Houdini: His Legend and His Magic Part Three

The following represents some of the best items in the book in terms candid shots of Houdini and Bess, formal portraits, and newspaper coverage of Houdini’s death in 1926. It’s also refreshing to see Bess and Harry as they really were on vacation and away from the spotlight. Upon seeing them for the first time as…

Houdini: His Legend and His Magic Part Two

The following items represent not only a personal and very touching introduction from Doug to his parents, but many rare documents and photos from Houdini’s early and formative years. As with all legends, Houdini didn’t sprout fully formed and these pictures and clippings give us a very unique insight into this time in his life. …

Correction!

Hey Everyone! Before we get to the next post, I wanted to share a correction that was sent to me regarding how Doug obtained the items featured in “Houdini: His Legend and His Magic.” The real facts, such as these, can get muddled though various sources, accounts, and years. So, I’ll leave it to expert…

Houdini: His Legend and His Magic Book

For the rest of the week I’m going to rightfully be focusing on the classic Doug Henning and Charles Reynolds book “Houdini: His Legend and his Magic.” The book, originally published in 1977, is widely considered one of the most thorough and personal books ever published on Houdini. The reason for this lies in its…

Spellbound Pamphlet!

Today is a first for “The Doug Henning Project” as I am featuring an item from my own collection. While I can no way lay claim to some of the amazing Doug-related items I’ve seen in private collections, this simple pamphlet is special in what it would eventually become. “Spellbound” was Doug’s vision for a…

People Magazine Interview: Part Three

After Falling Under the Spell of Wife Debby, Doug Henning Hopes to Charm Broadway Again (Part.3) He stuck with magic. In 1973, he borrowed $5,000 from his mother and, with a friend, launched a rock musical-cum-magic show called Spellbound in Toronto. That led to his role in The Magic Show. Though one critic hailed him…

People Magazine Interview: Part Two

After Falling Under the Spell of Wife Debby, Doug Henning Hopes to Charm Broadway Again (Part.2) “My friends said there was practically a flash of light,” says Henning, 35. “I had never felt anything like it in my whole life.” The dazzler was Debby Douillard, 27, an abstract painter with bottomless blue eyes who was…

People Magazine Interview: Part One

In doing some online research I came across this fascinating article from the December 20, 1982 issue of “People” magazine. The interview is notable for two reasons. For one it was written as “Merlin” was just about to open on Broadway, and the other being that it delves into Doug’s new marriage to Debby Douillard (Henning) and the…

Coming to Providence!

I love this vintage 1986 commercial not only for its obvious camp value, but for the fact that it gives you a glimpse into Doug’s touring productions and promotions. It’s a great commercial in the sense that it’s most likely one of a few he used as he moved from town to town. It’s also…

Houdini’s Magic Magazine: Pictures

What a treat these pictures are! Flipping through the magazine, I was taken aback at how rare some of these shots are, especially of “The Magic Show” itself.  For those with an eagle-eye, yes that is not Doug in the title role. By that point Doug had left the show for greener television and touring…

Houdini’s Magic Magazine

To round out another great week I’m going to be featuring Doug’s appearance in the August, 1977 issue of “Houdini’s Magic Magazine.” The magazine itself ran from August 1977 to March 1978, and in that time it featured many of the top magic stories and artists of the day. Doug was no exception, and the history…

Close Encounters of the Doug Kind: Part Three

“The date was October 9th, 1985. This was after a show they did at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio, Texas, outside the stage door. I asked one of his crew after the show if I might meet Doug and get his autograph. The guy very snobily said “Mr. Henning sees no one at any…

Close Encounters of the Doug Kind: Part Two

Today’s story comes from Thom Tyre of Tsawwassen, B.C., It paints a rare picture of a young Doug in his high school years.  “I went to high school with Doug (OTHS) and we were attending a teen house party with a number of friends. Doug offered to do a couple of illusions, and I volunteered to…

Close Encounters of the Doug Kind

One of the great parts of running this website are the stories I have been sent via e-mail or Facebook from people that knew Doug. These first hand accounts really open him up in a way that magazine articles, You Tube clips, or books can not.  So, for part of the week I’d like to…

Vault Treasures: Part Two

Welcome back for a just as exciting Part 2 as we continue to look at Steve Zigmont’s collection featuring many items from Doug’s famed NBC specials. Enjoy!

Vault Treasures: Part One

Not long ago retired magician and current effects specialist Steve Zigmont was generous enough to share with me pictures from his extensive collection of “Henning-ana!” Is that a word? Well, it is now. So, if you’ve ever wondered where some of Doug most priceless costumes, props, and posters ended up you are in for a…

Tell Your Stories!

Since starting this website I’ve had many people write me with their personal recollections of meeting Doug. I’ve even been sent many rare and unpublished photos. So, all this has made me think that “The Doug Henning Project” should devote a future week to people’s Doug stories. So, do you have a personal story to…

Merlin Mania!

What you are about to see are two very rough, but very cool commercials for the original production of  “Merlin! As mentioned before, Merlin was Doug’s 1982 follow-up to “The Magic Show.” Directed by his old college mate Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Stripes, Twins), the show boasted huge production values and illusions. Starring in the title role, Doug led…