Roy Horn of ‘Siegfried & Roy’ Dies from complications of COVID-19

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Roy Horn, of the world-renowned duo Siegfried & Roy, died of complications from COVID-19 in Las Vegas Friday. He was 75.

>>Photos: Siegfried & Roy through the years

“Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my 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.”

“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.”

—  Siegried Fischbacher

Horn’s publicist confirmed the news Friday evening.

>> Photos: Notable deaths 2020

He had tested positive for the coronavirus last month, his publicist said.

Horn was born in Nordenham, Germany, paired with Siegfried Fischbacher to perform magic tricks and stunts with big cats. The pair performed worldwide and then became a staple in Las Vegas from 1990 to 2003, ABC News reported.

The act’s regular schedule of performances ended at The Mirage in 2003, when Horn was attacked onstage by his white Bengal tiger, Mantecore.

The tiger bit into Horn’s neck and dragged him off stage, KTNV reported. Horn’s spine was severed and caused severe injuries, the television station reported. He was initially unable to move, walk or speak after the attack, KNTV reported.

The pair returned to the Las Vegas stage for a final benefit performance in 2009, ABC News reported. The pair said they raised $14 million for the Cleveland Clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.

The pair gained international recognition for helping to save rare white tigers and white lions from extinction. Their $10 million compound was home to dozens of rare animals over the years. The white lions and white tigers were the result of a preservation program that began in the 1980s.

“The good news is that the white tigers and white lions are going into the 21st century,” Horn said in a 1999 interview with The Associated Press. “The bad news is that if we don’t do something about the tigers in the wild, they will disappear.”

Siegfried & Roy’s show, incorporating animal antics and magic tricks, included about 20 white tigers and lions, the number varying depending on the night. The show also had other exotic animals, including an elephant.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.