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Roy Horn, a name synonymous with magic and entertainment, was a German-American magician and performer who captured the hearts of millions around the world. Alongside his partner, Siegfried Fischbacher, he formed the iconic duo known as Siegfried & Roy, astounding audiences with their breathtaking illusions involving white lions and tigers. Roy’s incredible talent and captivating stage presence made him a legend in the world of magic, leaving an indelible mark on the industry. From their early beginnings to their tragic end, this introduction will delve into the life and career of the enigmatic showman that is Roy Horn.
Who Was Roy Horn?
Roy Horn joined Siegfried Fischbacher to become the magical act Siegfried & Roy, putting on headlining Las Vegas shows for almost three decades. In 2003, Horn was mauled on stage by one of the tigers used in the act and suffered major injuries. Following his lengthy recuperation, the duo reunited for a final appearance in 2009.
In 1957, while working as a waiter on an ocean liner, Horn met Siegfried Fischbacher, who was working as a steward while performing magic tricks on the side. Horn volunteered to be Siegfried’s assistant and soon the pair was 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 went on to combine 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 became active preservationists of rare white tigers and white lions. The duo created a special compound outside of Las Vegas for the birthing, care and conservation of these animals.
Tiger Attack and Retirement
In October 2003, the show was brought to its knees when a white tiger brutally attacked Horn during a performance, leaving the trainer in critical condition. The show was closed down indefinitely following the incident. A year later, Horn remained partially paralyzed, but continued to insist that the animal was not at fault. He claimed that he fainted on stage and that the 380-pound tiger was only trying to help him by dragging him off stage. By September 2005, Horn was walking on his own, a recovery many called miraculous.
Siegfried and Roy reunited for one final performance in February 2009, before formally retiring the following year.
Horn passed away in a Las Vegas hospital on May 8, 2020, due to complications from Covid-19.
“Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend,” Siegfried said in a statement. “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 who worked heroically against this insidious virus that ultimately took Roy’s life.”
- Name: Roy Horn
- Birth Year: 1944
- Birth date: October 3, 1944
- Birth City: Nordenham
- Birth Country: Germany
- Gender: Male
- Best Known For: Roy Horn was half of the headlining Las Vegas magical duo Siegfried & Roy who survived severe injuries after an onstage tiger attack.
- Theater and Dance
- Astrological Sign: Libra
- Death Year: 2020
- Death date: May 8, 2020
- Death State: Nevada
- Death City: Las Vegas
- Death Country: United States
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- Article Title: Roy Horn Biography
- Author: Biography.com Editors
- Website Name: The Biography.com website
- Url: https://www.biography.com/performer/roy-horn
- Access Date:
- Publisher: A&E; Television Networks
- Last Updated: May 9, 2020
- Original Published Date: April 2, 2014
In conclusion, Roy Horn was a remarkable entertainer and illusionist who left an indelible mark on the world of magic. His partnership with Siegfried Fischbacher as the iconic duo Siegfried & Roy captivated audiences with their groundbreaking performances filled with illusion, danger, and the majestic beauty of animals. Through their shows and appearances, they not only entertained millions but also increased public interest in exotic animals and conservation efforts. Despite the tragic incident that ended Roy’s performing career, his legacy as a visionary magician and a passionate advocate for animals will continue to inspire generations to come. Roy Horn’s immense talent and dedication to his craft will always be remembered, making him an irreplaceable legend in the world of magic.
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