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Siegfried Fischbacher of famed magic act 'Siegfried & Roy' dies of pancreatic cancer at 81

Siegfried Fischbacher died on Wednesday evening at his home in Las Vegas from pancreatic cancer.
Las-Vegas In United States On December 01, 1993.
Siegfried and Roy in Las Vegas, United States on December 01, 1993.Alain Benainous / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Siegfried Fischbacher, half of the world-famous Las Vegas magic and entertainment act Siegfried & Roy, died of cancer eight months after the death of his long-term business partner, Roy Horn. Fischbacher was 81.

His sister Dolore Fischbacher, a nun in Munich, Germany, told NBC News Thursday that Fischbacher died Wednesday evening at his home in Las Vegas from terminal pancreatic cancer.

Due to the pandemic, Dolore said she couldn't visit him for the holiday season, but had kept in touch and was on the phone with the renowned illusionist for about 30 minutes before he passed.

"He was only able to say ‘okay’,” Dolore, 78, said. “It was kind of like an Amen.”

“He is not dead, he will live on in my heart,” she said.

Horn died of COVID-19 complications in May at age 75.

Siegfried & Roy, known for their work with big cats, put on Las Vegas shows for decades — until Horn was in a near-fatal accident that put a stop to their long-running production. Horn died in May of COVID-19 complications at age 75.

In 2003, a 380-pound tiger, Mantecore, bit Horn's neck and dragged him off the stage during a show at the Mirage Las Vegas. The attack crushed his windpipe and left the then-60-year-old partially paralyzed.

Fischbacher was born in Rosenheim, Germany, where he developed an early penchant for the art of magic.

The two met more than 60 years ago on a cruise ship, where Horn was a steward and Siegfried was a magician, according to a statement from the act's publicity firm. Horn helped Siegfried with his act, and the rest was history.

Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn attend the Animal Foundation's 10th annual "Best in Show" at the Orleans Arena on April 28, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.Gabe Ginsberg / FilmMagic

The pair hit the Vegas strip in 1967 and, in 1989, started a 14-year run at the Mirage that transformed the duo into a singular tourism draw. Their $30 million production at the hotel sold out nightly, according to the statement.

The pair used a collection of animals onstage that included white tigers, white lions, leopards, jaguars and an elephant.

When Fischbacher caught wind of Horn’s passing, he shared a few parting words: "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."

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