Siegfried Fischbacher was one-half of the performing duo Siegfried and Roy.
Who Was Siegfried Fischbacher?
In 1957, while working as a steward on an ocean liner, Siegfried Fischbacher met Roy Horn. The pair put together a magic act and eventually made it to Las Vegas, where they performed for more than 30 years. In October 2003, one of the show’s tigers attacked Horn during a performance, leaving him in critical condition. Siegfried and Roy officially retired from show business after a final performance in 2010.
Fischbacher was born on June 13, 1939, in Rosenheim, Germany. From a young age, Fischbacher was drawn to the world of magic, and would spend hours practicing tricks out of a book for his family.
In 1957, while working as a steward on an ocean liner, Fischbacher met Horn, who became his assistant for an impromptu magic show. Soon, the pair were collaborating, upping the ante from making a rabbit disappear to vanishing a cheetah. For the next five years, they performed throughout Europe, playing for little money. They eventually received their big break while performing at a casino in Monte Carlo, where a scout spotted them and invited them to do their act in Las Vegas.
Siegfried and Roy in Las Vegas
Siegfried and Roy have been combining magic tricks with tiger stunts in Las Vegas for more than 30 years, at first with shared billing and eventually as their own show. In addition to their hugely popular performances, they are active preservationists of white tigers and white lions. The duo has created a special compound outside of Las Vegas for the birthing, care and conservation of these rare animals.
Tiger Attack and Retirement
In October 2003, the show was brought to its knees when a white tiger attacked Horn during a performance, leaving the trainer in critical condition. Horn insisted that the tiger was not at a fault, and the show was closed down indefinitely following the incident.
Siegfried died on January 14, 2021, at his home in Las Vegas from pancreatic cancer.