Thursday, August 11, 2016

'Mysteries at the Museum' uncovers Houdini and the con woman

This Friday's Mysteries at the Museum on the Travel Channel contains an all-new Houdini segment about his curious relationship with Eleanor Fletcher Bishop. Dick Brookz of the Houdini Museum of Scranton tells the tale of "a strange woman who cast a spell on Houdini" with reenactments featuring an uncredited actor as the great magician (below). It's an excellent and largely untold story.


Unfortunately, the online show description doesn't mention anything about Houdini, so this is your official heads up! The episode is titled "Muhammad Ali Saves the Day, Beast of Gevaudan, Before Hillary" and premieres this Friday, August 12 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. Houdini is the last story.

UPDATE: The actor playing Houdini here is Jonathan Shade.

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11 comments:

  1. BTW, I'd like to credit this actor if anyone can tell me the name (maybe the actor himself might see this?).

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    1. Fantastic! I'm glad you found us, Jonathan. Thank you for the link. I've updated the story.

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  2. For those who saw it, what did you think? It's not really a story I knew, and it's one of the best stories of Houdini's generosity.

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  3. I liked it. I'd never heard that story before either. Unfortunately the credits at the end didn't list who played Houdini. Their go-to actor for previous episodes was an actor named Alex Ursino. I found some behind the scenes pictures he posted online from the filming of an earlier appearance. I'll email them separately.

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    1. Sorry I meant to include this link
      http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4427087/

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    2. Cool. Thanks. They actually used some of the Alex's footage in this episode as well when he is onstage (you never see his face).

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    3. That probably means that they used another actor this time.

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    4. Yeah, they needed new footage of HH at his desk reading and writing letter. They used a different actor for that.

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  4. I found it very interesting, since I wasn’t really familiar with the story. I especially liked the part where Dick Brookz shared that there was more to HH generosity than what appears and then presents the evidence he found in the M-U-M Feb 1918 Vol. 7 No. 59 which I just had to take a look at and confirm for myself.
    I also took a look to see what Silverman had to say and found it interesting that after HH sent the money to Eleanor that he got much of her son’s memorabilia for his magic collection as a thank you.

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  5. Harry's generosity really does go deep. I believe he always kept the hardships he endured in his younger days in mind and was prepared to ease the suffering of those around him.

    There was the story from Dick & Dorothy's Hocus Pocus magazine of the young German who owed his life to Harry. He ran away from his home in Stuttgart, Germany in 1914 to join the French Foreign Legion. When he arrived in Paris, he changed his mind but was too broke to make it back to his hometown. He remembered HH from his performances in Germany and asked to see him at the backstage door of the Alhambra theater. Harry showed up in a bathrobe and after listening to the runaway explain his dilemma, he instructed his secretary to meet the kid at the train station the following morning with a ticket home and food money.

    The young German later emigrated to the U.S. after WWI and met Harry again to thank him for saving his life. If he had continued on his journey to join the FFL, he might have never returned.

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