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Roy Horn, of the iconic Las Vegas animal and magic team Siegfried & Roy, has passed away. The famous performer passed away due to complications from the coronavirus. Horn tested positive for the virus last month and was initially said to be responding well to treatment. He was 75 at the time of his death.
Roy Horn passed away on Friday, May 8. The news was confirmed in a statement from his publicist. Horn’s longtime performing partner, Siegfried Fischbacher, also spoke on the death of his friend and colleague, praising him as a great of the magic world:
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. There could be no Siegfried without Roy, and no Roy without Siegfried.
Siegfried would go on to thank the team of doctors who served as caregivers to Horn while he was in the hospital with COVID-19:
Roy was a fighter his whole life including during these final days. I give my heartfelt appreciation to the team of doctors, nurses and staff at Mountain View Hospital who worked heroically against this insidious virus that ultimately took Roy's life.
Born Uwe Ludwig Horn, Roy Horn hailed from Germany where he became interested in animals at a young age. Through a friend Zoo worker friend of his mother’s, the young Horn would gain access to a number of exotic animals.
At the age of 13, Roy Horn would first meet Siegfried Fischbacher on the luxury liner S.S. Bremen. Fischbacher was working as a steward at the time but hoped to become a magician. After being given a chance to perform for the passengers, Fischbacher asked Horn what he thought of the act, and Horn suggested adding a cheetah to the show. The performance would prove to be successful and lead to the birth of Siegfried & Roy.
The two toured across Europe extensively before bringing their act to the United States in 1967. It wasn’t until the ‘80s that the pair solidified themselves as an entertainment mainstays. By 1990, the they were headlining the Mirage, which they did for 13 years.
Their act became known for its spectacle and extensive use of animals. The combination of Siegfried’s magic and Horn’s knowledge of animals made them a force to be reckoned with on the Las Vegas strip.
On his 59th birthday in 2003, Horn’s career ended tragically. During a performance, he was leading a 400-pound tiger across the stage when he fell. The tiger, Mantacore, would fall on Horn, sinking his teeth into his neck and dragging him across the stage. Due to the stroke that he suffered shortly after, Horn would never regain full use of his left side.
Aside from his career as a performer, Horn also dabbled in acting and producing. Both he and Fischbacher appeared as themselves in the biographical film Siegfried & Roy: The Magic Box. They also made cameos in films like Vegas Vacation and Ocean’s Eleven. In addition, they served as producers on the short-lived animated series Father of the Pride, which was produced by Jeffrey Katzenberg and DreamWorks animation. Their work also inspired films that have parodied their act in some ways.
Roy Horn is survived by his brother Werner Horn. The famed performer leaves a legacy behind that’s largely unmatched.
We here at CinemaBlend send our thoughts to Roy Horn’s loved ones at this time.