Roy Horn has died from Covid-19 complications.
The 75-year-old magician — one-half of the popular Las Vegas animal and magic act Siegfried and Roy — passed away on Friday (May 8) at Mountain View Hospital in Las Vegas, after contracting coronavirus last month.
His performance partner Siegfried Fischbacher said in a statement: "Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend. 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.
"Roy was a fighter his whole life including during these final few 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."
The pair first met while working on a cruise ship and became famous for using white tigers and other animals in their act.
They began performing in Las Vegas in 1967, and their hugely popular shows wowed fans at the city's Mirage Hotel for 14 years.
However, Horn was severely injured when a seven-year-old white tiger named Mantacore attacked him during one of their shows at the Mirage in 2003. The tiger bit him on the neck and carried him offstage and he suffered critical injuries to his spine, severe blood loss and a stroke.
The incident permanently affected his mobility and speech, but Horn was able to take part in some events before he and Fischbacher retired in 2010.
Despite the injuries, he always insisted that Mantacore — who lived in the Siegfried & Roy Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage hotel until his death in 2014 — had never meant to hurt him.
He said. "I will forever believe it was his concern for my safety and well-being that caused him to act as he did on that night long ago. We spent many hours together and he never failed to bring me great joy and wonderment. It was my great honour to be beside him at the end."— BANG