LAS VEGAS (NBC NEWS) – Siegfried Fischbacher, half of the world-famous Las Vegas magic and entertainment act Siegfried & Roy, died of cancer eight months after the death of his long-term business partner Roy Horn. He was 81.
A spokesperson for Fischbacher told NBC News on Thursday that the renowned illusionist died on Wednesday evening at his home in Las Vegas from pancreatic cancer.
Horn died of Covid-19 complications in May at age 75.
The duo, who were internationally known for their work with big cats, put on Las Vegas shows for decades — until Horn was critically injured in a near-fatal accident that put a stop to their long-running production.
In 2003, a 380-pound tiger, Mantecore, bit Horn’s neck and dragged him off the stage during a show at the Mirage Las Vegas. The attack crushed his windpipe and left the then-60-year-old partially paralyzed.
The two met more than 60 years ago on a cruise ship, where Horn was a steward and Siegfried was a magician, according to a previous statement from the act’s publicity firm. Horn helped Siegfried with his act, and the rest was history.
The pair hit the Vegas strip in 1967 and, in 1989, started a 14-year run at the Mirage that transformed the duo into a singular tourism draw. Their $30 million production at the hotel sold out nightly, according to the statement.
The pair used a collection of animals onstage that included white tigers, white lions, leopards, jaguars and an elephant.
When Fischbacher caught wind of Horn’s passing, he shared a few parting words: “From the moment we met, I knew Roy and I, together, would change the world. There could be no Siegfried without Roy, and no Roy without Siegfried.”