Siegfried Fischbacher, of Siegfried & Roy, dies of cancer at 81

Siegfried Fischbacher, half of the world-famous Las Vegas magic and entertainment act Siegfried & Roy, died of cancer eight months after the death of his long-term business partner, Roy Horn. Fischbacher was 81.

The renowned illusionist died Wednesday evening at his home in Las Vegas from pancreatic cancer, a spokesperson for Fischbacher told NBC News on Thursday.

Horn died in May of Covid-19 complications at age 75.

The duo, known for their work with big cats, put on Las Vegas shows for decades — until Horn was in a near-fatal accident that put a stop to their long-running production.

In 2003, a 380-pound tiger, Mantecore, bit Horn’s neck and dragged him off the stage during a show at the Mirage Las Vegas. The attack crushed his windpipe and left the then-60-year-old partially paralyzed.

Fischbacher was born in Rosenheim, Germany, where he developed an early penchant for the art of magic.

He and Horn met more than 60 years ago on a cruise ship, where Horn was a steward and Siegfried was a magician, according to a statement from the act’s publicity firm. Horn helped Siegfried with his act, and the rest was history.

The pair hit the Vegas strip in 1967 and, in 1989 started a 14-year run at the Mirage that transformed the duo into a singular tourism draw. Their $30 million production at the hotel sold out nightly, according to the statement.

The pair used a collection of animals onstage that included white tigers, white lions, leopards, jaguars and an elephant.

On Horn’s death, Fischbacher shared a few parting words: “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.”

Entertainment and Arts