Las Vegas entertainment legend Roy Horn ‘waved goodbye’ to his magic partner and lifetime companion Siegfried Fischbacher moments before he died, DailyMail.com can reveal.
It’s understood Roy, 75, who had been in intensive care for almost a week after being struck down by the coronavirus, woke briefly from a coma, wiggled his fingers, before taking his final breath on Friday.
Friends of the star claimed Roy – real name Uwe Ludwig Horn – suffered a stroke after his body gave up in his battle with COVID-19 which had left him needing a ventilator to breathe.
Devastated Siegfried, 80, told friends that Roy’s finger movement, which he witnessed through the glass window of his ICU room at Mountain View Hospital in Las Vegas, was his way of ‘waving goodbye’.
Legendary magician Roy Horn (right), 75,- half of the Siegfried & Roy duo – died of complications from the coronavirus in a Las Vegas hospital Friday
Roy woke briefly from a coma, wiggled his fingers, before taking his final breath, DailyMail.com has learned. Roy clings to Siegfried above during what is believed to be the last time they were publicly pictured together in 2018
Siegfried sat vigil at Roy’s hospital room day and night as he battled the condition at Mountain View Hospital in Las Vegas
The German entertainer had been sitting vigil at Roy’s hospital room day and night as he battled the condition, and at one point it’s understood doctors turned to Ebola medication in a desperate bid to aid his recovery.
Antiviral medication remdesivir is currently undergoing clinical trials to treat COVID-19 but on May 1 the Food and Drug Administration cleared the way for its emergency use.
One friend of the duo – known worldwide as Siegfried & Roy – told DailyMailTV: ‘Roy has fought back from so many challenges in his life, but this was one battle too far.
‘Siegfried is absolutely distraught, devastated and shocked that this happened so quickly. Even a week ago there was huge hope that Roy would come through, but the virus just beat down his immune system.
‘After being admitted to the ICU, supported by a ventilator, he slipped into a coma, which left him unable to really communicate.
‘Siegfried was at the ward day and night, praying for Roy and trying to encourage him to get better.
‘He was told that his obvious underlying health problems meant that his odds were not good. They tried to give him Ebola medication hoping it would reverse his symptoms, but it had no impact.
‘The disease just overwhelmed his immune system,’ they added. ‘In his final moments Siegfried said that he saw Roy move his fingers as if he was waving to him.
‘Moments later he appeared to suffer a stroke and his organs could not take the stress and he passed.’
‘There was no chance to revive him. Siegfried feels grateful that Roy knew that he was at his side.’
After Siegfried met Roy (pictured performing in 1983), they formed their animal and magic act and started on boats before moving to the European nightclub circuit. Once they incorporated tigers, promoter Tony Azzie asked them to come to Las Vegas in 1967
The showmen – born in Germany as Siegfried Fischbacher and Uwe Ludwig Horn – met one another while working on a cruise ship in 1957. They are pictured above in 2003
Another friend of the German born artist says that Roy had begged partner Siegfried to not let him die in the hospital after he first contracted coronavirus.
The star wanted to spend his final moments at home in their sprawling Las Vegas mansion.
Roy, paralyzed when famously mauled by one of their stage tigers in 2003, loved his home life and their gardens and watching their dogs play in front of him.
‘He always hoped that he would pass away there as he and Siegfried made their Vegas home a beloved sanctuary,’ the friend said.
But as Roy’s symptoms worsened there was no choice but to admit him to Mountain View Hospital in a final bid to save his life.
‘Siegfried is distraught that it ended this way given their life long journey and his partner’s incredible fighting spirit,’ the friend said.
‘He remains shellshocked that it has happened so quickly.’
Siegfried is inconsolable at his partner’s loss and confided to friends that he regrets that he did not get a chance to properly say goodbye.
Roy has since been cremated as per his final wishes and Siegfried plans to place the urn of his life partner in his bedroom.
It’s understood the urn will sit alongside the ashes of others dear to the magician, including his mother and some of their beloved tigers and chimps.
Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn pictured in 2017 at a benefit for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Nevada
The showman was left partially paralyzed and with impaired speech following the incident in which he also suffered a stroke. He’s seen at the hospital after the attack on October 4, 2003
DailyMailTV has learned that as a precaution 80-year-old Siegfried was tested for coronavirus and the result thankfully came back negative.
The star now plans to hold a private memorial for Roy at their home in June.
Vegas dignitaries, casino chiefs and entertainment giants have discussed plans for a Celebration Of Life event for the magic legend.
It is not known where and when that event will take place given the pandemic restrictions but some of the biggest names on the Las Vegas showbiz circuit are expected to attend and perform.
On Friday Siegfried issued a statement saying: ‘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 days.’
He added: ‘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 entertaining duo, who started work on a cruise ship in 1967, worked their way up into becoming headlining pioneers on the strip in the 80s and 90s.
However, their run came to an abrupt end when Roy was attacked by a white tiger named Mantecore in 2003 – which left him partially paralyzed at the age of 60.
That performance marked Siegfried & Roy’s 5,750th and last performance on October 3, 2003.
While they performed just one more time at the Power Of Love gala in 2009, the pair remained inseparable.
Roy had been seeking stem cell and neurological treatments in a bid to recover from his injuries.
He underwent treatment just nine months ago in Munich and felt that a recovery could be achieved.
Vegas legend Wayne Newton, who headlined on the Strip during the duo’s heyday, said: ‘I send my condolences to Siegfried, Bernie, and all of Roy’s family
Magic legend David Copperfield said: ‘He was a wonderful artist, a legend. Roy gave so much to entertainment and our community’
Since his death Vegas’ biggest entertainers have paid tribute to his life.
Magic legend David Copperfield said: ‘He was a wonderful artist, a legend. Roy gave so much to entertainment and our community.’
Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller said the entertainment team would not have had a chance to succeed in Las Vegas if it were not for Siegfried & Roy.
‘No one even remembers that, before Siegfried & Roy, magic was 12 minutes in a variety slot,’ Jillette said. ‘They invented the idea of magic as a full show. You do not have Penn & Teller without Siegfried & Roy.’
Strip megastar Criss Angel added: ‘Mr. Roy Horn, Thank You for your kindness, inspiration and friendship. You paved the road and will forever be missed. May we meet again one day.’
Las Vegas mayor Carolyn G. Goodman added: ‘Roy Horn and his partner Siegfried are synonymous with what has made Las Vegas the entertainment capital of the world. They formed a beyond spectacular performing act that can never be replicated. We are devastated by our loss of Roy, a unique entertainer and dear friend.’
Vegas legend Wayne Newton, who headlined on the Strip during the duo’s heyday, said: ‘I send my condolences to Siegfried, Bernie, and all of Roy’s family. Having known Roy from the time he and Siegfried first came to Las Vegas, words cannot express what he has meant to not only our city, but to those around the world. ‘He worked tirelessly to bring happiness and joy to so many people. Rest In Peace my dear friend. You will be missed but never forgotten.’
Source: dailymail US