- Category : 1939-births
- Type : MS
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Confrontation 1
German-American illusionist (of Siegfried & Roy) who completed his 4,000th performance in Las Vegas in January 1999, along with his partner, Roy. Their show has grossed $500 million, in spite of being told 30 years ago that a magic act would never work in Vegas.
Siegfried was raised in poverty. When he was two, his dad was taken prisoner in Russia and put in a POW camp; the family suffered great privation due to the war. He was fascinated and loved magic from the time he was a kid, trying to work out original tricks of his own, in spite of his Roman Catholic family's disapproval. The youngest of three kids of a house painter and a housewife, he was shy and withdrawn, spending his time alone and daydreaming. At 17, Siegfried left home to work in an Italian hotel where he entertained with his magic tricks.
In 1958 he took a job as a Steward on the MS Berlin, a cruise ship that travelled from Germany to New York, and while on board, met 13-year old Roy. They bonded from the time they met, and once in New York, they left the ship to develop an act for small night clubs. They had a breakthrough when invited to perform for Princess Grace and Prince Rainier, putting their names out there.
In 1967 they began in the Follies Bergere Revue in Las Vegas with an appreciable salary. The MGM hotel opened in 1974, giving them a five-year contract. In the '80s, they played at the Mirage, a big hit with their sensational act. Roy had always loved animals and they incorporated big cats into their act, lions, tigers, a magnificent snow leopard, making their show a once-in-a-lifetime experience, at $78 a ticket.
On their $10 million estate outside of Vegas, they were able to successfully raise their beautiful white tigers and lions. Because of the care given to their animals, Siegfried and Roy were able to contribute the birth of multiple lion infants to the community of rare white lions.
Siegfried had a low point in 1977 with stress and illness, drained from two shows a night of two hours each.
In 2001, he and his partner Roy signed a lifetime contract with The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. On 3 October 2003, Roy was badly hurt when a tiger mauled him during their performance. The show was cancelled at least through year end, and Siegfried, staying by Roy's hospital bed, insisted, despite animal experts saying the contrary, that the animal did not intend to kill Roy.
From August 2004 to May 2005, Fischbacher and Horn were executive producers of the animated sitcom Father of the Pride. On 23 April 2010, Fischbacher and Horn retired from show business.
Roy Horn died at the age of 75 on 8 May 2020 at Mountain View Hospital in Las Vegas during the COVID-19 pandemic in Nevada. In January 2021, Siegfried Fischbacher announced he had terminal pancreatic cancer. He died in Las Vegas on 13 January 2021 at the age of 81.