Siegfried and Roy

Siegfried and Roy
Born Oct. 3, 1944 (Roy)
June 13, 1939 (Siegfried)
Nationality German

Siegfried and Roy remain one of the most famous of all magician duo acts. The two magicians have been touring all over the world for decades mesmerizing audiences with their unique performances. The careers of these two men were greatly overshadowed when tragedy struck in 2003. Roy was mauled by a tiger during a performance in Las Vegas. Doctors say he was lucky to have survived.

Early Years

The full names of Siegfried and Roy are Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy (Uwe) Horn. Siegfried was born on June 13, 1939, and Roy was born on October 3, 1944. Their country of origin is Germany, but they are now citizens of the United States.

As a young man, Roy Horn loved animals. In particular, he was very fond of his pet dog. His love for animals grew as Roy would visit the local zoo. He was truly enamored with a cheetah and actually convinced the zoo to let him help care for it. The zookeepers agreed and Roy started heading down the very unlikely path of becoming a professional animal tamer.

Starting a Partnership

Roy eventually landed a job working on a cruise ship. In 1957, he became friends with Siegfried, who was working as a steward. Siegfried had a love for magic and would perform tricks on the ship as a means of keeping himself entertained. He was also able to entertain fellow crew members and, upon seeing how the makeshift audience reacted, Siegfried continued to hone his skills.

The two eventually became an unlikely duo: an animal trainer and a magician performing an act together. For five full years, the two worked the entertainment circuit throughout Europe. They did not make a lot of money and were frequently struggling.

A performance in Monte Carlo would forever change their fortune. A scout from a Las Vegas casino saw them and brought them to the United States. Siegfried and Roy became a smash hit in Vegas. The two would perform all over the world for the next 30 years.

Their Unique Act

Weaving in lions and tigers into their act certain did not hurt. No one else was doing such a thing and the duo was able to stand out. Their stage presence was very charismatic and this contributed to their success.

The use of lions and tigers in the act helped draw attention to the conservation of these precious animals. Siegfried and Roy eventually established a conservatory outside of Law Vegas to help care for these animals.

Tragedy at the Mirage

Siegfried and RoyFor Roy Horn, tragedy struck on October 3, 2003, when a near 400-pound lion bit him on the neck during a live show. Roy suffered major blood loss and was partially paralyzed. The show was immediately closed down and a television series the two were working on, Father of the Pride, was quickly canceled.

Very few people gave Roy Horn much of a chance for surviving much less walking again. Not only did he survive, he was able to gain the ability to walk without assistance in 2005. Siegfried and Roy have since retired from show business.

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