Siegfried Fischbacher: Magician known as half of 'Siegfried & Roy' duo dies at 81

Siegfried Fischbacher
Posted at 7:10 AM, Jan 14, 2021

BERLIN — German news agency dpa is reporting that illusionist Siegfried Fischbacher, the surviving member of duo Siegfried & Roy has died in Las Vegas at age 81.

According to the Associated Press, dpa spoke to Fischbacher's sister who confirmed that he had died of cancer at his home in Las Vegas.

Fischbacher died just a few months after his long-term partner, Roy Horn, died at the age of 75 from complications of COVID-19 in May.

Siegfried & Roy was one of the top-grossing acts on the Las Vegas Strip for more than a decade.

They were the masters of magic but their star attraction was their famous lions and white tigers.

Hotel mogul Steve Wynn bought the amazing duo to The Mirage hotel-casino in 1990.

The pair performed at The Mirage for 13 years until Roy Horn was badly injured when one of the tigers in the show dragged Horn off of the stage by his neck.

Fischbacher was born in Rosenheim. Germany, on June 13, 1939.

He purchased a magic book as a child and began to practice. In 1956, he moved to Italy and found work at a hotel.

Eventually, he began performing magic on the ship TS Bremen. That is where met Horn and asked him to assist during a show. The pair was reportedly fired after they brought a live cheetah on the ship. After that, they began working on a cruise line based in New York.

From there, they moved onto the European nightclub circuit and was discovered by Tony Azzie in Paris, France. He asked them to come to Las Vegas in 1967.

Their first major Las Vegas show was at New Frontier Hotel & Casino and was produced by Kenneth Feld of Irvin & Kenneth Feld Productions. It began in 1981 and lasted several years until they were hired by Steve Wynn in 1987.

The pair moved to The Mirage in 1990 and became the highest-paid performers on the Las Vegas Strip, performing night after night in front of sold-out crowds. It was the most expensive show in the world at the time and employed more than 260 people when it came to an abrupt end.

This story was originally published by KTNV in Las Vegas.