Las Vegas entertainment icon Siegfried of ‘Siegfried & Roy’ dies at age 81 Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · January 14, 2021 at 4:00 pm Siegfried Fischbacher, whose 50-year collaboration with Roy Horn created “Siegfried & Roy,” whose four-decade run on the Las Vegas Strip transformed the entertainment offerings in the gaming industry, died Wednesday night at his home in Las Vegas from pancreatic cancer. He was 81. Siegfried was preceded in death by his performing partner, Roy, who died of complications from COVID-19, in May. Together, Siegfried & Roy became 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. Shutterstock/ Siegfried and Roy receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame “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 began in Las Vegas in 1967 as a featured act in notable Las Vegas revues “Follies Bergère,” “Hallelujah Hollywood” and “Lido de Paris.” They became headliners in “Beyond Belief” at the New Frontier in 1981. But the duo became a Las Vegas “destination” of international renown when their precedent-setting, 14-year run at The Mirage began in 1990. The $30-million production – unheard of at the time – sold out the then-largest theater in Las Vegas history nightly. Their elaborate magic and production show included an extensive animal family – white tigers, white lions, leopards, jaguars, and an elephant – that appeared and vanished. Siegfried & Roy’s legacy lives on at The Secret Garden of Siegfried & Roy at The Mirage. “The passing of Siegfried Fischbacher marks the end of an era,” MGM Resorts International said in a statement released on Twitter. The company owns The Mirage. “Siegfried & Roy had a vision for the kind of entertainment spectacular the world at large had never before seen. We are grateful for all they meant to MGM Resorts, Las Vegas and to the world of entertainment.” Siegfried Fischbacher was born in Rosenheim, Germany, on June 13, 1939. Fate brought Siegfried & Roy together aboard the TS Bremen 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?” After a pause, Siegfried said, “In magic, anything is possible.” Unbeknownst to him – and the ship’s captain – Roy had smuggled his pet cheetah aboard the cruise to join the act. In May, Roy died at the age of 75 in Las Vegas. The pair stopped performing when Horn was critically injured in 2003 by one of the act’s famed white tigers. Siegfried returned to his Las Vegas home earlier this week following a ’12-hour operation’ to remove a malignant tumor. He was ‘released from a clinic at his own request’ and was being taken care of by ‘two hospice workers,’ according to an article in London’s Daily Mail. “I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our legendary illusionist Siegfried Fischbacher. He was a ‘Master of the Impossible’ and an exemplary Nevadan whose contributions – alongside the late great Roy Horn – helped shine a bright spotlight on Las Vegas’s entertainment industry to the world,” Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said in a statement. “Kathy and I send our love and condolences to his family, friends and loved ones at this time” Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.