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Harry Houdini (born Erik Weisz, later Ehrich Weiss or Harry Weiss; March 24, 1874 – October 31, 1926) was an Austrian-Hungarian-born American stunt performer, noted for his sensational escape acts. He first attracted notice as Harry Handcuff Houdini, on a tour of Europe, where he would sensationally challenge different police-forces to try to keep him locked up. This revealed a talent for gimmickry and for audience involvement that would characterise all his work. Soon he was extending his repertoire to include chains, ropes slung from skyscrapers, straitjackets under water, and having to hold his breath inside a sealed milk-can.
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