- NAME: Criss Angel
- OCCUPATION: Magician, Television Personality
- BIRTH DATE: December 19, 1967 (Age: 45)
- Did You Know?: Criss Angel is the only magician to appear on the covers of both Magic magazine and Genii magazine—the most popular and respected magic magazines worldwide.
- Did You Know?: Criss Angel's Las Vegas show Criss Angel Believe, which debuted in 2008, was named after his idol, legendary magician Harry Houdini.
- Did You Know?: Criss Angel has earned the International Magicians Society's prestigious "Magician of the Year" honor a record five times, as well as its "Magician of the Decade" and "Magician of the Century" titles.
- EDUCATION: East Meadow High School
- PLACE OF BIRTH: East Meadow, New York
- Full Name: Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos
- AKA: Christopher Sarantakos
- AKA: Criss Angel
- AKA: Chris Sarantakos
- ZODIAC SIGN: Sagittarius
Best Known For
Criss Angel is an awarding-winning magician known for starring on the popular reality television show Criss Angel: Mindfreak.
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Filmed on the streets of Las Vegas, Nevada, the show was an instant success, catapulting Angel into the realm of bona fide celebrities. Some of the series' most famous stunts showed Angel walking on water, splitting a woman in half in a public park, and flying over the Valley of Fire while suspended from a helicopter by his bare skin. One of the most popular shows to air on A&E, Criss Angel Mindfreak ran for five seasons, ending in 2010.
Propelled by the popularity of Mindfreak,
Angel went on to partner with Cirque du Soleil to create a new live show, Criss Angel Believe, at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas. Believe was named after Angel's idol, legendary magician Harry Houdini (the iconic magician's name was also the code word that Angel gave to his wife to confirm whether anyone had contacted him in the afterlife). The show, which weaves together Angel's illusions and theatrical acrobatics, premiered on the 82nd anniversary of Houdini's death: October 31, 2008. Unfortunately, Believe received relatively poor reviews from audiences and critics. At the end of one 2009 show, Angel infamously spewed insults at gossip blogger Perez Hilton, who had tweeted mid-show, "'Believe' is unbelievably bad."
Angel added another TV series to his repertoire in 2007, when he performed as a judge on NBC's reality TV series Phenomenon, featuring contestants competing to be named the next great mentalist. In an interview about the show on Larry King Live, Angel, who does not believe that anyone possesses supernatural capabilities, stated, "If somebody goes on that show and claims to have supernatural psychic ability, I'm going to bust them live and on television." He lived up to his words: Angel got into a shouting match with contestant Jim Callahan after Angel called his attempt at necromancy "comical" and offered Callahan $1 million if he could tell him the contents of a sealed envelope. Callahan could not, and Angel later revealed that the envelope contained an index card, on which he'd printed "9-11." Angel explained, "If somebody could predict, tell us on 9-10 that 9-11 was going to happen, maybe that could have prevented it."
Mindfreak ended in 2010, but Angel wasn't away from the small screen for long. He returned in 2013 with BeLIEve, a new series featuring 11 challenging and possibly life-threatening illusions.
Outside of his career as an illusionist, Angel is a musician. He's released five albums, a self-titled trilogy and two soundtracks for Criss Angel Mindfreak. Additionally, in 2007, Angel published a memoir, Mindfreak: Secret Revelations, which appeared on the Los Angeles Times' best-seller list.
Criss Angel maintains a rock star persona. He sports an all-black wardrobe, long hair, heavy eye makeup and abundant metal jewelry. He counts rock stars Tommy Lee and Korn frontman Jonathan Davis among his closest friends, and since his wife of five years, JoAnn Winkhart, filed for divorce in 2007, he's dated a series of high-profile women, including former Playboy covergirl Holly Madison.
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