Siegfried Fischbacher, one-half of the flamboyant big cat illusionist act Siegfried and Roy, died Wednesday at his home in Las Vegas. He was 81.
Fischbacher was reportedly terminally ill with pancreatic cancer and recently underwent an operation to remove a tumor, according to the German publication Bild.
He was released from the hospital earlier this month and was being cared for at home by two hospice workers, the outlet reported.
The legendary magician’s death comes less than a year after the passing of his longtime stage partner Roy Horn due to complications from COVID-19.
The German-American duo met on a cruise ship, where they bonded over Horns pet cheetah, Chico, which he had smuggled on board.
The duos act which blended tiger-taming with David Copperfield-esque magic and a gaudy dose of Liberace glitz launched in Sin City circa 1967. But it was their $30-million, 14-year-run at the Mirage theater, beginning in 1989, that propelled them into global stardom amid the height of the era of excess.
In 2003, Horn suffered a gory career-ending injury when Mantacore, a 400-pound Siberian tiger, sunk its teeth into his neck during a live performance on his 59th birthday, no less at the Mirage hotel-casino.
In a 2019 interview on ABCs Good Morning America,” the performers said they had made peace with the infamous mauling incident that killed their careers.
I really dont miss it, Fischbacher said at the time. 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.
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