The famous magician Siegfried Fischbacher of the iconic duo Siegfried & Roy has passed away at the age of 81, after a long hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer. In this video, we are going to learn everything there is to know about the enigmatic Siegfried Fischbacher, who spent his entire career working as an entertainer and magician alongside his best friend, colleague, and once lover, Roy Horn.
Siegfried & Roy traveled the world together and gained international popularity through their appearances with white tigers, white lions, and many other exotic animals. It was indeed one of these exotic animals that abruptly ended their career. If this sounds exciting to you and you want to learn more about this entertainer or the magic duo in general, including five facts that you probably haven’t even heard of, then this video is for you.
Who is Siegfried Fischbacher?
Siegfried Fischbacher is a German-American entertainer that was born in the Bavarian town of Rosenheim during the disastrous World War II. He was born on June 13, 1939, to Martin and Maria Fischbacher. His father was a professional painter and his mother was a housewife. His father was imprisoned by the Soviet Union during the World War II.
Because of the hard times that he was born in, Siegfried developed a passion for magic at a very young age, after purchasing a random book about magic tricks. Soon, he started reading about stage illusions, parlor, closeup, and pickpocket magic that sparked his interest even further. During his childhood, he began practicing illusions all by himself and decided that this would one day be his profession.
In 1956, when he was just 17 years old, Siegfried moved to Italy, where he worked at a hotel for several months. Driven by his passion for magic, he began performing on a luxurious ship called TS Bremen, under the stage name Delmare. There, he met Roy Horn, with whom he moved to New York and began performing for a cruise line in the late 1960s. Throughout the next two decades, the two began performing stage acts involving big cats, especially white lions, and white tigers.
In the early 1990s, Siegfried & Roy’s names rose to stardom after they started their own show titled “Siegfried & Roy Live at the Mirage Resort and Casino”. The show aired in multiple countries and networks across the globe for more than a decade, starting in February 1990 to October 2003. To this day, it is regarded as the most-visited show ever in Las Vegas, Nevada, as it gathered thousands of attendees per single show. All in all, from their spectacular show and from breaking numerous box office records, the duo was earning more than $57 million per year.
Five facts about Siegfried & Roy that you probably didn’t know
Roy Horn was born during allied bombings in World War II
Roy is the youngest of four boys to an orchestra leader in Germany. He was born during the allied bombings around the towns Bremerhaven and Nordenham in October 1944. His father actually fought on the front lines as part of the German army in World War II. There’s a story about his mother, Johanna, who hid her three children in the basement and left the house with a bicycle, and gave birth in her sister’s house. During that time, the food was in short supply, there was less fuel, and on top of that, the winter lasted a very long time.
Horn had an affection and passion for exotic animals early in his life
Roy Horn was a pet lover that developed an early attraction to rare and exotic animals of all sorts. When he was a child, he had a half-wolf and half-dog pet named Hexe, with whom he spent most of his time wandering around Germany. The animal even saved his life one day, when he skipped school and went exploring but instead found himself sinking into the wetlands. Roy also spent a significant amount of his childhood at the Bremen Zoo, which was founded by some friends of his mother. There, after spending most of his free time, he befriended a cheetah named Chico and that was the first large cat that he ever interacted with.
Siegfried met Roy on a Luxury Liner during his teenage years
After spending several years reading books on magic and practicing some of the tricks in them, Fischbacher began working as a performer at the luxury liner TS Bremen. He left his home when he was a teenager and moved to Italy, where he worked at a small resort in Lago di Garda.
After working as a dishwasher and bartender, he soon began entertaining the guests with his close-up magic tricks and eventually found his way to a luxury liner. Initially, he was hired to be a steward but once the captain found out about his magic performances, it eventually became his occupation. Roy on the other hand was a waiter that had an affection and interest in exotic animals. Soon, the two met and that’s how the legendary duo was formed.
