Legendary magician Roy Horn died of a 75-year-old coronavirus.
Horn, half of longtime Las Vegas illusionist duo Siegfried & Roy, tested positive for the coronavirus more than a week ago and died today at Mountain View Hospital in Las Vegas due to complications from virus.
His longtime partner Siegfried Fischbacher said in a statement, “Today the world has lost one of the greatest in magic, but I have lost my best friend.
“From the moment we met, I knew that Roy and I, together, were going to change the world. There could be no Siegfried without Roy, and no Roy without Siegfried.
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Roy Horn of Siegfried and Roy, died after being tested positive for COVID-19. He is pictured above playing with a white tiger during the duo’s 15,000th live show in 1996
Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn photographed in 2017 for the benefit of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Nevada
“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 fought heroically against this insidious virus that ultimately killed Roy.
Horn was seriously injured by a tiger during a performance by Siegfried & Roy at the Mirage Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas in 2003.
He was severely injured in the neck, lost a lot of blood, and then suffered a stroke. Horn underwent a long rehabilitation, but the attack put an end to long-term production of the Las Vegas Strip and Horn was left partially paralyzed.
Siegfried, left, and Roy, right, are pictured in 2003 with Montecore, a 600-pound white Bengal tiger
The showmen – born in Germany under the names of Siegfried Fischbacher and Uwe Ludwig Horn – met while working on a cruise ship in 1957.
They made their first appearance in Las Vegas in 1967 and played in several different casinos, eventually becoming the star of the Mirage Resort and Casino in 1990.
Horn was credited with the idea of introducing an exotic animal – his pet cheetah – to the magic act.
The two have become an institution in Las Vegas, where their magic and artistic talent have constantly drawn sold out crowds. The pair performed six shows a week, 44 weeks a year.
When they signed a lifetime contract with the Mirage in 2001, it was estimated that they had given 5,000 shows at the casino for 10 million fans since 1990 and had grossed more than a billion dollars. This adds to thousands of shows in other venues in previous years.
“Throughout Las Vegas ‘history, no artist has contributed more to the development of Las Vegas’ global reputation as the entertainment capital of the world than Siegfried and Roy,” Terry Lanni, president of MGM Mirage, the casino parent company said after the attack.
Siegfried and Roy, born in Germany, with their white tigers and magic illusions were one of the most famous attractions in Vegas, becoming the headliners of the Mirage from 1990 to 2003
The Siegfried & Roy show, including animal antics and magic tricks, included around 20 white tigers and lions, the number varying by night. The show also had other exotic animals, including an elephant.
“Their show is so fast that the viewer only has time to gasp before the next glare,” wrote a critic in 1989 when they brought their number to New York.
“A white car rolls on stage – as Liberace did before – bringing a mother white tiger and three cubs. Roy rides an elephant, which disappears, then reappears. In the end, a 650-pound white tiger climbs to the top of a globe. With Roy on their backs, they are shot in the air. “
“It is a Las Vegas show and it is permanent entertainment. New Yorkers are not too sophisticated for that.
A spectacular later developed for the Mirage began with a flashy script “Star Wars” and Horn and Fischbacher arriving in their own mini space capsules. Another segment had Horn seated atop a 30-foot pyramid that was “destroyed” by an explosion and fire, leaving it levitating above the stage.
The showman was left partially paralyzed and speech impaired following the incident in which he also suffered a stroke. He was seen in hospital after the October 4, 2003 attack
After Horn’s attack in 2003, the duo have always claimed that the cat had hung on to Horn as a means of protecting the artist, after having suffered a stroke and tipped over.
Horn was alone on stage with the tiger who suddenly jumped on him.
Horn, who had turned 59 that day, had never been injured at a show before, “not a scratch, not an animal,” said Bernie Yuman, the pair’s longtime manager, at the time. .
He said he thought Montecore, a 7-year-old man, was distracted by something in the audience and that Horn was trying to calm him down. Horn himself later said that he was passed out and that the tiger was trying to help him by dragging him out of the scene, although animal experts disputed this possibility.
