|This Page: 20 Who Died
1500's To The Present
|Succeeded & Lived From 1900||Click here: injured by the Bullet Catch|
|Killed by a faulty trick gun used in the Bullet Catch. In London at Wood Green Empire Theatre March 23, 1918, he was doing the bullet catch trick, his most popular act, "Condemed to Death by the Boxers". He didn't have the gun cleaned out properly. This caused a buildup of gun powder in the lower ramrod tube, which gave it enough force to fire the bullet into his chest. Breaking character, speaking english on stage for the first time, he said "Oh my God, bring down the curtan. Something has happened." He died the next day in the hospital, March 24. Houdini's birthday! In the film The Prestige he's played by Chao-Li Chi, & is Colin Firth's, alter ego Wei Ling-soo in Woody Allen's Magic in the Moonlight.|
EARLY BULLET CATCH CAUGHT ON FILM
|Coulen ( Couleu ) of Lorraine (1500s) Possibly the inventor of the bullet catch. Beaten to death in France by an angry assistant in 1613, with the butt of his own trick pistol. He did the Bullet Catch, catch in his hand. |
This is the oldest known reference we could find from the book "The Theatre of Gods judgements wherein is represented the admirable justice of God against all notorious sinners" written by Jean Chassanion in 1581 translated by Thomas Beard (1576-1632) in 1597."It is not long since there was in Lorraine a certaine man called Coulen, that was over much given to this cursed Art: amongst whose tricks this was one to be wondred at; that he would suffer harquebuses or pistols to be shot at him, & catch their bullets in his hand without receiving any hurt: but upon a certain time one of his servants being angry with him, hit him such a knock with a pistol (notwithstanding all his great cunning) that he killed him therewith."
Houdini Article on the BulletCatch for MUM
|RALF BIALLA (1975) In the 1950s the German magician performed the bullet catch, for a salary of 2.000 DM a day. He wore bullet-proof glasses, steel gloves on his hands with which he covered parts of his face, & his front teeth were made of steel. A .22 rifle was fired, & the bullet had to go through three glass panes before Bialla caught it with his teeth. He was seriously wounded nine times, but survived. He was portrayed in the 1972 documentary film "Wer schieŖt auf Ralf Bialla?". An eccentric magician, who was billed as The Living Target. He had performed the trick over 3,000 times, a feat he attributed not only to his skill but to a set of steel teeth he had beneath his dentures. In Bialla's version of the trick, the bullet was fired through three panes of glass then into his mouth via a funnel he made with his hands, clad in steel gloves. Reportedly, one of the long-term effects of catching all those bullets was that he had problems that caused him to black out. After recovering from an injury in 1975, he went for a stroll in the mountains. While admiring scenery over a cliff, he blacked out & fell to his death, supposedly because of constant dizzyness caused by the injuries from bullet catching act. As with many who do this it could have been a suicide.|
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