Harry August Jansen (October 3, 1883 – June 15, 1955 was a Danish-born entertainer who became the world-renowned magician DANTE.
Performing first as "Jansen the Magician", he gained some fame and success as a young magician, touring the world five times.
He actually caught the attention of Howard Thurston, one of the most successful American magicians at the time.
Shrewdly realizing that Jansen was about to become major competition for him, Thurston hired Jansen to tour as the lead in a second unit Thurston show.
Thurston renamed him "DANTE THE GREAT", and in 1925, Dante the Magician Inc. was launched with Thurston as co-owner.
Dante and his troupe, consisting of between 25 and 40 performers, made several global trips and appeared in many U.S. theaters, in movies and eventually on television.
His stage trademark conjuring phrase, instead of "Abracadabra", was "Sim Sala Bim", taken from a Danish fairy tale from his childhood.
Though he was active on fim and TV in its early days, Dante's true passion was stage performance.
By the early 1940s, the "Golden Age" of the big traveling magic stage extravaganzas had passed.
Dante retired in the early 1940s, coming out of retirement occasionally to do performances like this one in the movie BUNKO SQUAD, where he plays- himself!
Watch the ENTIRE movie right here!
Synopsis of the film from IMDb:
Police sergeants Johnson (Robert Sterling) and McManus (Douglas Fowley) take on Los Angeles confidence tricksters. Con man Tony Wells (Ricardo Cortez), lining up rich widow Jessica Royce (Elisabeth Risdon) as his latest mark, sets up a false paranormal society with other charlatans to convince the credulous Jessica that her late son is speaking to her through their sham seances. When the plan leads to murder, Johnson and McManus must bring the group down before they kill again.