There is no custom code to display.

Siegfried Fischbacher, illusionist of Siegfried & Roy, dead at 81

Siegfried Fischbacher, illusionist of Siegfried & Roy, dead at 81

Siegfried Fischbacher, an illusionist known for working with exotic cats as one half of Siegfried & Roy, has died from pancreatic cancer, according to his publicist Dave Kirvin.

He was 81.

Fischbacher’s longtime professional partner and friend, Roy Horn, died in May from complications caused by Covid-19 at the age of 75.

The pair rose from war-torn Germany to become world-renowned stars of stage, film and television by combining their spectacular illusions with rare animals.

For Fischbacher, it all began with a child’s curiosity.

Born in Rosenheim, Germany, on June 13, 1939, he was drawn as an 8-year-old to a magic book he saw in a shop.

“My eye caught something in the window; it was a book on magic,” he said in his bio on the their site. “I knew I had to have it. I can’t explain, even now, why that was. All that stood in the way was five marks — for me a fortune, a fortune for any little boy in Germany in 1947.”

As he walked away, he said, he found five marks on the sidewalk and immediately returned to purchase the book.

He met Horn aboard the TS Bremen cruise ship in 1957, where Siegfried was working as a steward and entertainer.

He enlisted Horn, the captain’s bellboy, to assist during his nightly magic show.

According to a press release about Fischbacher, Roy asked a question after the show which would change their lives.

“Siegfried, disappearing rabbits is ordinary, but can you make a cheetah disappear?” Horn said.

After a pause to consider, Fischbacher replied, “In magic, anything is possible.”

Unbeknownst to him — and the ship’s captain — Horn had smuggled his pet cheetah aboard the cruise to join the act.

What followed was a five-decade partnership.

“We did what we did out of love, not for success or money,” Fischbacher once said. “We had a deep respect for each other. We literally raised each other: I created Roy and Roy created Siegfried.”

They began in Las Vegas in 1967 as a featured act in notable Las Vegas revues “Follies Bergère,” “Hallelujah Hollywood” and “Lido de Paris” before becoming headliners in “Beyond Belief” at the New Frontier in 1981.

In 1990, the duo became a Las Vegas “destination” when their precedent-setting, 14-year run at The Mirage began.

The $30-million production — an unheard of amount at the time — regularly sold out the then-largest theater in Las Vegas history.

Their revue ended in 2003 after Horn’s spine was severed in an incident on stage with a white tiger named Mantecore.

Fischbacher paid tribute to his longtime friend and collaborator after his death.

“Roy was a fighter his whole life including during these final days,” he said in a statement. “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.”

Funeral services will be private with plans for a public memorial for Fischbacher to be held in the future.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.

Recently Played

Entertainment News

Gregory Sierra, ‘Sanford and Son’ and ‘Barney Miller’ actor, dies at 83

Gregory Sierra, ‘Sanford and Son’ and ‘Barney Miller’ actor, dies at 83

Actor Gregory Sierra, best known for his roles in “Sanford and Son” and “Barney Miller,” died on January 4 from cancer, his widow Helene Tabor confirmed to CNN Friday. He was 83.

“He was quite wonderful, and my heart is broken into 400 million pieces,” Tabor said. The cancer persisted “for quite a while and he was doing the best he could and just couldn’t do it anymore,” she said.

Originally from New York, Sierra relocated to California, pursuing a film and stage career that ultimately spanned five decades. His most prominent roles were in sitcoms from the 1970s.

In NBC’s “Sanford and Son,” he was a series regular as the Sanfords’ neighbor Julio Fuentes. Later, he portrayed Miguel “Chano” Amanguale, a detective on ABC’s “Barney Miller.”

Sierra also had supporting or guest roles in “All in the Family,” “Hill Street Blues,” “Miami Vice,” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

Film credits included “Beneath the Planet of the Apes,” “Papillon,” and “The Towering Inferno.”

Tabor called Sierra “a brilliant actor” and said he was still receiving fan mail in the days since his death. His last credited acting role was in 2018. Tabor said he decided to retire because, while he still loved acting, he had difficulty remembering his lines.

Tabor said he was “the first person to help anybody that needed help and he cared about people very much.”

Sierra is also survived by two stepdaughters and a step-granddaughter, all of whom, Tabor said, “loved him and called him ‘Dad.'”

‘The White Tiger’ presents a searing look at India’s caste system

‘The White Tiger’ presents a searing look at India’s caste system

“The White Tiger” is one of those movies that would likely struggle to claw out much attention without Netflix’s muscle behind it, underscoring the streaming service’s ability to lead people to worthwhile films they might not see — in this case, a sobering adaptation of Aravind Adiga’s award-winning book that dissects India’s caste system. The…Continue Reading

Dave Chappelle asymptomatic after testing positive for Covid-19

Dave Chappelle asymptomatic after testing positive for Covid-19

Comedian Dave Chappelle has tested positive for Covid-19 but is asymptomatic, according to a statement from his spokeswoman obtained by CNN. “Dave Chappelle is quarantined after testing positive for COVID-19. His remaining shows at Stubbs Waller Creek Amphitheater in Austin, TX have been canceled,” Carla Sims, Chappelle’s representative, said in the statement. “Chappelle implemented COVID-19…Continue Reading

‘Bridgerton’ is returning for a second season

‘Bridgerton’ is returning for a second season

“Bridgerton” fans can breathe a sigh of relief after Netflix announced a second season of the steamy Netflix show. The period drama — created by Chris Van Dusen and produced by Shonda Rhimes — based on Julia Quinn’s novels has created a buzz since it debuted last month. The show is the first series for…Continue Reading

There is no custom code to display.