For a change, good news showers down on Las Vegas illusionist Criss Angel. The International Magicians Society has awarded the 41-year-old Angel, whose real name is Christopher Sarantakos, its first-ever Merlin Award for “Magician of the Decade” last Saturday in honor of his magical accomplishments. Angel previously received the organization’s “Magician of the Year” honor in 2001, 204, 2005, 2007 and 2008.
The famed illusionist appeared humble when accepting the award, telling those attending, “I never set out to win awards, just to push my own envelope and try to create something that’s never been done.”
Criss Angel’s “Believe” illusion show opened at the Luxor in Las Vegas early in January to mixed reviews and almost immediately went dark for a Cirque du Soleil “magical” revamping before reopening later in the month.
To add to Angel’s mishaps, in late February, Angel broke up with his girlfriend, Holly Madison, who previously had been dating Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner until last October.