Magician Siegfried Fischbacher is dead

Siegfried Fischbacher, formerly part of the world-famous magician duo “Siegfried and Roy”, died at the age of 81. Fischbacher recently suffered from pancreatic cancer. His sister and nephew confirmed that he has now died to the “Bild” newspaper and the portal. The Rosenheim magician was last treated in the United States, where he had long lived. As it was said by friends and relatives, Fischbacher didn’t want to spend his last days in the hospital, but at home. The doctors would have granted him this wish.

He had shared his property “Little Bavaria” in Las Vegas with Roy Horn for over 40 years. Horn died last May in connection with the corona virus.

Siegfried Fischbacher, born in 1939, came from Rosenheim and initially trained as a weaver. He is said to have started doing magic to get the attention of his alcoholic father. In 1959 he was hired as a steward and entertainer on a cruise ship, where he later met Roy Horn. As a duo, they first made a name for themselves in Europe. Working with big cats became her trademark. Her breakthrough was an appearance at the Red Cross Ball in Monte Carlo in 1966 at the invitation of Princess Caroline. Shows in Paris, Puerto Rico, and of course Las Vegas followed. There they had a permanent show from 1981: “Beyond Belief” in the Frontier Hotel. In 1987, Siegfried and Roy signed a five-year contract with the owner of the Mirage Hotel, which was still under construction at the time, for allegedly around $ 57 million.

While Roy took on the role of acrobat and tamer, Siegfried was considered a magician and tinkerer. Fischbacher, known for his English with a Bavarian accent, once said of himself and his partner: “He had the dreams, I had the ideas.” In 2003, their dazzling shows ended suddenly when Horn was seriously injured by one of his white tigers during a show .

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Siegfried Fischbacher dies

A dazzling life

As emerged from their joint biography in 2007, Horn and Fischbacher had a long private relationship for a long time. Accordingly, although they separated in 1998, they continued to be close friends until the end. After Horn’s death in May 2020, Fischbacher told the “Bild”: “Roy has now arrived over there and is preparing everything for me there – he promised me that.”


Magician Siegfried terminally ill – THAT happens to the tigers – People

Star magician Siegfried Fischbacher is terminally ill with cancer. The magician has already made provisions for his beloved white tigers.

Fans of the famous magician duo “Siegfried & Roy” were shocked by the news that after the sad death of Roy Horn (†), his colleague and partner Siegfried Fischbacher (81) is also seriously ill. The magician suffers from pancreatic cancer and can no longer be saved. The artist spends his last days in his villa “Little Bavaria”.

White tigers in private zoo

“Siegfried & Roy” became superstars with exotic shows, in which they presented their beloved white tigers in addition to other animals. Away from the arena, too, her life revolved around the elegant big cats, which should lack for nothing. That’s why 30 tigers the wizard still live in a spacious zoo next to the “Mirage” hotel in Las Vegas. And that should remain so even after Siegfried’s death, as the artist states in his will.

Roy Horn (right) has lost the fight against the coronavirus, now Siegfried Fischbacher is also dying.
Roy Horn(right) has lost the fight against the coronavirus, now Siegfried Fischbacher is also dying.
Imago Images

Will dictates what should happen to tigers

In his last will, according to the “Bild” newspaper, the white tigers are taken care of, because their home zoo in the gaming metropolis is to remain a tourist attraction. The fortune of the two magicians – an estimate of 185 million euros – is parked in a foundation, it is said. Two years ago Siegfried was already thinking about what should happen to his beloved animals: “Our legacy is to save the white tigers from extinction,” he explained to the “Bild” newspaper at the time. “Even if we are no longer there, their continued existence should be ensured.”

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On the death of Roy Horn: the show never stops – panorama

“The show is never over!” Roy Horn said this sentence in October 2018 when he celebrated his 74th birthday in the Secret Garden of Las Vegas, the enclosure for exotic animals at the Hotel Mirage. For 16 years he had not performed “performed” – as it is so beautifully said in Vegas – to put people on a show. The Tiger Mantacore had dragged him by the neck during a performance on October 3, 2003, seriously injuring him. The show was officially over since then, but now Horn called to his guests: “I perform whenever I leave the house. The show is never over.”

The show, this Las Vegas, as it can be seen today, basically started with the duo Siegfried and Roy. Before that, this city was as it was shown in the film “Ocean’s 11”, the original from 1960: Frank Sinatra strolled through the “Sands”, ordered a drink at the bar, lit a lonely heart with a cigarette and tossed silver dollars into it Slot machines. Then he whispers in the ear of the charming Patrice Wymore, presses a kiss on her cheek and lets the room key slide into the cleavage. She tosses the key in disgust.

