Siegfried Fischbacher Dead at 81, Siegfried & Roy Changed Strip Entertainment

Posted on: January 14, 2021, 08:49h. 

Last updated on: January 14, 2021, 12:06h.

Siegfried Fischbacher, who entertained millions in Las Vegas performing as Siegfried & Roy, has died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 81.

Siegfried & Roy Las Vegas magic entertainment
Siegfried Fischbacher (right), seen here many years ago with his partner Roy Horn, has died. Siegfried & Roy dazzled countless Las Vegas visitors and spurred a new Sin City entertainment category. (Image: Getty)

Siegfried is the second Las Vegas titan to die this week. Though not nearly as wealthy as the late casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, Fischbacher had an equally important impact on Las Vegas.

Siegfried & Roy overhauled entertainment in Las Vegas and became the first globally recognized illusionist and magic show on the Strip.

With Roy Horn’s death last May and Fischbacher’s passing today, Las Vegas’ most famous magic duo is forever in the past. But not forgotten.

Siegfried & Roy’s final run was at the Mirage, which is today operated by MGM Resorts. After a 13-year run, the final curtain fell on the iconic show after Montecore, one of the act’s white tigers, attacked Horn on stage and left him partially paralyzed.

Las Vegas Mainstays

Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn met aboard a cruise ship in 1957. Siegfried, working as a magician, enlisted Horn, who was a bellboy on the cruise, to assist him in his nightly act.

The decision led to a lifelong entertainment and romantic partnership. They performed in Las Vegas for some 40 years and transitioned the casino town entertainment scene from Rat Pack singers and cabarets to awe-inspiring magic headlining shows.

Numerous A-list magicians credit Siegfried & Roy for their careers.

Siegfried & Roy invented, created, pioneered the very idea that a magic show could be a full evening in Vegas,” said Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller fame, following Horn’s death eight months ago. “If not for S&R, there would be no P&T in Vegas.”

Tributes to Siegfried are pouring in this morning.

“We are just crushed to have lost Siegfried, our wonderful friend, and giant entertainer,” said Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman. “Anyone who came to town, their request was always, ‘I must see Siegfried and Roy!'”

While the two are gone, their names are forever permanent on the Las Vegas Strip. Just last August, the Mirage renamed the entranceway into the casino resort Siegfried & Roy Drive.

The Mirage is also home to Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden. The attraction allows guests to come face-to-face with some of nature’s most exotic and majestic animals, including the duo’s famed white lions and leopards.

Health Declined Quickly

It was only two days ago that word got out that Siegfried was terminally ill with late-stage pancreatic cancer. His sister, a nun in Munich, Germany, confirmed the news to media outlet Bild.

Dolore Fischbacher confirmed that her brother died last evening at his Las Vegas home. She says she was on the phone with him at the time of his death.

“He was only able to say, ‘Okay,’ ” Dolore told NBC News this morning. “He is not dead. He will live on in my heart.”