Houdini Trivia

Did you know these facts about Houdini?

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Houdini was not born in the United States, but in Budapest, Hungary.

Houdini had five brothers and a sister, but had no children of his own.

Houdini was probably sterile; he was often the volunteer for his physician brother's experiments with X-rays.

Houdini (born Erich Weiss) took his stage name in honor of French magician Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, but later wrote the book The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin, and exposed many of the great magician's methods.

Houdini was a movie producer and actor, a magician, an escape artist and an exposer of fraudulent mediums.

Houdini was one of the first people to pilot an airplane in Australia, and he held a U.S. patent for a diving suit.

Houdini was the star of a very early motion picture, a French film made in 1901 by cinema pioneer Charles Pathé.

Houdini owned his own movie studio, the Houdini Pictures Corporation.

Houdini was the one who gave Joseph "Buster" Keaton his memorable name.

Houdini became the most famous escape artist of all time, but he was not double-jointed, as is sometimes reported. He was, however, an exercise enthusiast and was exceptionally physically fit.

Houdini served as president of the Society of American Magicians from 1917 until his death in 1926; no other person has served for more than one year to this day.

Houdini used the pen name " N. Osey" when he acted as Overseas Correspondent for the magazine Mahatma. N. Osey = Nosey. Get it?

Houdini's house in New York City is still standing, and still sports the custom inlaid floor tiles with Houdini's HH initials.

By 1921, Houdini's name was such a household word that Funk and Wagnall's New Dictionary turned his name into a verb, "Houdinize", which was defined as "to release or extricate oneself from confinement, bonds or the like, as by wriggling out."

Houdini did not die while performing the Water Torture Cell illusion, but died of peritonitis from a ruptured appendix (the same condition that killed movie star Rudolph Valentino).

Houdini died in Grace Hospital in Detroit on Halloween.

Houdini's body was transported back to New York City in his stage show coffin, the prop that he was planning to use during his next tour. The featured illusion was to be called Buried Alive.

The Broken Wand ceremony was conducted for the first time at Houdini's grave on November 4, 1926. It is a tradition that still continues today.

Houdini is the invited guest at séances held every Halloween, the anniversary of his death.

Houdini's brother, Hardeen, was a Leap Year Centennial baby- he was born on February 29, 1876, one hundred years after the Declaration of Independence.

Houdini is still today one of the ten most recognized celebrity names in the world.

Houdini has been given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.