Among magicians, Houdini continues to reign supreme in the public consciousness. In the nearly 90 years since his untimely death, he has been the subject of biographies, feature films, and TV mini-series. He continues to be remembered as the greatest magician of all time.
Except he wasn’t.
Harry Houdini was many things:
- the greatest escape artist of all time,
- Legendary showman, and
- A tireless self-promotor.
- Aviation pioneer (no… really!)
But the greatest magician? No. (His contemporary Thurston was better by far.)
Harry Houdini wasn’t the greatest magician; he was something more. Harry was the greatest living star in the world. He got newspaper headlines, starred in silent movies, and was copied and imitated all around the world. Even after his death, his name remained synonymous with magic and escape.
Houdini WAS magic. He was Merlin. And he’ll be remembered long after we’re gone.
Tonight and tomorrow, the History Channel is airing a new miniseries based on the amazing life of Harry Houdini, starring Oscar-winner Adrien Brody. You can read about it here. It’s one of many Houdini projects in the works, and I hope it continues to fan the flames of magic.
I’ll be watching.