Harry gets cozy with the ladies at Lasky Studios

During the making of the Grim Game, Houdini has been photographed at Lasky Studios getting cozy with:

Gloria Swanson,

Houdini and Gloria Swanson Photo from Photoplay September 1919 p102

Ann Forrest,

Ann Forrest 10x8

and the young lady pictured below.

Guess Who I Am

Care to guess who that young lady is?  Next week, I will reveal who that is, along with a very rare photo of the Hollywood starlet being swept off her feet by Houdini at Lasky Studios. You won’t want to miss it.

Gloria Swanson and Houdini at the Lyric in 1924

1924 Gloria Swanson Actress Toledo Theatre Promo CardRare circa 1924 Toledo Ohio promotional advertising card from the old Lyric Theatre that was located on Broadway Near Western.  This advertising card from the theatre features the Great Silent Movie actress of the era GLORIA SWANSON.    The card measures 3 1/2 in by 5 3/8 in.  The Lyric Theatre has long since been gone from Toledo and any material from it is scarce.

Back of Swanson Promo Card - April 1924 Haldane of Secret ServiceOn the back in April of 1924 they were showing Harry Houdini “The Wizard” in the Movie “HALDANE OF SECRET SERVICE”.   It should read HALDANE OF THE SECRET SERVICE; the word THE is missing on the advertising card.  According to the card, HALDANE was a gripping story of International counterfeiters interwoven with delightful romance, miraculous escapes and endless surprises!

See below for other HHCE blog references to Gloria Swanson and Houdini:

See below for a few Gloria Swanson and Houdini photo references in books:

  • J.C. Cannell – The Secrets of Houdini on page 122
  • Doug Henning – Houdini His Legend and His Magic on page 119
  • Kalush and Sloman – The Secret Life of Houdini Laid Bare on page 222

And last but not least, see below for an amazing photo of Gloria Swanson and Mr. and Mrs. Houdini from the Houdini Album of Jon Oliver:

Jon Oliver Collection

Jon Oliver Collection

Houdini Relaxes on Set with Marguerite Marsh Not

The image above is the front and back of card #38 from Houdini: The World’s First Superhero” cards. And once again the image on the right (back of card) is
misidentified.  But instead of misidentifying the actress as Gloria Swanson like William Kalush and Larry Sloman did on page 360 of their book, The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of Americas First Super Hero; the card misidentifies the actress as Marguerite Marsh.  Close, but no cigar.  The actress is not Gloria Swanson or Marguerite Marsh, but Ann Forrest (Houdini’s co-star) from the Grim Game.  Houdini did spend time with Gloria Swanson on the Lasky set, but was never in a movie with her.  See my blog Harry gets cozy with a young Gloria Swanson (and Ann Forrest) at Lasky Studios.  Houdini also cozied up with Margaret Marsh when he made the serial The Master Mystery. As the card above points out, Margaret Marsh played Eva Brent, the imperiled damsel in distress in the Master Mystery.

Houdini cozies up to Marguerite Marsh in The Master Mystery


Harry gets cozy with a young Gloria Swanson (and Ann Forrest) at Lasky Studios

Gloria Swanson

[Photoplay September 1919, page 102]

To Houdini, one rose and one smile, from Gloria Swanson. The handcuff king is making a new serial at the Lasky studios, and Gloria, the gorgeous Demille centerpiece, works there, too.

The following is an excerpt from Kalush,The Secret Life of Houdini, page 358:

Houdini was excited at the prospect of doing features. “I am drifting away from vaudeville, and with the exception of my European dates have no plans re a return”.  Where he was drifting to was Hollywood, where the temperature climate and the chance to rub elbows with other movie stars were appealing to him.  He became friendly with stars like Charlie Chaplin and Fatty Arbuckle and spent time on the Lasky set with a young sultry star named Gloria Swanson.  She sent him an autographed photo (“To Mr. Houdini, Please show me some of your tricks. Most sincerely, Gloria Swanson”) that he kept in one of his scrapbooks.

See page 222 of The Secret Life of Houdini Laid Bare for another publicity photo (i.e., different than Photoplay photo above) of Houdini with Gloria Swanson that is from the collection of Bruce Averbook.

Ann Forrest

The photo below is misidentified on page 360 in earlier releases of The Secret Life of Houdini as Harry gets cozy with a young Gloria Swanson; this photo is actually Houdini and a young Ann Forrest (Houdini’s co-star in The Grim Game).  Houdini appears to be
wearing the same outfit (i.e., suit, tie, shoes, and strawhat) in this photo with Ann Forrest as the photos with Gloria Swanson.