The world is a little less magical today.
Siegfried Fischbacher, one half of the famous magic duo Siegfried & Roy, passed away on Wednesday after succumbing to pancreatic cancer. He was 81 years old.
The news was confirmed by his sister Dolore, a nun based in Munich, who told German newspaper Bild:
“He fell asleep softly and peacefully.”
Sadly, due to coronavirus concerns, friends and family were unable to be with the legendary performer in his final moments. Per DailyMail.com, his sister spoke with him on the phone shortly before his passing and was able to “pray with him and tell him that I will always be with him in my heart,” she said.
Earlier this week, the UK outlet revealed Siegfried’s terminal cancer diagnosis. The showman reportedly underwent a 12-hour operation to remove a malignant tumor, after which he was released back to his Las Vegas home at his own request and was cared for by two hospice workers.
Back in May, Siegfried’s life and stage partner Roy Horn also passed away due to complications of coronavirus. At the time, he released a statement saying:
“Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend. Roy was a fighter his whole life including during these final days. I give my heartfelt appreciation to the team of doctors, nurses and staff at Mountain View Hospital who worked heroically against this insidious virus that ultimately took Roy’s life.”
Siegfried & Roy first met in Germany in the late 1950s, developing their magic act — which included the unique addition of large and exotic animals — in their home country before debuting in Vegas in the late 1960s. They steadily gained popularity and performed sold out shows for years before a tragic incident, in which a tiger attacked Roy mid-performance, left the star paralyzed.
Siegfried’s last public appearance was in August at the dedication of Siegfried & Roy Drive at the Mirage in Vegas, where the duo had headlined their world-renowned show for more than a decade. According to local outlet the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the illusionist memorialized his longtime partner at the event, reflecting:
“Sometimes I feel alone, at Little Bavaria, but I think of him being there, his smile, and he is with me. Everywhere I go, he is there, everywhere I turn, he is with me. Everything we had built there is built for us.”
We hope wherever they are, Siegfried and Roy are together again. R.I.P.
[Image via Curtis Sabir/WENN]