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Erich Weisz (March 24, 1874 – October 31, 1926), known as Harry Houdini (/huːˈdiːni/ hoo-DEE-nee), was a Hungarian-American escape artist, illusionist, and stunt performer, noted for his escape acts. His pseudonym is a reference to his magical mentor, French magician Robert-Houdin (1805–1871).
He first attracted notice in vaudeville in the United States and then as "Harry 'Handcuff' Houdini" on a tour of Europe, where he challenged police forces to keep him locked up. Soon he extended his repertoire to include chains, ropes slung from skyscrapers, straitjackets under water, and having to escape from and hold his breath inside a sealed milk can with water in it.
In 1904, thousands watched as he tried to escape from special handcuffs commissioned by London's Daily Mirror, keeping them in suspense for an hour. Another stunt saw him buried alive and only just able to claw himself to the surface, emerging in a state of near-breakdown. While many suspected that these escapes were faked, Houdini presented himself as the scourge of fake spiritualists. As President of the Society of American Magicians, he was keen to uphold professional standards and expose fraudulent artists. He was also quick to sue anyone who imitated his escape stunts.
Houdini made several movies but quit acting when it failed to bring in money. He was also a keen aviator and aimed to become the first man to fly a powered aircraft in Australia.
Analysis for Harry Houdini
1874-03-24 02:28:00 GMT
47° 29′ 52.5″ N 19° 2′ 24.8″ E
1x Records. Last Queried Dec 2, 2023 12:06 AM GMT