Jillette, Penn

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Portrait of Jillette Penn (click to view image source)
Jillette Penn
(to view image author and license, click here)
Name
Penn, Jillette Gender: M
Penn Fraser Jillette
born on 5 March 1955 at 17:13 (= 5:13 PM )
Place Greenfield MA, USA, 42n35, 72w36
Timezone EST h5w (is standard time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Taglilatelo
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_piscol.18.gif 14°34' s_mo.18.gif s_leocol.18.gif 11°01 Asc.s_vircol.18.gif 09°25'



Biography

American magician and raconteur, the larger, louder member of Penn and Teller, a popular Las Vegas illusion and comedy act. He is known for his sardonic humor and outspoken libertarian, rationalist views as much as his sleight of hand. In fact, he has made career of exposing both magical techniques and beliefs he considers hokum. Jillette has co-written several books, co-hosts a series on Showtime, and has appeared frequently on television and in films (often as himself). He also co-produced and co-directed the documentary “The Aristocrats.”

Jillette became fascinated with magic after seeing, at 18, a performance by the professional magician and hoax-exposer James Randi. After attending the Ringfield Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College and learning juggling and sleight-of-hand techniques, he met Raymond Joseph Teller in 1975. They formed, with Teller’s friend Weir Chrisemer, an act called Asparagus Valley Cultural Society, which performed in San Francisco; Chrisemer eventually left the group. The remaining partners, who officially became Penn and Teller in 1981, got their first big break in 1985 when PBS broadcast their off-Broadway show “Penn and Teller Go Public.”

Jillette’s film debut was throwing a knife for the opening credits of the 1979 street gang movie “The Warriors,” though only the knife and not his face made it on screen. Teller has since become a well-known presence on television, appearing such shows as “Miami Vice,” “Friends,” “Fear Factor,” “Hollywood Squares,” “The West Wing,” and “The Drew Carey Show.” In the 1990s he was the main on-air voice for Comedy Central. In 1987, Penn and Teller opened their first of two Broadway shows, and in the 1990s they began touring nationally. In 1989, Penn and Teller made the first of their more than twenty appearances on “Late Night with David Letterman”; this was the same year as the publication of their first book and movie together, “Penn & Teller’s Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends.” In 2001, they began performing six nights a week at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Jillette’s novel “Socks” was published in 2004, and 2005 saw the release of the acclaimed documentary “The Aristocrats,” which he made with his friend Paul Provenza and in which multiple comedians tell their own versions of a very dirty joke. As of 2007, the Penn and Teller series “Bullshit!” was in its fourth season on Showtime. Penn and Teller are visiting scholars at MIT, Oxford and the Smithsonian Institution. They won the Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award in 2001 and the Richard Dawkins award (for promoting atheism) in 2005.

After dating comedian Julie Brown, model Carol Perkins, and musician Debbie Harry, Jillette married TV producer Emily Zoltan (b. February 28, 1966) on November 23, 2004. They have two children, Moxie CrimeFighter Jillette (b. June 3, 2005) and Zolten Penn Jillette (b. May 22, 2006). In 2006, The Slammer, his home in the desert outside San Francisco, was completed and immediately won three design awards. He holds a July 1999 patent on the “Jill-Jet,” a hot tub jet designed to stimulate a woman’s clitoris; he has credited Debbie Harry for suggesting the idea.

In spite of his current identification with Las Vegas, Jillette does not gamble and insists he has never drunk alcohol or used recreational drugs; however, as a libertarian he advocates legalization of all drugs. He is an outspoken atheist. In his essay “There is No God,” broadcast in 2005 as part of the NPR series “This I Believe,” he said, “Believing there is no God gives me room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-O and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have.” On “Bullshit!” he and Teller take on ideas they consider deceptive, such as feng shui, alien abduction, and astrology. Jillette is 6’6” and 300 pounds, towering over the 5’9” Teller. He frequently wears a ponytail, and he keeps a single nail on his left hand painted red, reportedly because when he was 18, his mom told him that as a magician he should keep his hands looking nice. He is rumored to suffer from prosopagnosia, a neurological impairment of the ability to remember and recognize faces. His father, Sam Jillette, died in 1999, and his sister, Valda Jillette, in 2000.

Link to Wikipedia biography

Events

  • Work : Gain social status 1985 (Big breakthrough)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1987 (First Broadway show)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1989 (First book)
  • Death of Father 1999
  • Death of Sibling 2000 (Sister)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 2004 (First novel)

Source Notes

PT quotes birth certificate

Categories

  • Personal : Religion/Spirituality : Atheist
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Magic
  • Vocation : Writers : Fiction
  • Vocation : Writers : Textbook/ Non-fiction

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