His best-known onscreen role was as a cameraman in Boogie Nights, though he also appeared in such other films as Magnolia, Tomorrow Never Dies, The Prestige, Heist and House of Games. Jay frequently worked as a consultant as well on movies like Ocean's Thirteen and Forest Gump and TV series like Deadwood.
In addition to his ability to perform magic, Jay also wrote and published a book about 18th century German magician Matthias Buchinger, who was born without legs and hands.
Jay is survived by his wife Chrisann Verges.
See some tributes from famous friends and colleagues below.
Rest In Peace, Ricky Jay. You were an unsurpassed artist and an exceptionally kind soul. I will miss you, xo, your pal, Louis.— Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@OfficialJLD) November 25, 2018
Master magician and historian Ricky Jay has passed away. The breadth of his knowledge and appreciation for magic and the allied arts was truly remarkable. Such sad news, such a profound loss. #RIP https://t.co/VRYRxhkQKr— Neil Patrick Harris (@ActuallyNPH) November 25, 2018
Maybe the most breathtaking story about Ricky Jay. Takes 5 mins starting @ 34:40. He talks, then reporter tells it. https://t.co/Sl2eCvgPDs— Ira Glass (@iraglass) November 25, 2018
When we were shooting DEADWOOD, the fad of Celebrity Poker was white-hot. I asked Ricky why he wasn't on the televised version. After a pause for dramatic effect, he said, "If I win - they'll think I cheated. If I don't... I'm RICKY JAY."#RickyJay— W. Earl Brown (@WEarlBrown) November 25, 2018
Watch some Ricky Jay tonight. You could start here....https://t.co/oHpuBcZPDO— Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) November 25, 2018
Oh man, Ricky Jay. Just a genius. One of the best who ever lived. We'll all miss you, Ricky. Oh man.— Penn Jillette (@pennjillette) November 25, 2018