Raymond Joseph Teller almost never speaks, however, in his career as a magician, he has done things that most other magicians only wish they could do. Teller is one of the most famous magicians in the world and one half of the infamous magic duo Penn & Teller.
Teller is a well known atheist and libertarian. He is remembered for famously appearing in a few episodes of HBO’s The Big Bang Theory, making it one of his rare speaking roles. He is also known for his role as the judge in the hit magic television show Penn & Teller: Fool Us.
Raymond Joseph Teller’s Biography
Teller is a native of Pennsylvania. He was born in Philadelphia on February 14, 1948. His parents are Irene B. Teller (formerly Derrickson) and Isreal Max Teller. Both his parents were born in America, although his father is of Russian-Jewish heritage.
The magician attended Central High School from where he graduated in 1965. From there, he went on to Amherst College from where he graduated in 1969 with a B.A in Classics.
Before his career as a magician, Raymond Joseph Teller spent a brief time as a high school teacher where he taught Latin and Greek at Lawrence High School.
The earliest phase of his career as a magician saw Teller perform at The Othmar Schoeck Society for the Preservation of Weird and Disgusting Music. At the time, he performed alongside Weir Chrisemer. It was not until 1974 that Penn Jillette joined the duo of Teller and Weir and named. They went by the name Asparagus Valley Cultural Society.
A few years later, in 1981, Weir left the picture, leaving Raymond Teller and Penn. The group then changed their name to Penn & Teller. The magic duo received their Hollywood Walk of Fame star on April 5, 2013.
As stated earlier, the magician almost never says a thing during his performances. He learned this during his early days performing at frat parties that performing without talking earned him fewer jeers and kept the audience focused on his performances.
In the rare occasion that he speaks, the magician’s character is almost always obscured. During the premiere of Penn & Teller: Bullshit, for example, Raymond Joseph Teller spoke but with a plastic sheet over his face. In 2010, for his interview on History Channel’s Houdini: Unlocking the Mystery, the magic man also stayed in the shadows.
He has also been on a few television series where he had very brief speaking parts. They include a guest appearance on Miami Vice, The Aristocrats, Long Gone, and Penn & Teller Get Killed. He was also on the popular animated series The Simpsons where he voiced an animated version of himself for two episodes. His voicing roles also include Oh Yeah! Cartoons, Light Years among others. He did have a relatively lengthy speaking speel though on movies and shows like Penn & Teller’s Magic and Mystery Tour, The Fantasticks, and Charlie Rose among others.
Besides his work as a magician and actor, Raymond Joseph Teller has also established himself as a writer. He has co-authored a few books with his friend and colleague Penn Jillette. His books include Penn and Teller’s Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends (1989); Penn and Teller’s How to Play with Your Food (1992); Penn and Teller’s How to Play in Traffic (1997); and When I’m Dead All This Will Be Yours!”: Joe Teller – A Portrait by His Kid (2000).
He has also proven his playwriting abilities. He wrote the stage production Play Dead in 2010. The show ran in Las Vegas before making its Off-Broadway debut in New York.
Raymond Joseph Teller teamed up with Aaron Posner in 2008 to direct a stage production of Macbeth. The play saw him handle the magic techniques in the scenes that involved the three witches. He brought his magic talent to a stage making of The Tempest. In 2014, Teller directed his first documentary titled Tim’s Vermeer. He also served as executive producer of the documentary with Penn.
What is Raymond Joseph Teller’s Net Worth?
Teller’s career portfolio is enviable and spans over four decades. While he is mostly recognized as a magician, Teller has also appeared in many memorable television shows and films. He has also proven his mettle as an author, playwright, director, and executive producer. The magician’s net worth is currently valued at a massive $175 million.
Other Facts About The Magician
- Even though he was raised in a religious background, Teller is very outspoken about his atheism.
- After he had gained a reasonable measure of success, the magician legally changed his name from Raymond Joseph Teller to just Teller.
- His parents met while attending evening art classes at Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial.
- While in his early 20s, Teller used to drink and party. He soon stopped, however, because he did not like the way it made him feel. He has not taken alcohol since then.