May 9 (UPI) — German-born entertainer Roy Uwe Ludwig Horn, one-half of the stage duo Siegfried & Roy, has died of complications from the coronavirus. He was 75.
People reported he died in a Las Vegas hospital on Friday. He had been diagnosed with COVID-19 last month.
“Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend,” Siegfried Fischbacher said in a statement to Variety.
“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.
“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.”
Siegfried & Roy traveled the world performing its glitzy magic and big cat show, starting in 1967.
The duo’s residency at the Mirage in Vegas began in 1989 and lasted until 2003 when Horn’s white tiger Montecore dragged him by the neck off the stage, seriously injuring him in the process. Doctors believed he had a stroke.
Horn defended the tiger in an interview with Las Vegas Weekly in 2013.
“I had high blood pressure at that time, and because of the energy level of the show, I got excited and passed out onstage and fell, unfortunately. Montecore looked at me with his big blue eyes and was confused, and so he picked me up by the neck,” Horn said.
“He brought me to the side so he could attend to me. But we need to rectify — he never attacked me. If a tiger attacks you, you are finished.”
MGM Resorts paid tribute to Roy on Twitter.
“The world lost a legendary figure with the passing of Roy Horn,” the company said.
“His story, and the story of Siegfried & Roy, are larger than life. Our hearts go out to Roy’s family and friends, and most notably to Siegfried who shared a lifetime of magic and friendship with this special man.”