Last Houdini Assistant Dies at 103

It’s hard to believe that anyone who shared the stage with the great magician, Harry Houdini, could have died just last week. Dorothy Young was 17 when she first went on stage with Houdini and his wife in 1925. She toured with his show, participating in some of his greatest magic acts–Radio Girl, slave girl to butterfly–but only for a year and a half, because Houdini died in 1926 of a ruptured appendix. She had promised him she would never reveal any of his secrets and, for over 85 years, she kept her word. 

After Houdini’s death, Dorothy continued in show business for many years as a dancer, touring with her husband and later appearing in a movie with Fred Astaire. According to the New York Times, she had talked with Houdini about returning from the dead. He told her, “It’s humanly impossible, but I’ll be there in spirit.” She occasionally attended seances sponsored by Houdini fans and other magicians, but Houdini never made an appearance.

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