After Siegfried met Roy (pictured in 1983), they trained their animal and magic number and started on boats before moving on to the European nightclub circuit. Once they incorporated tigers, promoter Tony Azzie asked them to come to Las Vegas in 1967
Horn also insisted that the cat “saved his life” by trying to drag him to safety and begged the cat not to be killed.
An investigation by the United States Department of Agriculture explored a variety of theories but could not reach a conclusion on what caused the tiger attack. In its final report, the USDA also said that the producers of the show did not protect the public because there were no barriers separating exotic animals from the crowd.
In October 2006, three years after the attack, Horn and Fischbacher witnessed their induction into the Las Vegas Walk of Stars. Horn’s speech was sometimes slow and walked a bit slowly, but he called the event “a deeply emotional experience.”
Throughout his recovery, Horn continued to make personal appearances and remained fond of fans.
In 2009, the duo returned to the stage for the last time for a performance for the benefit of the Lou Ruvo Center at Cleveland Clinic Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas.
The pair are reportedly working on a biopic that is expected to be released as a multi-part docuseries in 2021.
Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn photographed at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas in 2015. After the 2003 mayhem, Horn was confined to a wheelchair
Masters of illusion: Siegfried and Roy have presented their show in Las Vegas more than 30,000 times
Siegfried and Roy, photographed in 1976 with Hollywood star Elizabeth Taylor, are believed to be working on a biopic to be released as a film series in 2021
Since Roy was mutilated, Siegfried had devoted his time and energy to ensuring that his showbusiness partner and his best friend were recovering.
After being caught by the throat by his beloved tiger on stage, Roy was told that he would no longer walk, speak or perform magic.
But he challenged every chance of making a remarkable recovery, despite having a part of his brain cut, suffering from a crushed windpipe and being partially paralyzed, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
After a series of 30,000 shows that have been watched by up to 400,000 people each year, the showmen decided to withdraw from their Las Vegas production after the 2003 attack.
Horn was left with partial paralysis on the left side of his body and was confined to a wheelchair most of the time. The pair are photos here in October 2002
Entertainment was ahead of its time for Las Vegas and came before large-scale shows became a staple on the Strip.
“It’s family entertainment. This is what we started, “said Fischbacher in an interview with Las Vegas Weekly in 2013.
“These are great production shows now, but yes, we came from nowhere. And when The Mirage became such a success, Steve Wynn knew how important entertainment was, and he knew how important Siegfried & Roy was. The show was sold out every night from first to last.
Producer Kenneth Feld of Feld Entertainment told ABC on September 20/20: “It was probably the most expensive show in the history of the world when it was built.
Siegfried details his trip from Rosenheim, Germany to Las Vegas on his website.
He built his career from a $ 2 magic book, which caught his eye in 1947, before starting to perform laps on the liner TS Bremen.
After meeting Roy, they trained their animal and magic number and started on boats before moving on to the European disco circuit.
After they incorporated tigers, promoter Tony Azzie asked them to come to Las Vegas in 1967.
The illusionists became popular in the 1970s, receiving their first star in 1978 as headliners at Stardust’s Lido de Paris. Their show “Beyond Belief” opened its doors in 1981 at the Frontière and has performed for thousands of people over seven years.
For more than 20 years, they have been kings of the Gaza Strip earning tens of millions of dollars.
When Horn and Fischbacher became American citizens in 1988, a delighted Horn said, “Being American means everything we believe in. “
Horn hand fed a premature white lion cub, starting with a pipette. But when a cub was donated to a zoo, Horn said he was heartbroken.
“When you like something, the hardest part is letting it go,” he said. “But that’s what Siegfried and Roy do. We live our dreams and we fulfill our destiny. “
They returned to the stage in February 2009 for what was presented as their one and only return performance, to raise funds for the new Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas.
The brief performance, which included Montecore, became the basis for an episode of the ABC 20/20 television show.
A year later, Siegfried & Roy officially retired from show business.
In 2019, the two appeared together as surprise guests at Keep Memory Alive’s 23rd annual Power of Love Gala in Vegas.
The funeral will be private, with a public memorial planned.