(CMR) World-renowned illusionist Roy Uwe Ludwig Horn (75) died in Las Vegas on Friday from complications related to COVID-19. He was best known for his part in the magic duo Siegfried and Roy, which became known around the world for incorporating endangered animals into their on-stage illusions.
Horn had tested positive for coronavirus in April, according to CBS affiliate WIAT. He was hospitalized at Mountain View Hospital prior to his death.
“The world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend,” Horn's partner in magic, Siegfried Fischbacher, said in a statement.
He levitated tigers, made elephants disappear, turned himself into a python and mesmerized Las Vegas audiences. The German-born performers’ long-running production, one of the most successful in Las Vegas history, ended on Oct. 3, 2003, when Mr. Horn, on his 59th birthday, was mauled by a 400-pound white tiger who lunged at his throat and dragged him offstage before a stunned, sold-out crowd of 1,500 at MGM’s Mirage hotel-casino.
An aide yanked the tiger’s tail, leaped on its back and tried to pry open its jaws. Another sprayed it with a fire extinguisher until it let go. But Mr. Horn’s windpipe had been crushed and an artery carrying oxygen to his brain was damaged. He suffered a stroke and partial paralysis on his left side underwent two operations at University Medical Center in Las Vegas and was placed on life-support systems.
Horn was born in Germany in 1944. While working on a cruise ship, he met Siegfried, and after a conversation started from the question, “can you make a question disappear,” their 50-year career as a magic duo began, according to the statement from his press team.
During their 14-year stint at The Mirage in Las Vegas, the magicians quickly became known for their incorporation of large and beautiful wildlife in their performances, the statement added. People ventured to Las Vegas to watch their $30 million productions, which involved making tigers, white lions, leopards, jaguars, and even an elephant, disappear.