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Siegfried and Roy

Magician

Born: 13 June 1939 (Siegfried); 3 October 1944 (Roy)
Birthplace: Rosenheim, Bavaria, Germany (Siegfried); Nordenham, Germany (Roy)
Best known as:

The tiger-loving Las Vegas magicians of the 1990s

Name at birth: Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Uwe Ludwig Horn

Siegfried and Roy combined white tigers with magic in a famously glitzy act that was the toast of Las Vegas in the 1990s. The two men first met while working on an ocean liner called The Bremen in 1959; Siegfried Fischbacher was a steward and part-time magician, and Roy Horn (unlikely as it seems) had smuggled a pet cheetah on board. The pair became lifelong companions and partners in magic, touring the world and featuring big cats in many of their acts. In 1982 they began to specialize in rare white tigers, which became their signature animal. They settled permanently at the Mirage Resort on the Las Vegas strip in 1990, in a showroom built especially for them, where their splashy and spectacular show featured disappearing tigers, pyrotechnics, and outlandish costumes. The pair remained a Vegas staple until October 3, 2003, when Roy was critically injured when a tiger named Montecore grabbed him by the throat and dragged him offstage during a performance. Their show at the Mirage was closed permanently. Roy nearly bled to death, suffering a stroke and paralysis as a result. The pair did one last magic act (with Montecore) at a charity appearance in 2009, then formally retired from performing in 2010 -- a moment described by their manager as "the dot at the end of the sentence."

Extra credit:

Montecore, the tiger which attacked Roy, was seven years old and weighed over 600 pounds... Siegfried and Roy were named Magicians of the Year in 1976 by the American Academy of Magical Arts... The phrase Sarmoti, sometimes used in greeting by Siegfried and Roy, is an acronym for "Siegfried and Roy, Masters of the Impossible"; a Saturday-morning cartoon by the same name debuted in 1993... Their first Las Vegas appearance was at the Tropicana in 1967.

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