Famed illusionist Roy Horn died from coronavirus complications on Friday at age 75, his publicist announced. Horn was being treated in a Las Vegas hospital at the time of his death, the New York Times reported.
Horn was half of the famous illusionist duo Siegfried & Roy, which performed all over the world for a period of 35 years. Much of the duo’s career was spent at the MGM Mirage in Las Vegas, where they brought in hundreds of millions of dollars since 1990.
“Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend,” Siegfried Fischbacher said in a statement to the press. “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.”
Fischbacher took care of Horn for over a decade after he was attacked by a white tiger during a show and then had a stroke in 2003. Horn did not blame the tiger, Mantecore, for the attack and refused to euthanize the animal, which died naturally in 2014.
A long partnership
Prior to the accident and stroke, Siegfried and Roy was one of the most popular magic acts in the country. Fischbacher and Horn met on a cruise ship while both were working there, and when Fischbacher brought Horn into his magic show, the rest was history.
The show became an extravaganza in which Horn levitated tigers and turned himself into a snake, among other amazing illusions. At one point, people were willing to pay $300 a ticket to see the show, the Times reported.
The duo was proud of the fact that animals used in their shows were well-treated, and they were active in the conservation movement as well as keeping many exotic animals on their two multi-million-dollar properties.
Horn and Fischbacher earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1999 before Horn’s accident.
Other famous coronavirus victims
A number of other high profile, mostly elderly Americans have died from the coronavirus since the outbreak began to spike in early March.
Country star Joe Diffie, Star Wars actor Andrew Jack, and NFL kicker Tom Dempsey have all succumbed to the virus since mid-March. Journalist Maria Mercader was only 54 when she died from the disease in March.
Creative types including Chef Floyd Cardoz, Jazz legend Ellis Marsalis Jr., and Italian shoe designer Sergio Rossi also died of the coronavirus in the last seven weeks.
The virus has not spared any racial or social group, but does seem to hit the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions much harder than other groups.