10 Great Mentalists Who Uncover the Art of Mentalism


What is the Art of Mentalism? In general – there are two types of magic exist – Visual Magic and the Mentalism. Although, we all are very much familiar with Visual Magic – the art that focuses on magical effects – such as productions, vanishes, transpositions, and levitation.

However, there is another sort of magic which focuses more on “mental effects” – such as Hypnotism (Putting people into a sleep-like state), Clairvoyance (discerning things only with the power of the mind), Remote Viewing (Duplicating an unseen image) and many more – are all examples of the art of Mentalism – and its practitioners are called Mentalist.

Top 10 Mentalist: In our time, numerous great and pioneers Mentalist performers were born – they not only set the standard but also developed the techniques and created the concepts of Mentalism.

We list down the Top 10 Mentalist in the World – who created, contributed, amaze and inspire the art of mentalism to millions of people around the world:

10. Tony Andruzzi (1925 – 1991)

art of mentalism

Tony Andruzzi was the name adopted by professional mentalist and magician Tom S. Palmer from the age of 45 to the end of his life.

Andruzzi was one of the pioneering mentalists who specialized in the field of Bizzare Magic. This involves performances seeking to create illusions that seemingly re-enact occult magick – tricks. These tricks were theatrically designed to make audiences wonder if what they are seeing is the real things.

He significantly contributed to the art of mentalism – by writing numerous articles in the Sphinx, Tops, Magick and Innovation magazines.

9. Theodore Annemann (1907 – 1942)

art of mentalism

Theodore ‘Theo’ Annemann – was an American professional magician who specialized in the field of mentalism.

All serious mentalist know the name of Theodore Anneemann – Annemann is most famous for inventing and refining many of the standard mentalism routines that continue to be used by magicians today.

Annemann is widely known for his famous bullet catch illusion – where his performance describe the feat as a dramatic effect wherein Annemann would collapse from the apparent force of the gun and then produce the bullet from his blood-drenched mouth.

Annemann mysteriously committed suicide when he was scheduled to perform his bullet catch indoors for the first time.

8. Joseph Dunninger (1892 – 1975)

Joseph Dunninger, known as “The Amazing Dunninger”, was one of the most famous and proficient mentalists of all time. He was one of the pioneer performers of magic on radio and television.

He claimed to replicate through trickery all spiritualist phenomena. He wrote the book Inside the Medium’s Cabinet (1935) which exposed the tricks of mediumship.

Dunninger self-published many of his works and others were published by inventor Hugo Gernsback. He also wrote articles in Science and Invention, Mechanix Illustrated, Popular Mechanics, Fate, Atlantic Monthly, and other magazines. Many of these articles were ghostwritten by Walter B. Gibson.

7. Glen Falkenstein (1932 – 2010)

art of mentalism

Glenn Jacob Falkenstein was a world-renowned magician and mentalist, and partner to Frances Willard from 1978 to 2010.

As a mentalist, Falkenstein was at the top of his profession for more than three decades and featured internationally on stage, TV, and radio. Glenn’s was famous because of his signature blindfold act followed by the classic Willard Spirit Cabinet.

Perhaps his greatest feat was balancing two separate careers, and many people were unaware that he successfully wore two professional hats. He worked for years at the Los Angeles County Office of Education as a Speech Pathologist.

The careers complimented the other, and he used his magic skills to aid young people overcoming speech defects. He was constantly amazed at the positive impact that magic had on special children.

6. Tony Corinda (1931 – 2010)

art of mentalism

Tony Corinda was an English mentalist, magic dealer, magic inventor, and businessman who wrote the book Thirteen Steps To Mentalism.  In 1950, he opened a magic studio where he sold all types of magic but catered especially to mentalists.

He contributed significantly to the art of Mentalism – his book Thirteen Steps To Mentalism – become the most respected and reputable foundational works in the art of mentalism.

Published as a complete book – in 1964 – the book can still be found for sale at most magic shops around the world. His contribution and the impact in the world of mentalism – is sure to live long into the future.

5. Al Mann (1924 – 1999)

art of mentalism

Al Mann – (Gilbert S. Aleman) is a ship’s captain with the merchant marines – spent 40 years as a mariner – giving him plenty of time, while at sea, to contemplate the art of mentalism.

During his lifetime – Al Mann invented some 30 tricks and authored several publications on Magic and Mentalism, including the famously known publications – The Photon Shield, Acidus, and The Sibylline Messages.

Al Mann was also a good friend of famous magician – Richard Himbler – known for his magic invention of Himble Wallet and Himble Ring.

4. Dai Vernon (1894 – 1992)

art of mentalism

Dai Vernon – Known as The Professor, was a Canadian magician and mentalist. His expert sleight of hand technique and extensive knowledge garnered him respect among fellow magicians.

His influence was considerable in the magic world, and he was a mentor to numerous famous magicians.

Owing to his extraordinary knowledge of, and skill at, sleight of hand, Vernon has long been affectionately known as The Professor. Among magicians and mentalist, he is credited with inventing or improving many standard close-up effects with cards, coins, and other small items.

The “standard” Cups and balls routine is his, and his 6-ring “Symphony of the Rings” remains one of the most popular Chinese linking rings routines in use to this day.

3. Max Maven (1950)

art of mentalism

Max Maven is an American magician and mentalist. He often appears on television magic shows to perform “interactive” mind reading tricks that work for the television audience.

While his public persona and performances fall squarely within the genre of mentalism – he invented several innovating magical and mentalist effects that are used by other magicians.

He has been a magic consultant for such performers as David CopperfieldPenn & TellerSiegfried & Roy, and Doug Henning, and he is a frequent contributor to industry journals such as GeniiThe Linking Ring, and M-U-M.

Maven is well respected amongst magicians and mentalist for his breadth of knowledge of magic history and the origins of various tricks and methods. He has stated in interviews that he believes it is vital to preserve the history of the art and provide credit to the originators of ideas.

2. The Amazing Kreskin (1935)

art of mentalism

The Amazing Kreskin, or Kreskin — birth name George Joseph Kresge — is a mentalist who became popular on North American television in the 1970s.

One of his best-known tricks is to find his own paycheck for his current performance. If he does not find it, he does not get paid for that day. He instructs the audience to hide an envelope containing his paycheck, while he is escorted off stage and into seclusion by other members of the audience.

He then re-emerges and hunts through the audience, almost always being able to ferret out the correct location.

He was also known for his contribution in the mentalism – his famous works include Secrets of the Amazing Kreskin by The Amazing Kreskin (1991) and Kreskin Confidential: The World’s Greatest Mentalist Speaks Out by The Amazing Kreskin (2009).

1. Derren Brown (1971)

art of mentalism

Derren Brown is an English mentalist and illusionist. Since his television debut with Derren Brown: Mind Control in (2000-2002), he has produced several other shows both for the stage and for television in both series and specials.

Brown has written four books on magic and mentalism: Absolute Magic, Pure Effect, Tricks of the Mind, and Confessions of a Conjuror.

The first two books he penned are intended solely for practitioners of magic and mentalism, whilst his books Tricks of the Mind and Confessions of a Conjuror are aimed at the general public.

Brown performs several memory tricks – in television specials – some of them include the Pushed to the EdgeThe Great Art RobberyFear and Faith and Apocalypse to name few.