A helicopter hovered overhead to give an aerial view of the illusion and the statue appeared to have vanished and only the circle of lights surrounding it was still present and visible.
Most of his media appearances have been through television specials and guest spots on television programs.
His illusions have included the disappearance of a Learjet (1981), the vanishing and reappearance of the Statue of Liberty (1983), levitating over the Grand Canyon (1984), walking through the Great Wall of China (1986), escaping from Alcatraz prison (1987), the disappearance of an Orient Express dining car (1991) and flying on stage for several minutes (1992).
In 2002, he was the subject of an hour-long biographical special, aired on A&E's "Biography" channel.
On April 5, 2009, Copperfield made his first live TV appearance for some time when he entertained the audience at the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards with two illusions.
One of his most famous illusions occurred on television on April 8, 1983: a live audience of 20 tourists was seated in front of a giant curtain attached to two lateral scaffoldings built on Liberty Island in an enclosed viewing area.
Copperfield, with help by Jim Steinmeyer and Don Wayne, raised the curtain before lowering it again a few seconds later to reveal that the space where the Statue of Liberty once stood was empty.
However, three weeks into his freshman year he left Fordham to play the lead role of the musical The Magic Man in Chicago.
It was on this occasion that he adopted the stage name "David Copperfield", taken from the famous Charles Dickens novel because he liked the sound of it.
"Because of my work I have the privilege of living in extraordinary places around the world," Copperfield explained to the magazine.
Copperfield's television specials have won 21 Emmy Awards of a total 38 nominations.
Also during 1996, Copperfield joined forces with Dean Koontz, Joyce Carol Oates, Ray Bradbury and others for David Copperfield’s Tales of the Impossible, an anthology of original fiction set in the world of magic and illusion.