Roy Horn, of Siegfried & Roy, Dies From Coronavirus at Age 75

Roy Horn, half of Las Vegas performing duo Siegfried & Roy, has died from coronavirus at the age of 75. His surviving partner on-and-off stage, Sigfried Fischbacher, said in a statement Friday that “today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend.” The pair and their act, which involved lions, tigers and spectacular outfits, became synonymous with Las Vegas-style showmanship.

They began a residency at The Mirage in 1990 and in 2001 signed a celebrated “contract for life” with its owner, Steve Wynn. Their success was part of a sea change for Las Vegas losing its “sin city” baggage and becoming a major destination inclusive of families and conventions. A statue in bronze of the two, plus a tiger, can be seen from the Strip.

Roy, born Uwe Ludwig Horn, met Siegfried, five years his senior, aboard the cruise ship Bremen in 1960. Siegfried was a steward with a part time gig as a magician. Roy, 15, was the personal bellboy to the captain. Roy found his way into Siegfried’s act, and eventually so did Roy’s pet Cheetah. (Roy’s uncle was a director at a German zoo.) The two men and a giant cat were a formula for success.

They worked cruise ships, European nightclubs, the Caribbean and eventually came to Las Vegas in 1981.

In 2003, however, Roy was gravely injured by a 600 pound white tiger named Montecore. This effectively ended their performing careers, however all three — Siegfried, Roy, and Montecore, made an appearance in a 2009 benefit.

“From the moment we met,” Fischbacher continued in his statement, “I knew Roy and I, together, would change the world. There could be no Siegfried without Roy, and no Roy without Siegfried.”

Fellow Las Vegas superstars Wayne Newton, Penn Jillette, and Criss Angel offered their condolences on social media.

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