New Science Channel Series About Harry Houdini Reveals Life Of The Magician

By Mark Brodie, Steve Goldstein
Published: Friday, January 11, 2019 - 10:29am
Updated: Friday, January 11, 2019 - 2:54pm

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George Hardeen
George Hardeen
George Hardeen stands next to a photo of his great uncle, Harry Houdini.

A new show on the Science Channel called “Houdini’s Last Secrets” includes a professional magician, a stunt builder and an unexpected host.

"My sister found some mail addressed to Harry Houdini Hardeen," said George Hardeen. "And this was unusual because my dad always went by Harry H. Hardeen. And we said 'dad, what’s this all about?' And that’s when we were told the story that we were related to the world’s greatest magician."

George Hardeen lives in Page, Arizona, and we should add he is not a magician. He works in public relations for SRP, but recently he’s been filming on the set of the show about his great-uncle’s secrets, a four-part series airing each Sunday in January.

Now some budding magicians might watch the show thinking all of Houdini’s secrets will be revealed.

"We’re not really doing that," said Hardeen. "We’re coming up with our own escapes. And they are certainly not as good as anything Houdini created himself."

Hardeen says his great-uncle kept a lot close to the vest — and we’re not just talked about his arms strapped to his chest in a straitjacket.

Houdini didn’t want the inner workings of his feats to be revealed, and if he suspected a magician was copying him, he used a decidedly non-magical method of handling it.

He’d go to court. He did not want people doing what he was doing. And, consequently, he would invent more difficult and more elaborate escapes. That led to such things as the water torture escape.

Houdini’s original water torture chamber burned up in a fire, if you can believe it. But that didn’t stop magician Lee Terbosic from attempting an escape from a recreated chamber, in which he is suspended in shackles upside down in the water.

We won’t give away the end here, but we will say Lee sticks around for a few more episodes.

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