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In Memoriam: Tomorrow Never Dies actor Ricky Jay (1946-2018)

By: Anders Frejdh
Ricky Jay Henry Gupta Tomorrow Never Dies
FSWL mourns the passing of American actor and magician Ricky Jay who portrayed Henry Gupta opposite Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in the 1997 film Tomorrow Never Dies directed by Roger Spottiswoode. Ricky died at home in Los Angeles on 24th November 2018 and our thoughts now goes to Ricky's family and friends.

Another talented member of the Bond cinematic family has passed on – actor Ricky Jay, 72, who played techno-terrorist Henry Gupta in 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies alongside Pierce Brosnan. He also had famed roles in Boogie Nights (1997) starring Burt Reynolds, Magnolia (1999) starring Tom Cruise, Heist (2001) starring Gene Hackman and the HBO series, Deadwood (2004).

Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli commented the news of Ricky's death:

“We are sad to hear of the passing of the very talented and lovely Ricky Jay. We send our condolences to his family, friends and fans.”

In an interview with Greg Buium for The Believer in 2012, Ricky talked about his early memories of James Bond:

“In high school, my fantasies were to write for The New Yorker and to be in a James Bond movie... specifically to throw cards...”

Ricky did in fact throw cards in Tomorrow Never Dies but that scene was left on the cutting room floow. Director Roger Spottiswoode explains why the scene was deleted from the final film:

But, acting was only one of Jay’s talents – he is perhaps best known as a magician and card thrower and a recognized expert on the arts of deception.

Jay also advised movies like the 2006 films The Illusionist and The Prestige on magic and illusion through his Hollywood consulting company Deceptive Practices. He was known to amaze and astound party guests with intricate card tricks and also was a frequent lecturer on magic. The actor also authored several books on the subject.

Jay, a resident of Los Angeles, was survived by his wife, Emmy-winning producer and location manager Chrisann Verges.

For a list of Ricky Jay's work on film and television, visit his IMDB page.



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