This Las Vegas, which is always very romanticized today, was a highly misogynous city at the time, racist (Sammy Davis junior was not allowed to stay in the hotels in which he performed) and also homophobic. Then Siegfried and Roy came.

From the cruise ship into the desert

Horn was born on October 3, 1944 in Nordenham in northern Germany, his father died during the Second World War. The founder of the Bremen Zoo was a friend of the family, so Horn had access to exotic animals at the age of ten. He left school when he was 13 and worked as a waiter on the cruise ship Bremen and there he met the magician Siegfried Fischbacher. He first became his assistant and then partner, on and at times off the stage, even then it was clear: these two only exist as a duo.

Fischbacher and Horn were released for bringing a monkey on board. The owner of the Bremen Variety Show Astoria, Elisabeth Fritz, had seen one of her performances and offered to perform in her nightclub in the future. “That changed everything,” said Horn later: “We were now artists among other artists.”

The two became famous for their unique combination of magic and animal training. They performed in Paris, and in Las Vegas, after sobering appearances in 1967, they heard Tropicana owner John Houssels’ unforgettable phrase: “Guys, magic doesn’t work in this city.”

Well, her show worked three years later when she returned, first in the Stardust, then in the New Frontier and later in the Mirage. And maybe it takes a few numbers to show what a crazy show the two hosted: The cost of producing the first show at the Mirage in 1989 was more than $ 30 million, by far the highest in Las Vegas history. 267 people worked on the show, and when Siegfried and Roy traveled to Japan for a few gigs, they needed two jumbo jets to carry all the animals and equipment. The only reason two arenas were built in Osaka and Tokyo, for $ 10 million each, was demolished after the performances. Until then, magicians pulled rabbits out of a hat – Siegfried and Roy played with tigers while fireworks were burning in the background.

“We were the first to offer entertainment for the entire family in Las Vegas,” Horn said once, and it’s true: Disneyland for adults, which is Las Vegas today, is there because of Siegfried and Roy, and therefore also legendary Magicians like David Copperfield, Criss Angel, Penn and Teller. “I always thought it would be reasonable humility to go to events where we didn’t have to work in jeans and a T-shirt,” recalls Penn Jillette: “However, the two always came in costumes and makeup, and at some point it became clear to me: the show never ends for these two. “

Abrupt end in October 2003

The shows were gigantic, breathtaking and extremely successful, they turned up to $ 60 million a year until this evening in October 2003. Horn, which is still the official account of the incident, is said to have suffered a stroke, the Tiger Mantacore grabbed his master by the neck out of concern and pulled him off the stage. Horn was seriously injured, the show was stopped immediately, and the arena in the Mirage was empty for three years because pretty much everyone suspected that only the Beatles would have been able to follow this spectacle.

The first show after that, in June 2006, was the Cirque du Soleil program “The Beatles Love”. At the premiere, Paul McCartney, Roy Horn, Siegfried Fischbacher met on the red carpet.

Numerous hotels on the strip pay tribute

The big appearances of Siegfried and Roy might be over, but the show went on. Those who knew the two told how brave Horn fought the complications after the many operations and how touchingly Fischbacher looked after his partner. What zest for life the two conveyed on their “Little Bavaria” estate, and how delighted they were that this Secret Garden enclosure in the Mirage with numerous exotic animals became a popular attraction. When Mantacore died in 2014, Horn said, “I lost my beloved 17-year-old white tiger, friend and brother. It was he who pulled me to safety.”

On April 28, Roy Horn’s management announced that he had coronavirus infection and had to be taken to hospital. He died on Friday at the age of 75.

Numerous hotels on the strip paid tribute to him, and larger-than-life pictures were to be seen on the facade of the MGM Grand. It is likely to be a coincidence that Roy Horn died of the aftermath of the corona virus on the day that some lights were allowed to come back on in Las Vegas after the lockdown, as a sign that the show will never stop. Maybe not.



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Uwe Ludwig Horn, called Roy, was born on October 3, 1944 in Nordenham, Lower Saxony. He discovered his love for animals early on. He was particularly taken with a cheetah named Chico in the Bremen zoo. He dropped out of school at 13 and hired as a page on the cruise ship “Bremen”. There he met his future partner Siegfried Fischbacher at the end of the 1950s, who performed magic tricks for the passengers on board. Horn was completely unimpressed by Fischbacher’s show, the two tell the story again and again later. Nice and good to conjure up a rabbit from the stage: “Why not make a cheetah disappear?” Horn is said to have led Fischbacher to his cabin: Chico was sitting there, smuggled on board with the help of Horn’s uncle, co-founder of the Bremen Zoo .


