Siegfried & Roy

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Siegfried & Roy
Siegfried & Roy by Carol M. Highsmith.jpg
Roy (left) and Siegfried with their white lion
Born Siegfried Fischbacher
(1939-06-13) June 13, 1939 (age 77)
Rosenheim, Bavaria, Germany
Uwe Ludwig Horn

(1944-10-03) October 3, 1944 (age 71)
Nordenham, Lower Saxony, Germany
Residence Las Vegas, Nevada
Other names Siegfried & Roy, Masters of the Impossible
Citizenship United States
Occupation Magicians, entertainers

Siegfried & Roy, consisting of Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn (born Uwe Ludwig Horn) are a German-American duo of former stage magicians and entertainers who became known for their appearances with white lions and white tigers.

From 1990 until Roy's severe onstage injury ended their stage careers on October 3, 2003, the duo formed Siegfried & Roy at the Mirage Resort and Casino, which was regarded as the most-visited show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Roy's injury has generally been reported as an attack by a tiger involved in the show, although the two magicians have disputed that account – saying instead that he suffered a stroke and that any injury by the tiger was secondary and accidental. The duo staged a brief comeback performance in 2010 before leaving show business for good. They now run a menagerie at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas.

Siegfried[edit]

Siegfried Fischbacher was born in Rosenheim, Germany on June 13, 1939 to Maria and Martin Fischbacher.[1] Siegfried's mother was a housewife and his father was a professional painter who was imprisoned by the Soviets during World War II. Siegfried purchased a magic book as a child and began practising tricks. Siegfried moved to Italy in 1956, and began working at a hotel.[2] He eventually found work performing magic on the ship the TS Bremen under the stage name Delmare. Siegfried and Roy met while Siegfried was performing aboard the ship and asked Roy to assist him during a show.[3] Siegfried and Roy were fired from the TS Bremen for bringing a live cheetah onto the ship, but were scouted by a New York-based cruise line and began performing together as a duo.[4]

Roy[edit]

Roy Horn was born Uwe Ludwig Horn on October 3, 1944 in Nordenham, in the midst of bomb attacks, to Johanna Horn. His biological father fought on the Russian front, and his father and mother divorced after the war ended. Roy's mother remarried a construction worker, and later began work in a factory. Roy had three brothers: Manfred, Alfred, and Werner. Roy became interested in animals at a very young age, and cared for his childhood dog, named Hexe. Roy's mother's friend's husband, Emil, was founder of the Bremen zoo, which gave Roy access to exotic animals from the age of ten.[5] Roy visited the United States briefly when his ship wrecked and was towed to New York City, and returned home to Bremen before returning to the sea as a waiter, where he met Siegfried and launched his performance career.[3][4]

Career[edit]

The owner of the Astoria Theatre in Bremen, Germany saw Siegfried and Roy's act aboard a Caribbean cruise ship and recruited the duo to perform at her nightclub. This launched a career on the European nightclub circuit, and the duo began to perform with tigers. They were discovered performing in Paris by Tony Azzie, who asked them to come to Las Vegas in 1967. They spent some time in Puerto Rico, and may have purchased property there.[6]

In 1981, Ken Feld, of Mattel's Feld Productions started the Beyond Belief show starring Siegfried & Roy at the New Frontier Hotel and Casino.[7][8] Irvin Feld purchased Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1982.[9] In late 1988, Beyond Belief Las Vegas act went on an international tour[8] to Japan then to Radio City ending in 1989. The show returned to Las Vegas in 1990, this time at the Mirage Hotel until the October 2003 accident.[7]

In 2004, their act became the basis for the short-lived television series Father of the Pride. Right before its release, the series was almost cancelled until Siegfried & Roy urged NBC to continue production after Roy's injury from October 2003 improved.

