Siegfried Fischbacher, half of the German-born Siegfried & Roy team of magicians who captivated Las Vegas audiences with performances alongside big cats, elephants and other exotic animals, died Wednesday night in his home in Las Vegas. He was 81 years old.
The cause was pancreatic cancer, according to its publicist, Dave Kirvin. His longtime production partner Roy Horn died in May at age 75 from complications from Covid-19.
For a while, the team’s name was almost synonymous with the Las Vegas entertainment industry, with performances combining smoke machines and white tigers, lasers and elephants, sequined costumes, snakes. and illusions of metamorphosis.
The couple quit their decades-long show in October 2003, after Mr. Horn was maimed by a 400-pound white tiger who dragged him off the stage during a packed show at the hotel and casino MGM Mirage. The attack left Mr. Horn with lasting damage to his body, and after spending years recovering, the team made one final appearance with a tiger in February 2009, during a benefit performance for the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas. They retired from show business in 2010.
Mr. Fischbacher and Mr. Horn, who were domestic and professional partners, kept dozens of exotic cats in tropical woodland habitat under glass at the Mirage; at Jungle Paradise, an 88-acre estate outside of town; and the Jungle Palace, their $ 10 million Spanish-style home in Las Vegas.
“The world has lost one of the greatest in magic, but I have lost my best friend,” Mr. Fischbacher said in a statement after Mr. Horn’s death. “From the moment we met I knew Roy and I together were going to change the world. There could be no Siegfried without Roy, and no Roy without Siegfried.
A full obituary will be published shortly.