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Siegfried Fischbacher of the magic duo Siegfried and Roy dies aged 81

Siegfried Fischbacher

Siegfried Fischbacher, one half of celebrated magic double act Siegfried and Roy, has died from pancreatic cancer in Las Vegas at the age of 81.

The pair were among the biggest names in the world of magic and were known for working with lions and tigers.

Paying tribute, David Copperfield called him a “legend in magic”, and Penn Jillette said Siegfried and Roy were “pure showbiz and pure class”.

Roy Horn died from Covid-19 complications last May.

The pair “invented the full length magic show headlining Vegas”, according to Jillette, who is known as part of the duo Penn and Teller.

Tiger attack

Siegfried and Roy teamed up in their native Germany in the 1950s, and the highlight of their extravagant shows was their performances with white lions and white tigers.

Horn was attacked by a 400lb white Bengal tiger named Montecore during a performance in Las Vegas in 2003, leaving him partially paralysed and using a wheelchair.

He underwent lengthy rehabilitation and was later able to walk again, but the attack ended the duo’s long-running Las Vegas residency.

They retired from showbusiness in 2010. After Horn’s death last year, Fischbacher said: “Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend.

“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.”

Fischbacher recently had a 12-hour operation to remove a malignant tumour. He had been receiving care at home from two hospice workers in recent days.

bbc