Criss Angel is an illusionist and magician who was born on December 19, 1967 in East Meadow, New York. His original birth name was Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos. As he grew up in a family of Greek descent, he was a natural musician who played instruments such as the flute, accordion, and the drums. However, he was also attracted to the art of magic. His mother Dimitra hailed from Mystra, Greece, while his father John was also a major influence in his life, though his father would eventually pass away due to stomach cancer. Angel also has two brothers named JD and Costa.
He first found himself drawn to magic when he was six years old, enchanted by a card trick that his Aunt Stella performed for him. Angel would later go on to draw inspiration from the works of Harry Houdini and Aldo Richiardi. During his teenage years, he became a regular performer for nightclubs, children’s parties, private events, and his own family. Angel’s business card was designed for him by fellow magician James Randi. Apart from magic, he has also continued to hone his musical abilities by performing with the industrial music band AngelDust with his colleague Klayton Scott. Angel has also been featured on his own television show, Criss Angel Mindfreak.
(Photo courtesy of NBC)