Horn's injury[edit]

On October 3, 2003, during a show at the Mirage, Roy was apparently bitten in the neck by a 7-year-old male white tiger named Mantecore (but often referred to as Montecore[10][11]).[12] Crew members separated Roy from the tiger and rushed him to University Medical Center. Roy was critically injured and sustained severe blood loss.[13] Siegfried and Roy have strongly disagreed with the reports that said Roy was attacked by the tiger – saying instead that he had suffered a stroke while on stage and Mantecore responded by picking him up and moving him out of the way to try to protect him, accidentally severing his artery in the process.[11] While being taken to the hospital, Roy said, "Montecore is a great cat. Make sure no harm comes to Montecore."[14]

Partially paralyzed, by 2006, Roy was talking and walking (with assistance from Fischbacher), although he has not yet gained use of his left side. On Pat O'Brien's television news program The Insider, he commented about his daily rehabilitation, "They are slave drivers over there. You'd think they are the KGB from Russia."[15]

The injury to Roy prompted the Mirage to close the show, and 267 cast and crew members were laid off.[16]

In February 2009, the duo staged a final appearance with Mantecore as a benefit for the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute. This performance was recorded for broadcast on ABC television's 20/20 program.[17]

Siegfried and Roy in 2012

On April 23, 2010, Siegfried & Roy retired from show business. "The last time we closed, we didn’t have a lot of warning," said longtime manager Bernie Yuman. "This is farewell. This is the dot at the end of the sentence."[18]

Montecore died on March 19, 2014 at the age of 17 after a short illness.[11]

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Today in history". The New York Times. Associated Press. June 13, 2014. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  2. ^ Mydlach, Jim; Lavery, Jimmy; Mydlach, Louis (June 1, 2008). The Secret Life of Siegfried and Roy: How the Tiger Kings Tamed Las Vegas. Phoenix Books. pp. 12–23. ISBN 1597775606. 
  3. ^ a b Mydlach, Jim; Lavery, Jimmy; Mydlach, Louis (June 1, 2008). The Secret Life of Siegfried and Roy: How the Tiger Kings Tamed Las Vegas. Phoenix Books. pp. 33–38. ISBN 1597775606. 
  4. ^ a b Katsilometes, John (October 3, 2013). "The Weekly Interview: Siegfried & Roy, 10 Years Later". Las Vegas Weekly. Retrieved August 30, 2015. 
  5. ^ Mydlach, Jim; Lavery, Jimmy; Mydlach, Louis (June 1, 2008). The Secret Life of Siegfried and Roy: How the Tiger Kings Tamed Las Vegas. Phoenix Books. pp. 25–31. ISBN 1597775606. 
  6. ^ Mydlach, Jim; Lavery, Jimmy; Mydlach, Louis (June 1, 2008). The Secret Life of Siegfried and Roy: How the Tiger Kings Tamed Las Vegas. Phoenix Books. p. 51. ISBN 1597775606. 
  7. ^ a b Grove, Lloyd (August 28, 2008). "The World According to Kenneth Feld". Upstart Business Journal. American City Business Journals. p. 5,18. Retrieved August 3, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "Disney Ice Extravaganza Opens". Los Angeles Times. Times Wire Services. July 1, 1988. Retrieved August 10, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Feld Family Buys Ringling Bros". New York Times. Associated Press. March 19, 1982. Retrieved 2008-07-20. The transaction also includes a Las Vegas nightclub act called Beyond Belief. 
  10. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2589543/Tiger-injured-Roy-Siegfried-Roy-dies.html
  11. ^ a b c Weatherford, Mike (2014-03-25). "Mantecore, the tiger that injured Roy Horn, has died". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  12. ^ "Mauled magician 'critical but stable'". BBC News. 2003-10-05. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  13. ^ "Roy of Siegfried and Roy critical after mauling". CNN. 2003-10-04. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  14. ^ "CNN.com". CNN. 
  15. ^ insider.tv.yahoo.com/celeb/3732/ Archived March 6, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ "Magic show in doubt after mauling". BBC News. 2003-10-06. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  17. ^ "Siegfried and Roy and tiger share final performance". China Post News. China Post. 2009-03-02. Retrieved 2009-03-02. 
  18. ^ "Siegfried & Roy Farewell Appearance". Associated Press. 2010-04-23. Retrieved 2010-06-12. [dead link]
  19. ^ Siegfried & Roy: Masters of the Impossible

External links[edit]