Legendary magician Roy Horn has died from coronavirus aged 75.
Horn, one half of the longtime Las Vegas illusionist duo Siegfried & Roy, had tested positive for coronavirus more than a week ago and died Friday at Mountain View Hospital in Las Vegas due to complications from the virus.
Siegfried Fischbacher, his longtime performance and domestic partner, said in a statement: ‘Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend.
‘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 Mountain View Hospital who worked heroically against this insidious virus that ultimately took Roy’s life.’
Horn was left partially paralyzed and using a wheelchair after being attacked by a 400-pound white Bengal tiger named Montecore during a Siegfried & Roy performance at The Mirage hotel-casino in Las Vegas in 2003.
He had severe neck injuries, lost a lot of blood and later suffered a stroke. Horn underwent lengthy rehabilitation, but the attack ended the long-running Las Vegas Strip production.
The showmen – born in Germany as Siegfried Fischbacher and Uwe Ludwig Horn – met one another while working on a cruise ship in 1957.
Siegfried details his journey 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 out performing tricks on the TS Bremen liner.
After meeting Roy, they formed their animal and magic act and started on boats before moving to the European nightclub circuit.
Once they incorporated tigers, promoter Tony Azzie asked them to come to Las Vegas in 1967. Horn was credited with the idea of introducing an exotic animal – his pet cheetah – to the magic act.
The illusionists became popular in the 1970s, receiving their first star billing in 1978 as headliners of the Stardust´s ‘Lido de Paris.’ Their show ‘Beyond Belief’ opened in 1981 at the Frontier and played to thousands over seven years, ultimately becoming the headlining act at the Mirage Resort and Casino in 1990.