Louie Traub / AP
Roy Horn magician and animal trainer from legendary Las Vegas duo Siegfied and Roy, died on Friday of complications related to COVID-19. Horn tested positive last week. He was 75 years old.
“The world has lost one of the magic greats, but I have lost my best friend,” Siegfried Fischbacher said of his partner in a statement.
“Roy has been a fighter all his life, including the past few days. I sincerely thank the team of doctors, nurses and staff at Mountain View Hospital who worked heroically against this insidious virus that ultimately killed Roy. “
Roy Horn was born in Germany in 1944. He and Siegfried started their act in Las Vegas in 1967. In 1989, they started a 14-year race at the Mirage Resort performing illusions with exotic animals, causing tigers to disappear and reappear , lions and even elephants. .
In October 2003, Roy Horn was playing with a 400-pound white tiger named Mantecore when the big cat grabbed him by the throat in front of a dumbfounded audience and dragged him off the stage. Horn suffered a stroke and paralysis.
The United States Department of Agriculture investigated the incident and produced a 233-page report. But that didn’t determine why the tiger acted the way it did. As the USDA spokesperson, Jim Rogers, told Steve Inskeep of NPR in 2005, “We are trying to understand why animals in this situation can turn on a trainer … There have been cases in the past where c was something as simple as someone who turned their back on an animal or changed a costume without allowing the animal to become familiar with it. In this case, I do not believe there is any reason why we decided that the animal was turning on Mr. Horn. “
Horn survived and partially recovered, returning to the stage with the same cat for a performance in 2010. He insisted that the tiger reacted to the blow and acted to save it, not vice versa. A statement from the duo’s publicist indicates that Roy referred to Mantecore as “my lifeline.”
Siegfried Fischbacher said on Friday, “Roy’s whole life has been about defying the odds.”