Roy Horn of 'Siegfried and Roy' fame dies from COVID-19 complications

Roy Horn was 75.

May 8, 2020, 9:33 PM

Roy Horn, of famed entertainment duo Siegfried and Roy, died after suffering from complications from COVID-19, ABC News has learned.

"Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend," said Siegfried Fischbacher in a statement to ABC News. "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 [in Las Vegas] who worked heroically against this insidious virus that ultimately took Roy's life," the statement added.

Horn was 75.

PHOTO: Illusionists Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn appear with 6-week-old tiger cubs June 12, 2008, in Las Vegas.
Illusionists Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn appear with 6-week-old tiger cubs June 12, 2008, in Las Vegas.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images, FILE

The legendary performers changed the face of the Las Vegas Strip with their impressive illusions and white tiger-taming acts.

Before Horn and Fischbacher opened with an extravagant show at The Mirage Resort and Casino in Las Vegas in 1990, the German duo had built a successful brand as entertainers around the world, performing everywhere from cruise ships to casinos.

After thousands of performances together, Fischbacher and Horn's show at The Mirage came to an unexpected close in 2003 following an onstage incident involving Horn and his white Bengal tiger, Mantecore.

The duo stepped back onstage for one final performance on March 1, 2009, when they held a benefit show for the Cleveland Clinic's Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas. They said it raised $14 million.

PHOTO: Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy holds a tiger while receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, Calif., Dec. 23, 1999.
Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy holds a tiger while receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, Calif., Dec. 23, 1999.
Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images, FILE
PHOTO: Famed entertainers Siegfried and Roy speak to ABC News in an exclusive interview.
Famed entertainers Siegfried and Roy speak to ABC News in an exclusive interview.
Cashman Photo of Nevada

The duo sat down with "20/20" in 2019 for "Siegfried & Roy: Behind the Magic," a two-hour special on their storied career. Earlier this month, the duo shared the following message of love and support for those affected by COVID-19:

"Everyone in the United States and around the world impacted by this health crisis remain in our prayers. We know the real magic in all of us caring, cheering, loving and thanking one another will return everyone to good health and happiness. We can't wait until it is possible for all of us to hug each other safely again. Love to all, Siegfried & Roy."

They had been working on a biopic with German filmmakers Nico Hofmann and Bully Herbig, the latter of whom is the writer/director of the project. The biopic was expanded into a multi-part docuseries for television to be released in 2021.

Funeral services for Horn will be private with plans for a public memorial in the future, according to the statement.

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