Penn Jillette, Biography, Age, Weight, Family, Religion and Red Fingernail

Penn Jillette Biography

Penn Jillette is an American actor magician, comedian, musician, inventor, filmmaker, television personality, and author, born Penn Fraser Jillette. His is well known for his works in Penn & Teller with his fellow Teller. Together, the duo has performed in various shows like Penn & Teller: Fool Us, and Penn & Teller: Bullshit! They also perform in Las Vegas at The Rio. (Hotel and Casino)

He has written and published eight books including God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales.

Penn Jillette Age | Early Life

He was born on the 5th of March, 1955 in Greenfield, Massachusetts. Ha became an atheist as a teenager after reading the Bible. Sometime after, he decided to become a magician. He was inspired after watching traditional illusionist acts that presented the craft as authentic magic. When he was 18, he watched a show by James Randi, the retired stage magician. This further inspired him as he saw magic as entertainment rather than a mysterious supernatural power. Till date, he acknowledges Randi as the one person he loves the most, apart from his family.

After graduating high school in 1973, he worked with his former classmate, Michael Monsen. Together they developed a juggling act. The year after his graduation from high school, he graduated from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. That same year was when he met his fellow illusionist and partner Teller. They formed a three-person act called Asparagus Valley Cultural Society which played in Amherst and San Francisco.

Some years later, Penn and Teller went on to do a successful Off-Broadway and later Broadway theatre show called “Penn & Teller” that toured nationally. As of 2019, he is 64 years old.

Penn Jillette Measurements


He stands at a height of 6ft 6.(1.98m)


Some time ago, he weighed at 322 lbs. Upon being checked, doctors found a 90% blockage to his heart. He went on a potatoes-only diet and lost about 75 lbs in just about two weeks. Overall, he lost about 100 lbs. He now weighs at approximately 220 lbs.

Penn Jillette Weight before and after

Penn Jillette Family

He was born to Valda Rudolph, a secretary, and Samuel Herbert Jillette, who worked at Greenfield’s Franklin County Jail. He was raised alongside Valda Jillette Stowe, his sister.


He is married to Emily Zolten Jillette. The information on heir marriage is limited like their date of marriage is not known.

Kids | Children

The couple has two children. Their first-born is Moxie CrimeFighter, born in 2005 and Zolten Penn, born a year later.

Penn Jillette Quotes

  • ‘Psycho’ is fascinating philosophically, because the point of ‘Psycho’ is that everything that’s bad happens because of love.
  • I love the idea that horror and fear is a celebration of health and life.
  • I’m always surprised when the corporate world does stupid things because they’re often not very stupid in hindsight.
  • The medium is not the message – the message is the message
  • World War II proves there’s no God.
  • The highest ideals are human intelligence, creativity, and love. Respect these above all.
  • We aren’t people who believe that just because we’re performers our opinions on everything need to be known.
  • A joke is a way to say, ‘I’m going to do something funny now. If I don’t get a laugh at the end, I’m a failure.’
  • Charities are really good. To a certain extent, the ones you pick are arbitrary.

Penn Jillette Atheist

Penn is well known for being a non-believer of the existence of deities. In his teens, he read the Bible and apparently had questions that when he asked in a youth group showed his skepticism in religion. This caused the church members to ask him to leave the church. He even acknowledges himself proudly as an atheist as his cars’ plates read ‘atheist”, ‘nogod’ and ‘godless’. He wanted to place ‘infidel’ but that wouldn’t be acceptable.

Penn Jillette Book

  • Presto!: How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  • Every Day is an Atheist Holiday!: More Magical Tales from the Author of God, No!. New York: Blue Rider Press.
  • God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  • How to Cheat Your Friends at Poker: The Wisdom of Dickie Richard. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
  • Sock. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin.
  • Penn and Teller’s How to Play in Traffic. Berkley Trade.(with Teller)
  • Penn and Teller’s How to Play with Your Food. New York: Villard. (with Teller)
  • Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends. New York: Villard.

Penn Jillette Podcast

  • Jan 2006 – Mar 2007 Penn Radio
  • Penn Says from Jan 2008 – Apr 2010
  • May 2010 – Oct 2011 Penn Point
  • Penn’s Sunday School from February 2012

Red Fingernail

He keeps one fingernail red. There have been many speculations about the fingernail. Some say he shot a person for asking personal questions, and others say it is a reminder of his mother and it is just ‘cool’. However, when asked, he said he wears his mother’s nail polish and his dad’s ring for respect.

Penn Jillette photo