Obituary for Roy Horn: The King of the Tigers

MIllions of viewers around the world have recently watched the Netflix documentary “Tiger King” with fascination and alienation, which offers an entertaining and scary insight into the strange world of Americans who share their home with big cats. The protagonist is a flashy, shady guy with the stage name Joe Exotic, who kept a private zoo with tigers and other big cats and is now in prison after allegedly wanting to have an adversary murdered. The Joe Exotic considered himself the biggest attraction of his shabby zoo, and the series is named after the honorary title he gave himself.

Jörg Thomann

Editor in the “Life” section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

But the “Tiger King” of the American entertainment industry was actually a completely different one. There are recordings showing Roy Horn meditating in the middle of a sea of ​​glowing candles, a mighty white tiger at his feet. The image exudes a majestic dignity that a Joe Exotic could never achieve, and at the same time looks as weird and over the top as it should be if you want to cause a stir in show business.

At the appearances with which the late Roy Horn and his partner Siegfried Fischbacher had cast a spell over the audience for decades, everything was a tad larger, glaring and more dangerous than we were used to. Specialists may judge whether Siegfried & Roy were the best magicians of all time; In any case, none of their competitors has become more famous and more successful over a long period of time, also commercially. Never before had anyone got as much money for live shows as Siegfried and Roy from the Mirage hotel in Las Vegas, who secured their services for a total of $ 57.5 million.

German artists rarely become world stars, and those who do it often embody values ​​that the international public apparently connects with our country: a good deal of eccentricity, coupled with sweaty hard work. This applies to Rammstein as well as to Karl Lagerfeld and certainly also to Siegfried and Roy, who indulged in the glitter of their stage shows privately and splashed with the big cats in the pool of their swanky villas. The great animal lover Roy, his partner Siegfried said in a documentary from ABC News, was “fearless”: without fear of life, of loving and of giving. The images in the documentary show a radiant Roy flying through the garden on the back of one of his white tigers. He is “very happy to have a good family,” says Horn himself. The animals are meant.

“Roy made the difference”

In their post-war childhood, neither Siegfried nor Roy, who was born in Nordenham in Lower Saxony, saw an intact family that gave the sons love and security. He was attracted to animals early, he said he could hear them thinking. In 1959 Fischbacher was hired as a steward and entertainer on the turbine ship Bremen, a year later he met Horn, who had smuggled a live cheetah on board; the animal became an integral part of the shows now presented as a duo and the forefather of all the animals with which Siegfried and Roy amazed the audience. The stage designer John Napier, who worked with the two, praises their shows as “a mixture of Marvel comics and Wagner”.

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If you like, the man with the Nibelungen name brought the German element into the partnership – and the one born as Uwe Ludwig Horn the American lightness. Siegfried, the tireless inventor who still speaks English with a Bavarian accent, said about himself and his partner: “He had dreams, I had ideas.” And: “In show business you don’t have to be good, you have to be different. Roy made the difference. ”As an acrobat and trainer, Horn caused a special thrill when he struggled with the mighty big cats. He described himself as the “father figure” of the animals and as their “safety blanket”: as long as he was with them, nothing bad would happen. This was valid until October 3, 2003, when Horn was seriously injured by Tiger Mantecore on his birthday during a show; the circumstances of the accident are controversial. It was the end of Siegfried and Roy as a stage duo. Roy Horn, who has been paralyzed on both sides since then, continued to speak of Mantecore as his “blood brother”.

Even those who have never seen Siegfried and Roy live know their legend. In the show “Schmidteinander” they were regularly parodied by Harald Schmidt and Herbert Feuerstein, who kept shouting: “Look at me, I’m Roy!” In the “Simpsons” in 1993 they appeared as “Gunter und Ernst” and are, bad omen, attacked by their tigers. The days of Siegfried and Roy would probably have been over even without Horn’s private tragedy: wild animals are now frowned upon in circus and magic shows.

“It is better to live an unusual life as an ordinary person than the other way around,” Roy Horn once told Esquire magazine. The unusual life of the man who survived a tiger’s attack has now ended on Friday due to a coronavirus infection. His longtime stage and temporary life partner Siegfried declared that he had lost his best friend with Roy.