Roy Horn, one half of the magic duo Siegfried & Roy, has passed away from complications due to the coronavirus in a hospital in Las Vegas. Horn was 75-years-old. Born October 3, 1944 in Germany, the pair would go on to become one of the most popular magic acts in the world, selling out shows in Las Vegas from the 1980s onward. "Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend," said Siegfried in a statement. "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."
"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 ultimate took Roy's life."
The pair's magic career was trademarked by their use of large cats, specifically white lions and white tiger, and became synonymous with the trademark of magic shows in Las Vegas (the pair cameo'd in feature films Ocean's Eleven and Vegas Vacation thanks to their association with the city).
Their magic act could be seen at the Mirage Resort and Casino from 1990 to 2003 and ended suddenly after a white tiger named Montecore bit and critically injured Horn during one of their live performances. Horn was left partially paralyzed from the incident, but after the event said that the tiger hadn't "attacked" him but instead "saved his life." It was revealed afterwards that Horn had suffered a possible stroke during the show with the magician insisting that was trying to pick him up from the stage after the initial medical emergency. The magic duo officially retired after a comeback attempt was made in 2010.
"I had high blood pressure at that time, and because of the energy level of the show, I got excited and passed out onstage and fell, unfortunately," Horn told Las Vegas Weekly about the incident in 2010. "Montecore looked at me with his big blue eyes and was confused, and so he picked me up by the neck. He brought me to the side so he could attend to me. But we need to rectify — he never attacked me. If a tiger attacks you, you are finished."
It was announced back in 2016 that a feature film biopic of the lives of Siegfried & Roy was in development with filmmaker Philipp Stolzl (The Physician) set to direct the film for German film studio UFA Fiction. No further updates on that project have arrived in the years since.
(Cover Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)