Roy Horn – part of the famous animal-loving illusionist duo Siegfried & Roy – has died at the age of 75 due to complications from COVID-19. Horn passed away at Las Vegas’ Mountain View Hospital on Friday, May 8, after testing positive for the novel coronavirus last month.
According to People magazine, at the time Horn tested positive, his publicist said that the entertainer was “responding well to treatment.” Unfortunately, things quickly took a turn for the worse.
— The Hill (@thehill) May 9, 2020
Horn’s partner, Siegried Fischbacher said in a statement that the world had lost one of the greats of magic, but he had lost his best friend.
“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,” said 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.”
Horn and Fischbacher were a team for more than 50 years. They met onboard a cruise ship and started a nightclub act together and snuck a tiger into it. Tony Azzie discovered the duo in 1967 and brought them to Las Vegas.
Siegried & Roy shot to fame in the 1990s thanks to their spectacular shows at the Mirage Resort and Casino that ran from 1990 until 2003.
The popular show came to an abrupt end in 2003 after one of Siegfried and Roy’s white tigers – a massive 600-pound animal named Montecore – attacked Roy on stage in the middle of their act.
The mauling left Roy partially paralyzed after he suffered a stroke and lost a significant amount of blood. However, Roy always claimed that Montecore actually helped him and dragged him off the stage. Roy claimed that he had “passed out onstage and fell” due to his high blood pressure and the show’s energy level.
“Montecore looked at me with his big blue eyes and was confused, and so he picked me up by the neck. He brought me to the side so he could attend to me,” Roy told Las Vegas Weekly in 2013. “But we need to rectify — he never attacked me. If a tiger attacks you, you are finished.”