COVID-19 has claimed another casualty: Roy Horn, the tiger-loving magician. Alongside his professional and life partner Siegfried Fischbacher, Horn performed under the moniker Siegfried & Roy and became Las Vegas icons.
Born and raised in Germany, Horn grew up with a love for animals, in particular big cats. He and Fischbacher met while working on a cruise ship, and began doing magic together. Their act caught the eye of a producer, who set the pair up with a Las Vegas act in 1967. The two would go on to become arguably the world’s most famous Las Vegas entertainers, performing together into the 2000s. A 2003 tiger attack ended their tenure after Horn sustained brain damage and disfigurement during a performance.
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Siegfried & Roy never hid the fact that they were romantically involved during their career together, though generally avoided discussing their personal lives.
“Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend,” Fischbacher said of Horn’s passing in a statement. “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.”
Roy Horn contracted COVID-19 in late April. Though he initially responded well to treatment, the virus claimed his life within just two weeks.