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Criss Angel can levitate, teleport himself and split bodies in half. But becoming a household name required much more than magic: “I worked my ass off !” the 48-year-old ( born Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos) says of his journey from doing magic tricks for tips at restaurants in his native Long Island, N.Y., to headlining stage shows that reportedly rake in $70 million a year. “It took me 18 years to become an overnight success, but I wouldn’t give up on my dream.” Here, the star of the A&E special Trick’d Up talks to In Touch about his top-secret techniques, his toddler son Johnny’s brave battle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and his improbable rise from cardtrick-loving kid to megastar magician.
see it with your own eyes.
You’ve been hospitalized after stunts in the past; ever worry you’ll seriously injure yourself? CA: I had surgery on my shoulder because I tore the bicep off the bone, but I have been fortunate not to have done more damage considering my body physically goes through hell each performance.
You have a lot of celeb fans. Why do you think they’re so drawn to you? CA: I think because I’ve been around for so long. I also do about 450 shows a year, so word of mouth really builds.
Your son, Johnny [with ex-wife Shaunyl Benson], was diagnosed with leukemia last October. How’s he doing? CA: We are very, very thankful he’s in remission but with pediatric cancer, you are never out of the woods. That fear of the monster around the corner is always present.
How do you cope? CA: I believe I was put in this situation so I could be a voice and raise awareness. I have a website where people can donate: crissangelhelp.com. Every single cent goes to research and treatment. Johnny is a miracle and he’s changed my life. I truly appreciate every moment of every day now. Life really is precious. ◼
“Ellie’s lips look like they’ve been stung by bees,” says Michigan plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Youn. He blames the painfully plump appearance on post-injection swelling: “It’s very common.” Even the teen’s famed lip kit can’t fix this! Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. David M. Amron blames too much filler applied unevenly. “Her lips looked fine before,” he says. “She should have left them alone!”
“I had my mouth done when I was 27,” admits the French film actress. “It was a botched job.” Dr. Lorenc agrees: “Her lower lip should be larger than the top, and that is not the case here.”