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Uri Geller  

Uri Geller (born December 20, 1946 in Tel Aviv, Israel) is a famous but controversial alleged psychic and television personality.

Originally a magician in Israeli nightclubs, he then became well known for a number of years for performances featuring claimed paranormal abilities such as telekinesis, dowsing and telepathy; metal objects were bent and watches were apparently stopped or made to run faster without any apparent physical force being applied to them. Although many people believe he is a psychic, he also has numerous critics, especially in the scientific community, who claim he is both charlatan and con-man.Born to Hungarian and Austrian parents, Geller was named after a cousin who had been killed in a bus accident.

According to Geller, he first became aware of his abilities when he was five. He relates that he was in the garden of an Arab family's house opposite where he lived when he was hit by a light from the sky that knocked him to the grass, after which he ran to tell his mother. Shortly thereafter he was having soup during a meal, when his spoon bent and broke.

He lived in Cyprus from age 11 to 17. He served as a paratrooper in the Israeli Army, and was wounded in action during the 1967 Six-Day War. He worked as a photographic model in 1968 and 1969.

In 1969 he began to perform for small audiences as a stage magician, but quickly became a household name throughout Israel. At the peak of his career in the 1970s he worked as a full time professional, performing for television audiences worldwide.

Geller semi-retired from public life in the 1980s. He reported he was concentrating on enjoying wealth accumulated by dowsing, although this has not been verified; Geller maintains that companies who use his services to find commodities such as oil, gold and minerals are reluctant to admit it. In recent years he has performed demonstrations such as spoon-bending much less frequently in public.

Geller has written sixteen fiction and nonfiction books. He now lives in Sonning, Berkshire, England, on an estate on the bank of the River Thames. He makes various personal appearances, is involved with art and design projects, and contributes articles to newspapers, magazines, and an Internet web column. In 2002, he became honorary co-chairman of the English Nationwide Conference football club Exeter City, which was relegated to the Nationwide Conference in May 2003. He has since severed formal ties with the club. He is a vegan and speaks five languages, English, Hebrew, Hungarian, German and Greek.

Geller might be called something of a bon vivant, and he maintains many ties with celebrity society. He owns a 1976 Cadillac that is adorned with thousands of pieces of bent tableware given him by celebrities or otherwise having historical or other significance. It includes spoons from celebrities such as John Lennon and the Spice Girls, and those with which Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy ate. Geller designed the logo for popular music group *NSYNC and contributed artwork to Michael Jackson's CD, "Invincible," and Jackson was best man when Geller renewed his wedding vows in 2001.

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