David Blaine is the subject of the 2003 documentary Above the Below, directed by Harmony Korine. Blaine and Korine have known each other since the mid-1990s.
The following biography originally appeared on Magic Directory.
David Blaine was born April 4, 1973 in Brooklyn New York. In his life he has gone by several last names; Blaine is his middle name. Patrie White, his single mother, raised him while taking on as many as three jobs. He never met his real father. At age four he saw a magician perform in a subway; he then decided to purchase his first trick, The Pencil Through the Card. Magic struck him because of its relationship with math and science. David's grandmother was a gypsy, and passed down some tarot cards to him. Since he did not have the money to go to a magic shop, he spent countless hours in libraries researching magic. There he would read every book he could get his hands on and continued fiddling with his tarot cards. At age five, he learned what his dream was; after showing a neighbor an effect with the tarot cards, he saw for the first time the impact magic can have emotionally on people. He immediately told his mom he wanted to be a showman. She encouraged him in everyway.
At ten his mother got remarried to John Bukalo, a banker, and moved to Jerseyville. His half-brother Michael was born. He began to develop an interest in acting. He traveled to Manhattan everyday to attend an acting school. He did a few commercials and small appearances on soap operas. At sixteen, David Blaine levitated for his doctor who immediately took him in for examination. A year later he moved back to New York and lived in Hell's Kitchen. When David was 21, his mother died of ovarian cancer. She was 48 and they were very close. It was then that he devoted his life to magic.
Magic got into David. He was your regular street magician who got gigs at rich parties. Because of his talent and uncanny character, he was able to draw up connections to ABC. After seeing a tape of his magic, they requested an interview and began planning a special. David Blaine: Street Magic, his first special, was the beginning of a new era. The special was not about disappearing tigers and thick stage lights; it was the streets, real people, and David. This had never been done before. The show was an instant success. People still talk about David Blaine's levitation. At only 24 years old, David Blaine became famous.
David has dated Madonna, Fiona Apple, and model Josie Moran. He was last heard dating the German former model Manon von Gerkan. He told Howard Stern he still seems to be close to all of his ex's. He has also had a close friendship with Leonardo DiCaprio. He has performed magic before and after he became famous to such people as Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mike Tyson, and President Clinton. He has also made guest appearances on nearly every major talk show of the decade including Oprah, Conan O'Brien, Rosie, Carson Daily, and Howard Stern. Even Comedy Central's South Park has an episode featuring him.
David Blaine became a stuntman after his idol, Houdini. His first stunt, getting buried alive for seven days, had the approval of Houdini's granddaughter. He did the stunt to promote his second special, David Blaine: Magic Man. According to a letter Magic Directory received, David Blaine: Magic Man was named after an old website. Since then, David has been frozen alive, trapped standing on a poll over a hundred feet from the ground, and viewed hanging from a crane over the River Thames bridge in London. He likes to get trapped in secluded areas with no food. Each stunt seems to be more dangerous. David Blaine will probably continue performing magic and stunts to his 'audience' for the rest of his life.
David Blaine's official website can be found here