Siegfried Fischbacher, of the illusionist duo Siegfried & Roy, has died from cancer in Las Vegas at the age of 81, his sister has confirmed.
Fischbacher, originally from the city of Rosenheim in south-east Germany, became famous for his appearances with white tigers and lions alongside his partner Roy Horn.
“He was at home in Las Vegas,” Fischbacher’s sister said, adding that she had called him on the phone.
“I was able to pray with him and tell him that I would always be with him in my heart,” Sister Dolore, who works as a nun in Munich, said.
Fischbacher’s entertainment partner ,Roy Horn, died after falling ill with COVID-19 in May 2020.
Born on June 13, 1939, Fischbacher began learning magic tricks as a boy.
He later found work entertaining passengers on the TS Bremen ship, where he met animal trainer Horn.
In 1967, the duo went to Las Vegas.
In 1988, they inked a million-dollar deal to perform at the Mirage Hotel in the casino city.
During their 14-year run at the hotel from 1989, they became world renowned.
The duo’s career ended in 2003 when Horn was attacked by his tiger Mantecore during a performance, causing injuries from which he never fully recovered.
Fellow Las Vegas magician David Copperfield posted on Twitter, “[Siegfried’s] legacy will live on not only in magic, but in truly shaping the history and future of this city. RIP Siegfried”.
Another Las Vegas magician, Penn Jillette – half of the Penn and Teller duo – wrote on Twitter, “Both Siegfried & Roy are now gone”.
“Pure showbiz and pure class. He was a team. We are a team. As Tolstoy wrote, Successful magic teams are all the same.”