David Copperfield is possibly the world's most famous magician and illusionist. Born as David Seth Kotkin in New Jersey in 1956, he adopted the stage name David Copperfield at the age of 18 (1974) after being cast as the lead in "The Magic Man", a new musical comedy created by the producers of Grease and opened in Chicago for a year. Between 1978 and 2001 he has had for CBS a total of 17 TV specials and 2 documentaries, and regularly performs over 550 stage shows per year across the globe since 1983.
His trademark is huge illusions, sometimes involving famous national landmarks. These have included making a 7 tonnes Lear Jet disappear (1981), the Statue of Liberty disappear (1983), levitating over the Grand Canyon (1984), walking through the Great Wall of China (1986), making a daring escape from the Alcatraz prison (1987), levitating and vanishing a 70 tonnes Orient Express dining car (1991), and flying freely on the stage for several minutes (1992).
He also owns a large private museum of magic in Las Vegas, which is home to the world's largest collection of Houdini memorabilia and many other significant items from the history of magic and illusion.
From 1994 to 1999 he was married to the German supermodel Claudia Schiffer, who sometimes used to act as his special guest assistant in his stage shows. During these shows, he would perform a number of illusions on her, including sawing her in half in what other magicians at the time called the most baffling version of the illusion ever performed, and using a guillotine to behead her. In 2010, he became a father for the first time when the French model Chloe Gosselin, his girlfriend since 2006, gave birth to their child, a daughter called Sky, although news of this did not become public until The New York Post reported it in August 2011. In July 2012, the couple announced their engagement.