Help finding Houdini & showgirl story

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby JohnCox » 12/06/10 11:43 AM

So there is this story of how Houdini was spotted exiting a theater with an attractive red-haired showgirl. Bess got wind of it and staked out the backstage door, and when Houdini and the redhead appeared, she gave them both hell. I believe Houdini said he was just escorting her home in this rough neighborhood.

I thought this was a pretty common story and I thought it first appeared in Kellock, but for the life of me I can't find it. I feel like it's sometimes told in conjunction with the "Bessie on the knee of the Colonel" story. I've searched Kalush and Solman electronically (found Colonel story, but not this) and have scanned Silverman, Brandon, Christopher, Gresham and Weltman, but can't seem to find this anywhere. But I know I've read it!

Does anyone know what I'm talking about? Do you know which book it's in? This is for an article on my blog, but I don't want to post until I've checked my facts.

Thanks.
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Postby Eric Fry » 12/06/10 05:33 PM

Gresham. Pg 27 in the hardback.
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Postby JohnCox » 12/06/10 06:11 PM

Ah, excellent! Thank you, Eric.
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Postby houdini's ghost » 12/06/10 07:58 PM

Finding it in Gresham!
That's worse than not finding it at all!
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Postby JohnCox » 12/06/10 08:32 PM

Believe it or not, Gresham actually sources this story. It came from Bessie herself (via Jerry Anderson of The Linking Ring).

Perhaps this happened while she on the way home from getting her acid-stained dress cleaned. ;)
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Postby JohnCox » 12/07/10 08:02 PM

Here's my finished article. Some fact, some gossip, and some scandalous speculation. :p

The illicit loves of Harry Houdini
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Postby JohnCox » 12/07/10 11:35 PM

I agree most of these stories are dubious -- except for Charmain London. There's pretty much a smoking gun there. And there was something going on between HH and Milla Barry. We have that from Houdini's own mouth. But whether that was a physical affair...who knows. I tend to think he's clean in that one.

But the stories are fun. Gossip is fun. And I think the tone of the article makes it clear that I'm not taking these all that seriously.

I will make up for this sorted story with a nice original pic from my collection at the end of the week.
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Postby JohnCox » 12/08/10 04:04 PM

Hey, where did "Knowledge Box" go? My post above was in answer to his post questioning the veracity of these stories. Now it's gone. ???

Just letting you know I'm not just talking to myself here. Or am I?
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/08/10 04:05 PM

? was this thread redacted in some way?
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Postby JohnCox » 12/08/10 04:51 PM

I don't know. I did notice this "Knowledge Box" (I think that was the name) had just registered and this was, so far, his/her only post. Made an interesting point about Dunninger, and even said he knew someone who knew Houdini well. (!)
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Postby Leonard Hevia » 12/09/10 07:27 AM

Hi John--I really like your Wild About Harry Blog. Since this thread is about Houdini and women, I'd like to point out an error in the new Houdini Art and Magic book that was recently published. The caption under the photo on page 16 says Houdini with Mina Crandon a.k.a. Margery.

Nonsense. The lady standing next to Houdini is Ann Benninghoffen. She was known as the "Mother Medium." Whoever wrote that caption should have known better.
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Postby JohnCox » 12/09/10 10:56 AM

Thanks Leonard. Glad you're enjoying the blog.

Yep, you're right, that is whopper of a mistake in Art and Magic.
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