Siegfried & Roy:




are two German-American entertainers who worked on the Las Vegas Strip, United States. Their long running shows of illusion were famous for working with Big Cats, in particular white tigers but included white lions as well.
 
Due to their dependence on white tigers for their act, the duo implemented their own breeding program.
 
Siegfried Fischbacher (born June 13, 1939, Rosenheim) and Roy Horn (born October 3, 1944, Nordenham) were born in Germany around the time of the Second World War. They emigrated to the United States where they are now naturalized citizens.
 
In 2002, they were honored by the German-American Steuben Parade in New York, leading the Parade as Grand Marshals.
 
Siegfried is a traditional magician (illusionist), whereas Roy grew up among exotic animals and is known for his rapport with them.
 
They met in 1959 when they both found work on a German ocean liner. Siegfried was a cabin steward and Roy a waiter. Siegfried began performing magic for some of the passengers, eventually being allowed to have his own show, with Roy as his assistant. Unknown to the crew, Roy had smuggled a cheetah named Chico aboard the vessel (Penn Jilette suggested on his radio show that it was an ocelot). Roy had come to know Chico from his frequent visits to the Bremen zoo.
 
After developing their show they were engaged in Las Vegas. In 1972 they received an award for the best show of the year. In 1990 they were hired by Steve Wynn, the manager of The Mirage, for an annual guarantee of $57.5 million. In early 2000, they signed a lifetime contract with the hotel. The duo has appeared in around 5,750 shows together, mostly at The Mirage. Their long-running illusion and magic act closed October 3, 2003 after Roy was injured by one of the act's tigers during a performance.
 
According to the 2000 Becky Celebrity 100 List, Siegfried & Roy were then the 9th-highest-paid celebrities in the U.S., coming in just behind motion picture producer and director Steven Spielberg. For many years, they shared living quarters.
 
In 1999 they took Darren Romeo as a protégé, sponsoring and training him.[1]
 
For their contribution to live theater performance, Siegfried & Roy have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7060 Hollywood Boulevard.

Horn's tiger injury
On October 3, 2003, during a show at The Mirage, Roy Horn was bitten on the neck by a seven-year-old male white tiger named Montecore. 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, according to sources, "Don't harm the tiger."[2]
 
Horn was listed in critical condition for several weeks thereafter, and was said to have suffered a stroke and partial paralysis. Doctors removed one-quarter of his skull to relieve the pressure of his swelling brain during an operation known as a decompressive craniectomy. The portion of skull was placed in a pouch in Horn's abdomen in the hope of replacing it later.
 
Horn was eventually transferred to UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California for long-term recovery and rehabilitation. As of 2006, Horn is walking, assisted only by Fischbacher, and talking. To host Pat O'Brien on the television news program The Insider, he complained about his daily rehabilitation, "They are slave drivers over there. You'd think they are the KGB from Russia."[3]
 
It is disputed whether the tiger attacked Horn. Montecore had been trained by Horn since he was a cub; he had performed with the act for six years. Fischbacher, appearing on the Larry King interview program, said Horn fell during the act and Montecore was attempting to drag him to safety, as a mother tigress would pull one of her cubs by the neck.[4] Fischbacher said Montecore had no way of knowing that Horn, unlike a tiger cub, did not have fur and thick skin covering his neck and that his neck was vulnerable to injury. Fischbacher said if Montecore had wanted to injure Horn, the tiger would have snapped his neck and shaken him back and forth.
 
Former Mirage owner Steve Wynn (who had hired the duo in 1990) told Las Vegas television station KLAS-TV the events were substantially as described by Fischbacher. According to Wynn, there was a woman with a "big hairdo" in the front row who, he says, "fascinated and distracted" Montecore. The woman reached out to attempt to pet the animal, and Roy jumped between the woman and the tiger.
 
According to Wynn, the tiger gently grabbed Horn's right arm with his jaws, not scratching the arm or tearing his costume. Horn said, "Release, release", attempting to persuade Montecore to let go of his arm, and eventually striking the tiger with his microphone. Horn tripped over the cat's paw and fell on his back; stagehands then rushed out and jumped on the cat. It was only then, said Wynn, that the confused tiger leaned over Roy and attempted to carry him off the stage to safety. Wynn said that although the tiger's teeth inflicted puncture wounds that caused Horn to lose blood, there was no serious damage to his neck. One of the stagehands, Chris Ithurburn, bravely jumped forward and sprayed Horn and Montecore with a fire extinguisher to separate the two.
 
 
A white tiger in the Mirage habitat.Montecore was put into quarantine for ten days, in order to ensure he was not rabid, and was then returned to his habitat at The Mirage. While Horn has requested that Montecore not be harmed, the incident may augur the end of exotic animal shows in which there are no barriers between tigers and audience members. Some animal rights activists, many of whom oppose the use of wild animals in live entertainment, sought to use the incident as a springboard for publicity, though few have ever accused the Siegfried & Roy show of mistreating animals.
 
The injury to Roy Horn prompted The Mirage to close the show indefinitely and to lay off 267 cast and crew members with one week's severance pay. While Fischbacher has said "the show will go on", a hotel spokesman told the production staff that they "should explore other career opportunities".
 
According to the Las Vegas Advisor, The Mirage will suffer financially, not just from the loss of $45 million in annual ticket sales, but from having to forgo untold millions in sales of food, beverages, hotel rooms, and the casino's gambling winnings. An MGM Mirage spokesman said losing Siegfried & Roy is a bigger hit to the Mirage brand than to its finances, because the entertainers are "practically the faces" of the hotel, and finding a new hotel brand or identity will be difficult to do.
 
In November 2007, Horn hinted about a return of their act to the Las Vegas Review-Journal for a story about the pair's possible return to show business [5]
 

The SARMOTI Grant
Siegfried and Roy support the College of Magic in Cape Town, South Africa. The Siegfried & Roy SARMOTI Grant was established in 1997, enabling disadvantaged young people to join the college and experience the world of magic. Delivered in person by their emissary and coordinator, Lynette Chappell, the Siegfried & Roy SARMOTI Grant heralded a new era for the College of Magic.
 

Shooting
In October 2004, former Oakland Raiders kicker Cole Ford was arrested in connection with a drive-by shooting in front of the magician duo's Las Vegas home that left gaping shotgun holes and many windows shattered. There were no injuries. The following year, Ford was ruled incompetent to stand trial for charges after a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation.
 

Popular culture
As an entertainment and cultural icon, Siegfried & Roy are referenced often in pop culture in regard to their illusion and exotic animal shows. Instances in which they played a direct role in popular culture include the series Father of the Pride, of which their were executive co-producers, and the movie BASEketball, in which they made a cameo.
 
In the Martin Scorsese movie Casino, there is an act called "Jonathan and David" who were hired away from Caesar's Palace to entertain with their animal act at the fictional Tangiers casino. Though the characters are based on Siegfried and Roy and highly resemble them, they are portrayed by other actors.
 
In the unreleased Michael Jackson song, "Mind is the Magic," the chorus states "Siegfried & Roy you know it's Siegfried and Roy."[attribution needed]
 
Dennis DeYoung re-recorded the STYX song The Grand Illusion with the orchestration of Forrest Gump conductor Alan Silvestri for his greatest hits album The Ultimate Collection for inclusion in a film based upon the duo. Due to the attack upon Roy Horn, the movie never materalized.

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