Harry Houdini (Erich Weiss)

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Budapest, Austria-Hungary
The great American escape artist and magician Houdini (immortalized by a memorable performance by Tony Curtis in the eponymous 1953 film) was born Erich Weiss on March 24, 1874 in Budapest, Hungary, though he often gave his birthplace as Appleton, Wisconsin, where he was raised. One of five brothers and one daughter born to rabbi Samuel Weiss and his wife Cecilia, the future Houdini was four years old when his parents emigrated to the U.S., where Weiss, as "Harry Houdini", became one of the major celebrities of the first age dominated by the mass media. Read more...