- Associated Press - Thursday, March 24, 2011

TINTON FALLS, N.J (AP) - Dorothy Young, the last surviving stage assistant of illusionist Harry Houdini and an accomplished dancer, has died. She was 103.

Young’s death was announced Wednesday by Drew University, where she was a prominent donor and patron of the arts. Drew spokesman Dave Muha said Young died Sunday at her home in a Tinton Falls, N.J., retirement community.

Young joined Houdini’s company as a teenager after attending an open casting call during a family trip to New York. During her year with Houdini’s stage show in the mid-1920s, she played the role of “Radio Girl of 1950,” emerging from a large mock-up of a radio and performing a dance routine.

Young went on to become a professional dancer, performing in several movies. She also published a novel inspired by her career.