Siegfried & Roy lived together in Las Vegas and were romantically involved
At one point in their careers, the two entertainers began a romantic relationship, which they kept low and away from the media. They lived together in various places across the United States, especially in Las Vegas. Eventually, they bought their own estate in the shiny city, which included hip-high railings specially designed for Roy
It was Siegfried that took good care of his lifelong friend and former lover, who suffered a horrific tiger attack in 2003, which was highlighted by news across the entire world. After the attack, Roy suffered from numerous permanent injuries. He was partially paralyzed and had speaking difficulties, which explains the duo’s abrupt retirement. Since then, they have been inseparable and have appeared in various charity events, television programs, and various events.
Roy Horn was attacked and partially paralyzed by a tiger on stage
Horn suffered an attack from a tiger named Mantecore/Montecore on October 3, 2003, during a live performance, which also happened to be on his 59th birthday. The tiger first bit his sleeve without letting go. After Roy suffered from dizziness, he tripped and fell onto his back with Montecore standing over him. The tiger then bit the magician into his neck and dragged him offstage. The standby trainers saved him by spraying the animal with a CO2 fire extinguisher.
As a result of the attack, Roy’s spine and other body parts were severely injured. Despite the tragic accident, the two magicians, especially Horn, continued to maintain their connection with exotic animals. They even founded their own habitat called Siegfried & Roy’s Dolphin Habitat and Secret Garden. It’s based in Mirage Las Vegas and among some of the most exotic and majestic creatures that can be seen are bottlenose dolphins, white lions, tigers, and leopards.
How Siegfried & Roy became world-renowned television superstars
There are a lot more things that you probably didn’t know about the duo of illusionists, which we can guarantee you will find out if you keep on watching. On that note, if you find this video to be interesting and educative, please be sure to like it and subscribe to our channel for a lot more exciting content. We have all sorts of videos that focus on other entertainers, magicians, and public figures from both the 20th and 21st centuries.
Over the course of their career, Siegfried & Roy were television superstars that took the breaths away of millions of viewers. Their very first television show, that they not only produced but also starred in, is the “Masters of the Impossible” from 1996. Although it was short-lived and lasted only four episodes, the series did triumph on the Fox Kids network. Throughout their career, the magicians have starred in a wide variety of films and television projects. Their careers peaked in the late 1990s when they made their acting debut in the comedy film “Vegas Vacation”.
In the final years of the 20th century, they starred in the well-known films “Looking to Get Out” and “Eurotrash”, which to this day remain their most memorable film roles. In 1999, a biographical film that follows the personal and professional lives of Siegfried & Roy, directed by Brett Leonard and narrated by the legendary Anthony Hopkins, was released. Their final roles in films together were in the projects “Ocean’s Eleven” and “Showboy”. In the early years of the new millennium, Siegfried and his partner Roy became television presenters of the animated sitcom “Father of the Pride”.
Their final magic performance and live event took place in 2009. It was documented for the ABC television program “20/20”, as well as for their television special “The Magic Returns”. Besides television shows, documentaries, and specials (and despite being naturalized citizens of the United States), Siegfried & Roy often returned to their native Germany among other European countries, where they often performed in front of live crowds and on nationally televised shows. Among some of their most notable appearances in Europe are in the documentaries “L’antre du Mea” and “Kronen Konner Cavaliere”.
So this wraps up everything there is to know about the mysterious yet skilled magician Siegfried Fischbacher of Siegfried & Roy. The entertainer, born in Germany during World War II, began his illustrious career in the 1960s as a steward at a luxury liner, where he not only began performing magic tricks for the first time but also met his partner in crime, Roy Horn. Shortly after, the two were offered a deal in the United States, and throughout the late decades of the 20th century, they quickly became fan favorites to millions across the world.
Whether it’s because of their extravagant looks and personalities or because of the dangerous stage acts involving exotic and rare animals, Siegfried & Roy are considered some of the best magicians and entertainers to emerge from the late 20th century. Which part of the video was your favorite: the one that focuses on Siegfried’s personal life or the one that includes facts about him and his partner? Please do let us know in the comments section below. We would be happy to hear what you think of the video. Also, if you enjoyed this video and want to see similar, hit the like button and subscribe to our Facts Verse for more unique projects.