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Magician Siegfried Fischbacher dies aged 81

Siegfried Fischbacher, one half of the famous magic double act Siegfried and Roy, has died pancreatic cancer.

Siegfried Fischbacher, one half of the famous magic double act Siegfried and Roy, has died in Las Vegas aged 81 from pancreatic cancer.

Siegfried Fischbacher dies in Vegas

The pair were some of the biggest names in magic and were famed for working with lions and tigers.

David Copperfield paid tribute calling him a “legend in magic”, and Penn Jillette said Siegfried and Roy were “pure showbiz and pure class”.

His partner Roy Horn died from Covid complications last May. The pair “invented the full length magic show headlining Vegas“, according to Penn Jillette of the duo Penn and Teller.

Siegfried and Roy first joined forces in their native Germany in the 1950s. The highlight of their flamboyant acts was their performances with white lions and white tigers.

Fischbacher and Horn met on a cruise ship and were later signed up by a liner company where they were spotted and signed to perform at a nightclub in Bremen. They went on to tour Europe and brought tigers into their act. They gained worldwide fame after launching their Las Vegas shows in the 1960s.

Their unique magic and artistry sold out shows for decades as they performed an estimated 5,000 shows for 10 million fans in Las Vegas after 1990 at the Mirage hotel-casino. They grossed more than $1bn by 2001 as a result of their thousands of shows spanning many years.

In 2009, the duo made their final appearance with a lion for the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute in Las Vegas and officially retired from showbusiness in 2010.

Fischbacher had a 12-hour operation to remove a malignant tumour recently. He was being cared for at his home by two hospice workers over the last few days.

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