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Siegfried Fischbacher, Magician of Siegfried & Roy, Dies at 81

Siegfried Fischbacher (left) and Roy Horn. Photo: Peter Bischoff/Getty Images

Magician Siegfried Fischbacher, one half of the Las Vegas performance duo Siegfried & Roy, has died of pancreatic cancer. A spokesperson for Fischbacher confirmed his passing to NBC News on Thursday. Reports of his terminal illness made it into German papers earlier this week. The illusionist died on Wednesday evening at his home in Las Vegas, where he and Roy Horn performed their world-renowned stage show for decades. The duo was famous for their acts with white lions, white tigers, leopards, jaguars, and more until a near-fatal accident in 2003. A 380-pound tiger called Mantecore bit Horn’s neck and dragged him offstage during a performance. His windpipe was crushed and he was left partially paralyzed. In May, the 75-year-old died due to complications from the coronavirus.

Born in Rosenheim, Germany, Fischbacher first met Horn over 60 years ago on a cruise ship, where Fischbacher performed magician and Horn was a steward. In 1989, they began a 14-year run at the Mirage Hotel that cemented their legacy as performers, selling out nightly. “Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend,” Fischbacher said in a statement following Horn’s death. “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.”

Siegfried Fischbacher, of Siegfried & Roy, Dies at 81