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Famed Vegas Illusionist Siegfried Fischbacher Dead At 81: A Look Back At His Amazing Accomplishments

Photo: Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock
Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn

Siegfried Fischbacher, one half of Siegfried and Roy, has died at his Las Vegas home. 

Siegfried’s sister confirmed the news that her brother had passed away peacefully on Jan. 14. 

Fischbacher was a magician, big cat tamer and illusionist alongside Roy Horn. Siegfried and Roy was a German-American magic act that performed together for 40 years. He died at 81. 

How did Siegfried Fischbacher die?

Read on for the details about his death, as well as a look back at his amazing accomplishments. 

Siegfried Fishbacher was battling pancreatic cancer. 

It is believed the magician had been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer last year and had recently undergone surgery to remove a tumor. 

After being released from hospital earlier this month, he was being cared for at home by hospice workers. 

His sister, who lives in Munich, spoke of how she prayed with her brother over the phone before his passing. 

Siegfried’s death comes less than a year after his longtime partner Roy Horn passed away in May 2020 after contracting Covid-19. 

Speaking on the death of Roy Horn, Siegfried said:

“Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend. From the moment we met, I knew Roy and I, together, would change the world."

Siegfried and Roy’s career remains one of the most successful magic acts in history. 

81-year-old Siegfried Fischbacher was best known for his work as a magician and entertainer alongside Roy. The pair were both born and raised in Germany and met while working on a cruise ship.

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They later emigrated to the US before becoming one of the most successful magic acts in history.

Beginning in the 1960s, Siegfried and Roy’s act involved magic, illusions and big-cat taming. Their 14-year run at Sin City’s Mirage Theater beginning in 1989 made them a global success and earned over $30 million.

For years, the duo performed sellout shows 6 days a week for 44 weeks of the year. 

Their act came to an abrupt end in 2003 when Roy Horn suffered life altering injuries after a tiger attack during a live performance. 

After he collapsed on stage, a Siberian tiger sunk his teeth into Roy’s neck and dragged him offstage before handlers intervened. 

Roy’s spine was severed, causing long-term damage to his motor and verbal abilities. He also suffered a stroke either before or after the tiger bite. 

After undergoing lengthy rehabilitation, Roy did learn to walk and speak again but the pair limited their performances until their eventual retirement in 2010. 

The performers later stated they had made peace with the attack. 

"I really don’t miss it,” Siegfried said. “We have been on stage in Vegas just by themselves for 40 years on stage, you know? And we had the most successful show in the history of Las Vegas anyway."

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. She is a generalist with an interest in lifestyle, entertainment, and trending topics.