Saying goodbye to a most magical era of Las Vegas history
By Melissa Gill
Siegfried Fischbacher, the second half of the legendary magician duo of Siegfried & Roy, passed away at age 81 from pancreatic cancer on January 13. Last year his partner, Roy Horn died from complications with COVID-19. Both illusionists greatly impacted the Las Vegas community and Siegfried will be missed. Here are five things we’ll always remember about two of the world’s greatest showmen.
The Magic Animals
In their show, the magicians incorporated a menagerie of magical beasts—including white tigers, lions and elephants. These two are the original Tiger Kings. Siegfried brought the magic and Roy brought animal expertise. Together they created one of the most popular shows that ever ran on the Las Vegas Strip.
Watch their dazzling performance of “The Magic & The Mystery” at The Mirage below.
Siegfried and Roy’s spectacle was not only one of the most memorable shows on the Las Vegas Strip, it was also one of the longest running shows. Their collaborative career spanned over 50 years, including a 14-year-long run at The Mirage. They captured the hearts of millions with their mesmerizing act.
Siegfried Fischbacher, half of large-animal magic team Siegfried & Roy, dies at 81 https://t.co/rSJGmyFQW6— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 14, 2021
A Family-Friendly Performance
Many Las Vegas shows, especially when Siegfried and Roy began performing in Las Vegas, included content not suitable for all ages. In 1981, the dynamic duo convinced the New Frontier Hotel to give them a spot to entertain adults and children alike. According to the Los Angeles Times, for their six-and-a-half year run of “Beyond Belief” at that venue, they performed for over 3 million people.
Even today, they continue to educate and share their love of wild life with families through Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage.
Home Means Las Vegas
Siegfried and Roy loved the city of Las Vegas. On their website, Roy said they arrived to Las Vegas with two cheetahs, a jaguar and flamingos. Entranced by the dazzling city, they made Las Vegas their home. “Las Vegas was my kind of town: it was an empty canvas and as magicians, we could create anything,” he told Siegfried. They inspired many magicians with their one of a kind show, including another magician resident, Criss Angel.
A Philanthropic Legacy
Siegfried and Roy contributed to over a thousand charity campaigns both in Las Vegas and nationally. Connected to wildlife, they have always believed in protecting endangered animals. Committed to the conservation of their white tigers and the rest of the animal kingdom, they created the SARMOTI Foundation. Throughout their lives, they have helped rescue big cats from captivity and preserve those living in the wild.