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The Forgotten Houdini

Harry Houdini became the most famous escape artist and magician in the world, but who remembers his brother Theo Hardeen? Theo was an accomplished escape artist in his own right, and was even ahead of Harry Houdini in some measures of the art. The brothers worked together as teenagers, but it was a woman who came between them.

They soon took their took their act on the road, and toured to Coney Island, where Theo began courting Beatrice, a young perfomer in a vaudeville act called The Floral Sisters. This Beatrice would later become Bess Houdini, aka Harry’s long time wife and future worldwide sensation. Within a month, they were married, and Bess quickly usurped Theo’s place in the traveling show.

That doesn't mean the brothers were estranged, or even separated for any length of time. Theo had his own successful stage career even as he was eclipsed by his brother, and his life later intertwined with Harry's in several ways. Read the story of Theo Hardeen at Messy Nessy Chic.


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