Siegfried and Roy fans are in mourning Friday night after their publicist announced the death of Roy Horn. The 75-year-old Las Vegas institution died a little more than a week after he tested positive for the coronavirus. His performing partner Siegfried Fischbacher remembered Horn as a "fighter his whole life," referencing the horrific 2003 tiger attack he survived.
"Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend," Fischbacher said in a statement Friday night. "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," he added. "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 ultimately took Roy's life."
The duo's reps announced Horn was diagnosed with COVID-19 just last week. "We can confirm that Roy Horn has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 and is currently responding well to treatment," their publicist said. "Most importantly, Siegfried & Roy send positive wishes to everyone impacted by the pandemic. We will have no further comment on Roy’s recovery at this time and ask everyone to respect his right to privacy."
My husband and I are so sad to hear this. We had the pleasure of meeting Roy (and Siegfried) on a couple of occasions many years ago. He was so kind and loved his animals. Thinking of Siegfried tonight. Roy will be missed💔— Mary Walberg (@MaryWalberg) May 9, 2020
Siegfried and Roy were a Las Vegas institution for more than a decade, performing at the Mirage Resort and Casino from 1990 until 2003. The magic act, which was famous for including white lions and white tigers, came to an abrupt end when Roy was injured in a tiger attack onstage in 2003. The incident became a controversial pop culture topic, as the official story was that the tiger, named Mantacore, tried to "save" Horn after he suffered an onstage stroke. In March 2019, trainer Chris Lawrence disputed this in a Hollywood Reporter interview, alleging that the real mistakes were covered up to protect the duo's brand.
The greatest shall Rest In Peace. Blessings to Roy Horn’s family as well as Siegfried’s family— beverlye (@beverlye18) May 9, 2020
Fischbacher insisted Horn collapsed before Mantacore grabbed a hold of Horn in an interview with ABC News. The performers said they made peace with the incident though and continued greeting guests at the Mirage. Horn was still recovering from the accident and said he had "no" reluctance about being with tigers after the accident.
So sad to hear this. He sure was a fighter ♥️ Prayers to all— Mita Floria (@Mita_Floria) May 9, 2020
"I really don't miss it," Fischbacher told ABC News last year. "We have been on stage in Vegas just by themselves for 40 years on stage, you know? And we had the most successful show in the history of Las Vegas anyway."
I loved the Siegfried & Roy cartoon and sometimes sing the theme song when no one is around.
They were the masters of the impossible. They really were 😭— Lee Drakston (@LDrakston) May 9, 2020
He's in Heaven entertaining the Lord.— elena tabatneck (@ETabatneck) May 9, 2020
May God bless you & give you eternal peace. You will be missed.
May he R.I.P. and so very sorry for your loss.— Angelika (@aschm32186) May 9, 2020