For viewers who appreciate the sleight of hand and the skills of the illusionist, the 1980s belonged to magician David Copperfield.
Using magic as a way to gain confidence (and attract girls) as a pre-teen, by the time Copperfield was 16 he was teaching magic at New York University while also sneaking into Broadway shows, fascinated by productions with Bob Fosse and Stephen Sondheim.
At age 18 he got his first lead in The Magic Man in Chicago where he changed his name from David Kotkin to David Copperfield. The next year he became a full-time magician, named the headliner entertainer at the Pagoda Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii.
In 1977, ABC TV aired his first television special – The Magic of ABC. Consequently through the 1980s he was regularly doing tv specials for CBS TV.
In 1981, Copperfield decided to do big scale illusions, his first the disappearance of a seven ton Lear jet and followed by his notorious disappearance of the Statue of Liberty in 1983 in front of a live audience and filmed.
In 1984 Copperfield levitated above the Grand Canyon, while in 1986 he walked through the Great Wall of China and escaped from Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco in 1987.
As a performer, magician and illusionist, Copperfield made the world of magic something more than a sideshow attraction in the 1980s.