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Theodore Hardeen

Theodore Hardeen

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(Budapest, Hungary [not Appleton, Wisconsin, as he claimed]: 29th February 1876 - 12th June 1945) Stage name of Theodore W. "Theo" "Dash" Weiss (born Ferencz Deszo Weisz). Immigrated to USA in 1878 [not 1874] with mother and siblings. Learned assisting older brother Houdini. Adopted "Harden" in 1900 when left the Houdini Brothers to take his own act on the road but later that year modified it to "Hardeen", which he kept.

Pro escape artist. Toured Europe c1900-c1907. According to Dawes, Hardeen was first to appreciate potential of straitjacket escape in full view. Hired by Houdini, he headed Houdini's unsuccessful Film Development Corporation that produced newsreels and feature films 1922-1926, leaving the stage for that period. SAM President 1929-30. Did the magic act in Olson & Johnson's Hellzapoppin' Broadway comedy show in the early 1940s.

Wrote The Life and History of Hardeen: 20 Years of an Eventful Career on the Stage [c1926]. NOTE: Manny Weltman was first to establish from birth records the true place and month and day of Hardeen's birth, which he published in Houdini: Escape into Legend (1993). Ronald Hilgert's study of ship records had correctly implied his birth in Hungary.

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Theodore Hardeen
The Life and History of Hardeen: 20 Years of an Eventful Career on the Stage by Theodore Hardeen

Includes news stories and photos from Hardeen's life as an escape artist. Plus some handcuff secrets and a couple of tricks are explained.

  • Theo. Weiss Hardeen
    • Chief Of Police Stirling Baffled
    • The Murderous Insane Strait-Jacket Challenge
    • Hardeen Appears Before A Mighty Audience Of Eighty Thousand People
    • King Oscar Of Sweden Sees Hardeen
    • Klaw And Erlanger Engage Hardeen
    • Hardeen Jumps Heavily Manacled Into The Ohio River From The 18th Street Bridge, A Distance Of Sixty Feet, Into Six Feet Of Water, And Releases Himself While Under Water
    • Lives Of Thousands Of People Jeopardized
    • Hardeen...
$8
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