LAS VEGAS (CelebrityAccess) — Roy Horn, one half of the famed Las Vegas Entertainment partnership Siegfried & Roy, has died. He was 75.
According to the Los Vegas Review-Journal, a spokesperson for the duo said that Roy died on Friday at MountainView Hospital from complications related to COVID-19.
“Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend,” Siegfried Fischbacher said in a statement provided to the Review-Journal. “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.
“Roy was a fighter his whole life, including during these final days. I give my heartfelt appreciation to the team of doctors, nurses and staff at MountainView Hospital who worked heroically against this insidious virus that ultimately took Roy’s life.”
The duo rose to fame with a long-running stage show at the theater at Mirage which blended magic with big cats such as lions and tigers. The show ran from 1990 until 2003 when in a horrific onstage accident, Roy Horn was mauled by one of the animals.
Horn spent the next decade in rehabilitation, recovering from injuries sustained during the attack.
Born Uwe Ludwig Horn in Nordenham, Germany in 1944, a family friend of Horn’s was the founder of the Bremen Zoo and provided Horn with his first introduction to exotic animals.
After leaving school at 13, he became a waiter on a cruise ship where he met his future partner Siegfried Fischbacher and launched a performance career.
The duo became popular performers on the European nightclub circuit before they relocated to Las Vegas in 1967.
In 1981, Ken Feld of Irvin & Kenneth Feld Productions launched Beyond Belief show with Fischbacher and Horn as headliners at the New Frontier Hotel and Casino.
Wynn then brought the duo to the Mirage in 1990, creating a lavish stage production that cost a reported $30 million to produce and reinvented the concept of entertainment in Las Vegas.
At the 5,000-capacity Mirage, Siegfried and Roy would headline 5,750 performances before the accident in 2003.
Longtime Manager Bernie Yuman, told the Review-Journal “Their arrival was the beginning of a new era. They were doing 12 shows a week, sometimes up to 16 shows a week, because of the demand of families coming into Las Vegas. It got to the point that if you went to Las Vegas, you had to see Siegfried & Roy in the same way you had to see the Statue of Liberty when you went to New York.”
Following the accident, the duo returned to the stage for one final show in 2009 as a benefit for the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute and retired from performing in 2010.
The attack, which saw a seven-year-old white tiger named Mantacore pin Roy to the floor and then drag him offstage by his neck, left the performer with a severed spine and multiple severe injuries.
He also suffered a stroke before or during the attack. The duo maintained that the tiger dragged Roy off stage to protect him after he suffered the stroke, but that account has been disputed by the show’s animal trainer.
Following the attack, Siegfried Fischbacher became a caregiver for Horn, according to The Hollywood Reporter and the pair lived at Little Bavaria, an estate in Las Vegas.