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Siegfried Fischbacher during his Nightline interview

One of the most iconic acts in the history of show business, as well as that of the Las Vegas entertainment scene, has to be the animal antics of Siegfried and Roy. The pair spent decades wowing the world with their illusions involving big cats, larger than life spectacle, and dazzling visuals that keep them in the public consciousness even over a decade after they’ve retired. Sadly, today marks the final chapter of their legacy, as Siegfriend Fischbacher is dead at the age of 81.

As reported by Variety, Fischbacher’s life came to an end after being diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. The news of Siegfried Fischbacher’s illness was only just revealed to the world, through another report that MSN had picked up from the German publication Bild. Apparently Fischbacher had undergone an extensive operation to remove a cancerous tumor back in December, and was released into hospice care, per his own wishes, a couple days ago.

Siegfried’s passing comes less than a year after his showbiz partner and dear friend Roy Horn passed away after contracting COVID-19 last April. Their paths were forever intertwined after meeting on a cruise ship, turning them into the showstopping duo that would help cement the legacy of Las Vegas as an entertainment destination. Which, of course, led to a slew of cameos and works that were inspired by their iconic legacy.

Siegfried Fischbacher was practically inseparable from Roy Horn, a fact that’s hammered home even harder by the fact that they share a Wikipedia page as an act, rather than individuals. The pair would appear together through cameos in films like Vegas Vacation and Ocean’s Eleven; but they’d also inspire many Vegas themed films to reference them either directly, or through fictionalized pairings. One such example of the latter is the act of lion tamers that Robert DeNiro’s Sam “Ace” Rothstein hires in Martin Scorsese’s 1995 movie Casino.

Naturally, TV fans will also remember the short lived NBC animated sitcom Father of the Pride, which in an act of coming full circle poked fun at Scorsese by making him the director of a Siegfried and Roy film in that sitcom’s universe. And let’s face it, when Christoph Waltz is involved in a gag where he’s trying out to play someone like Siegfried Fischbacher in a fictional biopic, you know that you’ve made a name for yourself.

That’s exactly what Siegfried Fischbacher did: he helped make a name for himself, and Roy Horn, as a duo that understood the beauty of animals. Translating that connection into a long lasting history of showmanship is no easy feat, but Fischbacher knew that through magic, anything was possible. While they may no longer be with us, the illusions that Siegfried and Roy gave the world will live on forever, and that’s a small comfort when it comes to the passing of such a massively entertaining personality. We here at CinemaBlend would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Siegfried Fishbacher in their time of mourning.

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