Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Bess Houdini died 77 years ago today

On this 77th anniversary of Bess Houdini's death aboard a train outside Needles, California in 1943, here's a treat recently discovered by our good friend Joe Fox at the William Larsen Sr. Memorial Library at the Magic Castle. This is a terrific unpublished photo of Bess holding a cat. (We love cats!) While Bess owned a variety of pets in her day--everything from parrots to a marmoset named Satan--I've never heard of her owning a cat. This looks to have been taken during her Hollywood days, so maybe just a neighborhood cat. But it's a beauty and so is Bess.

Below is something I shared back in 2013. If you haven't had a listen, you'll want to do so and it's a remarkably intimate account of Bess's death as remembered by her sister Marie, 77 years ago today.

Thank you Joe!



  1. Really charming and unusual photograph of Bess. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks to John and Joe for sharing this unpublished photo! Bess loved animals.

  3. Just listened to Marie's remembrance again; gosh, seemed even sadder to hear this time. Remarkable and wonderful in its intimate details, but tragic for Bess and certainly for Marie as well. Thanks for including it in this post.