|Farewell, Dorothy Young
"Houdini's Radio Girl
|Dorothy Young signed this wonderful photo of Houdini and her to my son Kieran. After she
magically appeared inside the Radio 1950 illusion, she danced a wild Charleston.
A few years ago I got a call from an actor I had always admired, but had never met.
Harvey Keitel was about to play Houdini in a film based on the true story of the
Coddingly fairies. He wanted to know if I could spend a bit of time with him and help
him to understand the character of Houdini. Harvey does his homework. He flew me
back to New York where I got him together with Stanley Palm and Dorothy Young.
Harvey wanted to know how Houdini made an entrance, how he moved and spoke.
Dorothy is about the only person left who could actually tell him.
Harvey also asked Stanley and me about Houdini's attitude about kids. Stanley and I
told him about how Houdini and Bess always wanted children, how he played
orphanages and children's homes, and Stanley brought up the occasion in Edinburgh,
Scotland when he bought shoes for every shoeless kid in town who could get to the
theatre between the matinee and the evening shows. That conversation resulted in
the scene in Fairie Tale in which Houdini refuses to denounce the little girls and their
I've got a lot of respect for Harvey. Harvey was a Marine.
|Dorothy Young, Kieran Culliton, and Harvey Keitel