July 20.
His star is across the street from the one honoring magician Harry Houdini, an early influence for Angel.
“I remember coming here in the ’90s and walking across that street there and I came across Houdini’s star,” Angel told the crowd. “And I thought to myself, as somebody who’s a starving artist with just a big dream, it’s unbelievable. Houdini died in 1926 and his star will remain here for as long as this planet is here.
“And it really had a profound effect on me and I’m sure it has a profound effect on so many people that come here, to this famous street, with a dream,” he said. “A dream that seems impossible, but a dream that comes a little closer when you see these stars and your realize that all of these people that are on this street are just like you and me, except they worked their ass off, persevered, didn’t listen to negativity and made something of their dream.”
Born Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos on Dec. 19, 1967, in Hempstead, New York, Angel developed an interest in magic when he was 7 years old and performed his first show when he was 12, receiving $10. He began touring with other traveling performance acts after graduating from high school.
Angel performed his live show, “Criss Angel BeLIEve” at Luxor Las Vegas from 2008 to 2016 and “Mindfreak Live” there since 2016.
Angel also starred in the 2005-10 A&E series, “Criss Angel: Mindfreak” and the 2013 Spike series “Criss Angel BeLIEve.”
Angel has been selected Magician of the Year a record six times and is the youngest inductee of the International Magicians Society Hall of Fame.
Angel holds the Guinness World Record for most people to disappear in an illusion, 100. During a May 26, 2010, performance in Las Vegas, 10 rows of 10 participants were handcuffed together. Those in the outer rows raised a curtain, which fell to reveal that they had all vanished.