LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Siegfried Fischbacher, the surviving member of the world-famous duo Siegfried & Roy, has died in Las Vegas.
A German news agency said Fischbacher’s sister, a nun who lives in Munich, confirmed her brother’s death from pancreatic cancer. He was 81.
“He was at home in Las Vegas,” Sister Dolore told German news agency dpa. She said she talked to her brother on the phone before he died and they prayed together.
“I could pray with him and tell him that I will always be with him in my heart,” she said.
After the call he laid down and fell asleep, she added.
Fischbacher’s long-time partner, Roy Horn, died in May from complications of COVID-19 at age 75.
The duo, which became world famous, signed a multi-million dollar contract in 1990 to perform at the Mirage resort shortly after it opened.
Siegfried & Roy were known for their illusions and white tigers and performed at the property for 14 years until 2003 when Horn was injured during a show following an attack by one of the tigers.
“Together, Siegfried & Roy rose from war-torn Germany to become world-renowned stars of stage, film and television, combining their spectacular illusions with rare animals. Their four-decade run in Las Vegas included 14 years at The Mirage where they ushered in a new era of Las Vegas entertainment, setting unparalleled attendance and box office records,” according to a statement released by Kirvan Doak Communications.
Fischbacher’s love of magic began as a child in Germany with the purchase of a magic book. The duo was brought together while working on a cruise ship in 1957.
“Working as a steward and entertainer, Siegfried enlisted Roy, the captain’s bellboy, to assist during his nightly magic show. After the show, Roy asked the question that changed both of their lives: “Siegfried, disappearing rabbits is ordinary, but can you make a cheetah disappear?”
Roy had smuggled a cheetah aboard the cruise ship and it joined the act beginning what would become a life-long passion for working with big cats.
“We did what we did out of love, not for success or money,” Siegfried once said. “We had a deep respect for each other. We literally raised each other: I created Roy and Roy created Siegfried.”
Siegfried & Roy’s legacy lives on at The Secret Garden of Siegfried & Roy at The Mirage.
Funeral services will be private with plans for a public memorial in the future.