Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Well known actor playing Hardeen in Houdini miniseries?

Who is playing (the adult) Theo Hardeen in History's Houdini miniseries? According to Roger Dreyer at the Houdini Museum of New York, a "well known actor" auditioned for the part back in September, and even consulted with the museum about what Hardeen's voice sounded like. (Roger's answer: "a very tough guy. Thick Brooklyn accent." Correct.)

Roger isn't saying who that actor might be, but it is exciting to know they are looking to cast a familiar name against Adrien Brody's Houdini. The role of Houdini's younger brother has become increasingly important in Houdini biopics over the years. While Hardeen did not appear in the 1953 Tony Curtis classic Houdini, he did show up in The Great Houdinis (1976) played by Jack Carter. When it came time for TNTs Houdini in 1998, Hardeen was featured in a co-starring role played by Mark Ruffalo. It now looks like History's Houdini is following suit and will give us a healthy helping of the Monarch of Manacles.

So did this "well known actor" get the part? Hopefully we won't have to wait long to unlock the answer.

Houdini stars Adrien Brody as Houdini and Kristen Connolly as Bess. The 4-hour miniseries is being directed by Uli Edel from a script by Nicholas Meyer. Houdini is an A&E Studios Lionsgate co-production. It will air over the course of two nights on HISTORY in 2014.

Past Dashes: Jack Carter, Mark Ruffalo, Remy Auberjonois (Boardwalk Empire).

UPDATE: Tom Benedict Knight is Theo Hardeen.


    1. Why are there no films of Hardeen performing bridge jumps or straight jacket escapes? The lone clip is of him performing Metamorphasis....thats it. You would think since he performed into the mid 40s there would be lots of film of him on stage possibly doing the milk can escape....something we all would love to see. So....why no Hardeen films?

      1. It's a good question. I think there is so much film of Houdini because 1.) he's Houdini! and 2.) Houdini himself arranged for those films to be shot. I don't think Hardeen did that. He did do some films in the 30s and 40s -- I've done a few posts on those -- but they are all lost.

    2. I never realized Houdini arranged for the filming of his escapes. If that's the case there HAD to be film of him performing the USD. It was his crowning achievement and he performed it for 14 years......somewhere along the line Houdini would want to see himself perform the escape....one would think. More than likely that film was disposed of by Bess after Houdinis death. That film today if it were discovered would be worth a million bucks!

      1. I don't know if he would have filmed the USD. He filmed his outside escapes so they could be shown as a part of his show. Same with his aviation exploits. So there was a practical purpose for these films. Also, it wasn't so easy to shoot indoors back then. You couldn't get enough light inside a theater to shoot during an actual performance. You'd need to set the whole thing up on a stage open to the sunlight. As there wasn't really a reason to shoot the USD, not sure he would go to all the trouble. But I would LOVE to be proven wrong.

    3. In my mind wouldnt Houdini want to see himself perform his greatest effect? I would think at some point in that 14 year time span a film would have been made.


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