German-born illusionist Siegfried Fischbacher is gone for good: the survivor of the famous magician duo “Siegfried & Roy” died Wednesday evening at his home in Las Vegas from cancer.
Died eight months after his accomplice
Siegfried was 81 years old and will have survived only eight months to his accomplice Roy, who died last May of complications related to Covid-19 at the age of 75, also in Las Vegas, recalls their agent, Dave Kirvin .
After an accident in 2003, Siegfried & Roy made only one new appearance in 2009, before officially retiring the following year.
Born in the town of Rosenheim, Bavaria, in 1939, Siegfried is said to have discovered his vocation as a conjurer as a child, having stumbled upon a book of magic tricks in a shop when he was eight years old.
Spotted in Paris
In the late 1950s, he had met Roy Horn on a cruise ship and they had decided to team up to put on acts with exotic animals, first across Europe, then in Las Vegas. It was in Paris that they were spotted and won their ticket to the gambling capital.
Siegfried Fischbacher’s sister, Dolore, a nun living in Munich, Germany, told US broadcaster NBC that she spoke on the phone Wednesday evening to her brother, who was very weakened by terminal pancreatic cancer, shortly before his death in the domain of “Little Bavaria” that the magician duo owned in Vegas.
“He could only have said ‘OK’,” Dolore said.
Famous thanks to the white tigers, until a serious accident
It was in the world capital of gaming and flashy shows that the two men had enjoyed fame for many years thanks to their numbers featuring wild beasts (notably the famous white tigers) and even elephants, which they made disappear and reappear at will in the astonished eyes of the public.
Siegfried and Roy had started their careers in Las Vegas in 1967 in magazines, before becoming world stars in the 1980s thanks to their extraordinary performances.
The White Tigers were their hallmark and it was with them that they performed with them starting in 1990, sold out almost every night at the famous Mirage Hotel Casino, the largest establishment in Vegas at the time.
But in October 2003, on his 59th birthday, Roy Horn was attacked during a performance by a white Bengal tiger, Mantecore. Seriously injured, he had suffered serious consequences, including loss of mobility and language, and the show could not resume.
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