October 3rd marked ten years since Roy Horn—of Siegfried and Roy fame—was bitten onstage by one of the white tigers used in his famed Las Vegas act. Along with partner (in every sense of the word) Siegfried Fischbacher, Horn recently sat down with Las Vegas Weekly to discuss what life has been like since “the incident,” which permanently brought down the curtain on their show.
“The news about my death has been greatly exaggerated,” said Horn, who had to have 25 % of his skull removed. “I feel I am a very good-looking corpse… Pain is my best friend. I have to live with it. [But] I am doing pretty well. I am a little bit handicapped, but I’m not an invalid. I can do a lot of things. I can walk, I can go swimming, I can go to the gym, I can go shopping.”
Throughout Horn’s recovery, Fischbacher has been by his side, and the love between them has grown. “He cheers me up,” Fischbacher said. “He shows me how to live. He tells me how to live. He is not just sitting in a corner. He says to me, ‘Do not worry about what you don’t have; enjoy everything that you do have.’”
Currently, the couple lives on a sprawling 100-acre estate in Las Vegas called Little Bavaria, which includes an animal kingdom that houses many of the duo’s pets, including, at times, Montecore, the tiger who bit Horn.
“I had high blood pressure at that time (of the accident),” Horn explained. “And because of the energy level of the show, I got excited and passed out onstage and fell, unfortunately… Montecore looked at me with his big blue eyes and was confused, and so he picked me up by the neck. He brought me to the side so he could attend to me… But we need to rectify—he never attacked me. If a tiger attacks you, you are finished.”
Moving forward, the duo plans to enjoy each other’s company and the spoils of the empire they ran for nearly 40 years. They have no intention of returning to performing or producing other people’s shows, because, as Horn put it, “life is our stage now.”