Getty / YouTube / Wallstreet Journal
Source: Getty / YouTube / Wallstreet Journal

Illusionist Siegfried Fischbacher Dies at 81 — Colleagues & More Mourn Legendary Entertainer

Mabale Moloi
Jan 15, 2021
08:15 P.M.
Share this pen

Famous illusionist Siegfried Fischbacher died on Wednesday after succumbing to pancreatic cancer, aged 81. Tributes have poured in from the Las Vegas mayor, fellow magician David Copperfield, the MGM Grand, and more.


According to a statement shared by his sister, the remaining half of the iconic magic due act, "Siegfried and Roy," Siegfried Fischbacher, died peacefully in his Las Vegas home.

Magician David Copperfield remembered Fischbacher as a trailblazer and an icon on his Twitter. He credited Fischbacher for helping make Las Vegas the home of magic and illusion.

Siegfried Fischbacher (L) and Roy Horn (R) speaking at the HELP event in Las Vegas in September, 2016. | Photo: Getty Images.


Actor Thomas Lennon shared a heartwarming encounter his son had with the legend, where he pulled a coin behind the little boy's ear, reminding them there was enchantment all around them. He concluded his tweet with:

"A lovelier person you would not meet. #RipSiegfried."

Another member of the magic fraternity, Penn Jillette, acknowledged Fischbacher's role in opening doors for magic teams. He attributed the style of full-length magic shows to the start of the "Siegfried and Roy" act.


Having served as a home for the duo's act over several decades, the MGM Grand commended the illusionists for having thought outside of the box to create an entertainment experience that had never been seen before.

Their act came to a crashing halt after Horn was left paralyzed by a tiger that attacked him on stage.

Las Vegas mayor, Carolyn Goodman, penned a moving thread that began by honoring the friendship she had enjoyed with the performer, which he had honored with loyalty.


In her Twitter thread, Goodman described the good work "Siegfried and Roy" had done in caring for the wild cats they used to incorporate into their act, which put their show in high demand and helped to put the city on the map, adding:

"Anyone who came to town, their request was always, 'I must see Siegfried and Roy!'"

Fischbacher lost his fight with cancer just two days after publicizing he was terminal. Surgeons successfully removed a malignant tumor, only to find it had already spread. He had himself discharged, yearning to be at home for his final days.


Having created a name for themselves in Vegas, "Siegfried and Roy" enjoyed a career that lasted over 40 years, including having a residency at The Mirage beginning in 1990 until 2003.

After being heralded as the most successful show on the strip, their act came to a crashing halt after Horn was left paralyzed by a tiger that attacked him on stage.

Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn feeding one of their tiger cubs in Las Vegas in August, 2008. | Photo: Getty Images.


Only 8 months before his death, Fischbacher's friend Horn lost his life at 75 due to COVID-19 complications. The loss was tough on Fischbacher, who expressed the pain of losing his closest companion.

As pointed out by The Mirage through their tribute, one hopes those who have been saddened by this death can find comfort in imagining that the two friends have been reunited to continue their shows in the afterlife.