Harry Houdini’s Last Stage Assistant Dies…For Now

    March 25, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Harry Houdini in his early days

    Harry Houdini’s last surviving stage assistant has finally passed away. Not like people were waiting but she did live to see 103-years-old. Yahoo News has the story:

    Young joined Houdini’s company as a 17-year-old after attending an open casting call during a family trip to New York. She initially sat in the back because she was too shy to step forward, but Houdini and his manager soon noticed her and asked her to dance the Charleston. They signed her to a contract, and she eventually persuaded her parents to let her join the stage show.

    That’s crazy! That’s how I got into blogging. What a coincidence.

    During her year with Houdini in the mid-1920s, she gained recognition for playing the role of Radio Girl of 1950, emerging from a large mock-up of a radio and performing a dance routine. She also performed other roles during the tour, which proved to be Houdini’s last in the United States before he died in October 1926, two months after she had left the show .

    That’s got to be a cool thing to tell people; “I was an assistant to Harry Houdini.” Most old people just blab about working at the same company for 40 years or how they once were named the best gardener in town. Ms. Young could top any story. “Oh really, that must have been around the time I WORKED WITH HARRY HOUDINI!”

    Young went on to perform in several movies and also published a novel inspired by her career. She later became a benefactor of Drew University, endowing it with a $13 million arts center that bears her name. Several of her paintings hang in buildings on its campus in Madison.

    Ok, maybe being Houdini’s assistant is the least important bullet point on her resume.

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