Siegfried & Roy
Roy (left) and Siegfried with their white lion
Uwe Ludwig Horn
October 3, 1944 Nordenham, Lower Saxony, Germany
|Other names||Siegfried & Roy|
Masters of the Impossible
From 1990, until Roy's career-ending tiger injury 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. From 2004 to 2005, Siegfried and Roy were executive producers of Father of the Pride.
Siegfried Tyrone Fischbacher (born June 13, 1939) and Roy Horn (born Uwe Ludwig Horn on October 3, 1944) were born and raised in Germany. They immigrated to the United States and became naturalized citizens.
Siegfried Fischbacher was born in Rosenheim, Germany on June 13, 1939, to Maria and Martin Fischbacher. His 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 practicing tricks. Siegfried moved to Italy in 1956, and began working at a hotel.
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. 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.
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 died in World War ll, and his mother remarried 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 10. Roy visited the United States briefly when his ship wrecked and was towed to New York City. He returned home to Bremen before returning to the sea as a waiter, where he met Siegfried and launched his performance career.
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.
In 1981, Ken Feld of Irvin & Kenneth Feld Productions started the Beyond Belief show with Siegfried & Roy at the New Frontier Hotel and Casino. A revamped version of the show was taken on a world tour in the third quarter of 1988.
On October 3, 2003, during a show at the Mirage, Roy Horn says he suffered a stroke and a seven year old white tiger named Mantecore (frequently misspelled Montecore or Mantacore) did not pick up his cues from Roy and got confused. After Roy fell over his paw, Mantecore then carried Roy off stage by his neck. Doctors at the UNLV Trauma center could not determine if Roy had a stroke before or after Mantecore dragged him offstage. Crew members separated Horn from the tiger and rushed him to the only Level I trauma center in Nevada, University Medical Center. Horn was critically injured and sustained severe blood loss.
While being taken to the hospital, Horn said, "Mantecore is a great cat. Make sure no harm comes to Mantecore." Horn told People Magazine in 2004 that Mantecore "saved his life" by attempting to drag him to safety after he suffered a stroke. The injury to Horn prompted the Mirage to close the show and 267 cast and crew members were laid off.
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 condition from the October 2003 injury improved.
In February 2009, the duo staged a final appearance with Mantecore as a benefit for the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute (although Chris Lawrence, the animal handler who interceded in the Mantecore incident, has stated that this performance involved a different tiger). Their performance was recorded for broadcast on ABC television's 20/20 program.
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."
Mantecore died on March 19th, 2014 after a brief illness. He was 17 years old.
In June 2016, it was announced that Siegfried & Roy would be producing a biopic film, documenting their lives.
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