Mentalists have been perplexing audiences with their remarkable mental and intuitive powers since sleight of hand magician Girolamo Scotto performed the first mentalism trick in history more than 400 years ago.
Despite the fact that most modern audiences see mentalism as merely an elegant performance art, some mentalists are so skilled at their profession that it’s nearly impossible to believe they don’t have some type of supernatural ability.
A list of the 13 most prominent and influential mentalists can be seen below. (Because mentalism is frequently associated with the weird and occult, we felt 13 would be a fun number to use instead of a standard number.)
1. Alexander – The Know-It-All
Claud Alexander Conlin, well known by his stage name “Alexander – The Man Who Knows,” was an American stage magician who specialised in mentalism and psychic reading acts. He was also a well-known author who wrote about acting, psychology, and spirituality (particularly the 19th-century spiritual movement known as New Thought or Higher Thought). Alexander rose to fame in the early 1900s by doing creative mentalism techniques that even the best mentalism practitioners couldn’t figure out.
Alexander was one of the most famous and highest-paid mechanists in history, earning millions of dollars over the course of his career.
2. Joseph Dunninger
Joseph Dunninger, well known by his stage moniker “The Amazing Dunninger,” was born in New York City in 1892 and is regarded as one of the greatest mentalists of all time. Dunninger, a master of various types of mentalism from mind reading to telepathy and divination, pioneered ways for the visual art of mentalism and magic to be performed on television and radio.
Like many other mentalists, Dunninger was an advocate for exposing fraudulent mediums and psychics, and would often use mentalism techniques to replicate their supposed “psychic powers” and discredit the mediums and psychics.
3. Sumit Kharbanda
Sumit Kharbanda is a highly admired and reputed mentalist of India. His experience and talent have made him a famous personality. His efforts are also appreciated by the leading Bollywood celebs and other page 3 celebrities.
From the last 15 years, he is winning the hearts of the people from his magic.
4. Rahul Kharabanda
He is without a doubt one of the most well-known and famous illusionists of all time. He has starred in countless TV specials and stage plays since becoming a household figure with his outstanding performances. Comes from a Family of Magicians with a combined experience of over 3 decades, he recently got his name registered in the GUINNESS Book of WORLD RECORDs.
Rahul Kharbanda has performed across various Continents and has dazzled people of all ages. He is widely known for as iPad magician.
5. Uri Geller
Uri Geller is an Israeli and British mentalist who rose to prominence in the 1970s with appearances on national television shows such as The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, where he demonstrated allegedly true psychic abilities such as his famous spoon bending. Despite his controversial start, Uri Geller has gone on to have a four-decade career as a mentalist, illusionist, magician, and television personality.
6. Maven Max
Max Maven is an American mentalist recognised for his sophisticated and participatory mind reading illusions, as well as his superb cold reading skills. He was named one of “The Most Influential Magicians of the 20th Century” by MAGIC Magazine. Maven is an unequalled master showman with a one-of-a-kind flair who can capture audiences with his totally unique mind magic. Despite the fact that he was born Phil Goldstein, he legally changed his name to Max Maven.
7. Theodore Annemmann
Theodore Annemann was an American mentalist, magician, and inventor best known for his book Practical Mental Magic, which many believe to be required reading for every mentalist. On shows like America’s Got Talent and Penn & Teller: Fool Us, he has created and perfected some of the most iconic mentalism tricks that are still employed regularly by modern mentalists like Colin Cloud, The Clairvoyants, The Evasons, Morgan & West, and Oz Pearlman. While mentalism was clearly his true calling, Annemann was also a skilled stage magician who turned the iconic and perilous bullet catch illusion into a must-see show.
The Amazing Kreskin is an American mentalist who rose to prominence in the 1970s because to his television series The Amazing World of Kreskin, which aired across the United States and Canada. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, he was a frequent guest on talk shows, including multiple appearances on Late Night with David Letterman and an incredible 61 appearances on The Tonight Show. He was also the first guest to appear three times on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in 2009.
9. James Randi
While James Randi had a successful career as a stage magician and mentalist under the stage moniker The Amazing Randi, he is most known for his ongoing attempts to expose the use of pseudoscience by phoney psychics and mediums such as John Edwards, Sylvia Browne, and, yes, even Uri Geller.
Randi has spent the last half of his life debunking paranormal, occult, and supernatural claims as a scientific sceptic. He co-founded the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), which is well known for its One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge, which awards a $1,000,000 prize to anyone who can prove paranormal evidence.
Born Steven Shaw, an English mentalist and thought-reader known as Banachek, began his career as a youngster when he was recruited to help James Randi’s Project Alpha experiment, which used mentalism to discredit parapsychology studies. He is now legally known as Banachek and performs routinely all over the world. He is also the president of the James Randi Educational Foundation. Banachek is also the author of the Psychological Subtleties series, which is widely regarded as one of the best mentalist literature.
11. Richard Osterlind
Many people regard Richard Osterlind as one of the most influential mentalists and hypnotists of all time. Osterlind is most known for creating mentalism effects like the OsterlindCenter Tear and teaching many mentalists how to do magic through popular programmes like Mind Mysteries, Easy to Master Mental Miracles, and his video version of the classic mentalism book 13 Steps to Mentalism.
12. Marc Salem
Marc Salemn is a well-known nonverbal communicator, mind reader, and mentalist. Salem is considered one of the best cold readers in the world by many top mentalists, having earned a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology and working closely with Ray Birdwhistell on the subject of Kinesics, a specific subset of cold reading that focuses on body language and other nonverbal behavior. Salem has been featured in The New York Times and The Daily Telegraph, and in 2008, he dazzled viewers on 60 Minutes with a book test and other common mentalism techniques.
13. Gerry McCambridge
Gerry McCambridge is a well-known mentalist and a regular in Las Vegas. His one-man act “The Mentalist,” which will reach 4,000 performances in April 2020, is the longest-running and most financially successful mentalism show in Las Vegas history. McCambridge, the son of a New York City detective, grew interested in mentalism after witnessing his father’s ability to solve cases using his keen observation abilities and ability to interpret body language. McCambridge is thought to have been the inspiration for the psychic detective character Patrick Jane on the CBS TV series The Mentalist, as the business contacted him after becoming intrigued by the idea of mixing a psychic detective with a police officer.
14. David Blaine
Despite their similarities, the most serious mentalists are sure that magic and mentalism are two completely different disciplines. As a result, people may be surprised to see David Blaine on this list, as he is primarily renowned for his street magic acts, endurance performances, and world records. Blaine, on the other hand, is a master of human psychology, which is one of the most crucial skills a mentalist can possess.
His first television spectacular, Street Magic, became an international sensation and is widely credited with revolutionizing magic and mentalism.