The German illusionists had been entertaining Vegas for almost 30 years with their unique brand of animal magic until a tiger bit Roy's neck on stage. Paws for thought.
From the tender age of nine, Siegfried Fischbacher was drawn to the world of magic, after discovering a book of magic at the village bookstore. Meanwhile, Roy Horn spent much of his childhood befriending exotic animals at Bremen zoo.
Siegfried & Roy met in 1957, onboard an ocean liner, where they were both working. After watching Siegfried pull a rabbit out of a hat in front of the dinner guests, Roy approached his fellow entertainer with a proposition.
"If you can make a rabbit and a dove appear and disappear, can you do the same with a cheetah?”
Unbeknown to his employers, Roy had smuggled Chico the cheetah onboard, and Siegfried & Roy began to develop the magic that would become their trademark.
For five years they fine-tuned their act, playing small clubs all across Europe. A show at the casino in Monte Carlo later saw them talent spotted by a representative of the Folies Bergere.
The illusionists were offered the opportunity of taking their show to Las Vegas, where they went on to take the US by storm.
However, the duo's huge success was to be marred in 2003 when a 7-year-old white tiger viciously attacked Horn during a performance on the Las Vegas strip. It was the magician and trainer's 59th birthday!
Despite Horn’s slow recovery, the duo continue to combine exotic animals and showbiz glitz.