"John Cox has become a one-man aggregator of all Houdini news on the web, as he creates original content, links to the works of others, and exploits the power of social media to spread the word far and wide. [He] has put together a fascinating site for fans of Houdini and magic history, and John is performing a service for us all by going the extra mile, past those first few Google result pages, to find the really obscure, undiscovered stuff."
- The Mandala, March/April 2012
Hello, my name is John Cox, and I'm wild about Harry!
My fascination with Houdini began in late 1975 when I was hit with the double whammy of seeing the 1953 Paramount movie, HOUDINI, and watching the great Doug Henning perform Houdini’s Water Torture Cell live on NBC. Who was this amazing Houdini fellow who could escape from anything? The next day I went to the mall and bought my first two Houdini books; the perennial Houdini on Magic by Walter B. Gibson and William Lindsey Gresham’s biography, Houdini The Man Who Walked Through Walls. I was hooked. Forty years later, I am still on a never-ending quest to find out more about the "Master Mystifier", with a collection of over 500 books and more than 2000 individual items.
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Along the way I met and learned from great Houdini experts like Manny Weltman, Patrick Culliton, John Gaughan, and Sidney Radner. I was also fortunate to strike up a relationship with Houdini’s niece, Marie Blood. As with the secrets of magic, there is still much about Houdini (and Bessie) that is passed down via oral tradition.
After graduating from the USC School of Cinematic Arts (where I made a Houdini documentary as one of my projects), I became a professional screenwriter, penning projects for MGM, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, DreamWorks (an unproduced Judd Apatow comedy about magicians), ABC, USA, and the WB networks. My first produced feature, Boot Camp, starring Mila Kunis, was released in 2009. (You can read more about my screenwriting here.) While I still write the occasional script, today I work primarily in Digital Cinema.
Houdini Exposed. I've also consulted on various Houdini projects for film, radio and television, and I give illustrated lectures on Houdini's life and career.
I started my first Houdini website, Houdini Lives!, in 2005, and expanded it into WILD ABOUT HARRY in 2010. While there are many terrific sites that cover the history of Houdini, what I felt was needed was a place that kept up with current Houdini news, auctions, book/DVD releases, and cultural references. It’s amazing just how active the world of Houdini remains so many years after his death.
Yes, I'm wild about Harry! And so are you.
"Your WILD ABOUT HARRY site continues to amaze us all. I have no idea how you do it!" - John Gaughan
"If anyone is interested in learning anything about Houdini, it’s a wealth of information that you won’t find in a book. I learned an enormous amount from John." - Kristen Connolly
"Your website is really a wonderful resource. I appreciate the work and time you put into it." - George Hardeen
"A great resource for Houdini info." - Potter & Potter Auctions
"Thank you for your continuing dedication to Houdini. Your blog is far and away the best Houdini resource in the world today." - Bruce MacNab
|With Houdini's original sub trunk in 2006.|
|With Houdini (aka Michael Weston) at The Magic Castle, 2016.|
|With Bess Houdini (aka Kristen Connolly) and Tom Interval, 2013.|
|With Dorothy Dietrich & Dick Brookz at The Grim Game premiere, 2015.|
|With the remains of the original Water Torture Cell in 1999.|
|With Bess Houdini (aka Janet Leigh) in 1986.|
|At Houdini's New York home in 2005.|
|Exploring the Laurel Caynon Houdini Mansion in 2008...and 1976.|
|The "Houdini Enthusiast" in 1980.|