Siegfried Fischbacher, the last surviving member of the magician duo “Siegfried & Roy,” passed away at his Las Vegas home last night at 81 after battling pancreatic cancer.
The legendary performer’s death comes eight months after Roy Horn―his partner for over 50 years―passed away from COVID-19.
While both were accomplished magicians, it was their lions and white tigers that often stole the show.
Hotel magnate Steve Wynn brought the dynamic duo to The Mirage hotel-casino in 1990, where they would continue to perform for 13 years.
The dynamic duo was one of the highest-grossing acts on the Las Vegas Strip for over a decade, generating more than $1 billion in ticket sales according to Forbes.
Siegfried was born in Rosenheim, Germany, on June 13, 1939, and fell in love with magic at an early age after purchasing a magic book as a child.
He would eventually go on to perform magic on the cruise ship TS Bremen, where he met Horn and convinced him to assist him with his performances.
The duo would go on to perform across Europe before coming to Vegas for the first time in 1967.
The two performed a string of prominent Vegas shows including “Folies Bergere,” “Hallelujah Hollywood” and “Lido de Paris,” and eventually rose to widespread international fame as headliners for “Beyond Belief” at the New Frontier Hotel and Casino in 1981.
Despite the success of their show at The Mirage, it came to an end in 2003 when one of their tigers badly injured Horn by dragging him off the stage by his neck.
With the exception of a 2009 charity event for the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute featuring Montecore, the tiger who injured Horn, the pair never performed in front of a Las Vegas audience again. They retired from performing the following year, but would still make occasional public appearances―especially at the Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage.
Upon news of Siegfried’s death, Las Vegas performers including magicians David Copperfield and Penn Jillette reflected on Siegfried’s legacy.
Funeral plans will be private while a public memorial is being planned for the future.