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BornBernhard Eskilsen
DiedApril 22, 1946

Bernardi (1902-1946) was a Swedish escape artist who started preforming after Houdini's death. His wife "Miss Hilden" (Hildegard Neureiter) worked as an assistant and also perform escapes.[1]


In 1927, he began working under the name of Bernardi at an amusement park in Stockholm doing a combination contortion-escape act.

In the spring of 1929, Bernardi bought a lion, which he worked into the act by making it serve as an apparent threat as he was thrown, fully bound, into its cage. But he eventually lost everything in a fire.

He then started working as the mysterious "Mr. Bosco, the Man with the Mask" doing an escape act while masked.

In 1942, during the war, he developed a "living sculpture" presentation and toured Hungary, Rumania, and Yugoslavia. By 1944, after the war, Bernardi was back to doing escapes, performing for a circus in Denmark.

Bernardi died during publicity stunt for the opening of the new show season at Ronne, Denmark in which he was thrown into a river while shackled inside a sack that was set on fire. The coroner discovered that he had pre-existing heart problem. His stunt aggravated the condition, producing a clot, which traveled to his brain and killed him.


  1. Conjuring by James Randi (1992)