Were Siegfried and Roy lovers? Magician duo who died within year of each other never discussed their sexuality
Siegfried Fischbacher's death at age 81 on Wednesday marked the end of the legendary big cat illusionist act Siegfried & Roy
Siegfried Fischbacher's death at age 81 on Wednesday marked the end of the legendary big cat illusionist act Siegfried & Roy. Fischbacher's reps announced in a statement that he was terminally ill with pancreatic cancer and recently underwent surgery to remove a tumor. Earlier this month, he was discharged from the hospital and was under the care of hospice workers, the New York Post reported.
It's worth noting that the timeless magician's death came less than a year after his longtime stage partner Roy Horn succumbed to complications from Covid-19. It is believed they were lovers, but the couple rarely spoke about their relationship or sexuality publicly.
Were they lovers?
According to a report by The Hollywood Reporter, Siegfried personally took care of Roy when the latter suffered life-altering injuries after a tiger named Montecore attacked him onstage. At the time, the duo lived in Little Bavaria, an estate in Las Vegas that is equipped with hip-level railings along footpaths. Roy could reportedly walk only short distances and had difficulty talking.
Siegfried and Roy met early in life and bonded over magic. They remained close ever since, and Roy often finished Siegfried's sentences despite having difficulty speaking himself. According to Heavy.com, the duo met when they were both working on a luxury liner, TS Bremen. Siegfried would eventually ask Roy to join him in his magical performances, thereby forming the timeless duo. Both magicians were born in Germany during World War II. According to the report, Roy's mother went into labor during bombings by Allied forces on her town.
In an article from March 28, 2019, the Hollywood Reporter described Roy as Siegfried’s former lover. “Fischbacher, now 79, went on to extravagantly care for his lifelong friend and former lover Horn, 74, at their Little Bavaria estate in Vegas, whose sprawling, rustic grounds are outfitted with hip-high rails along winding paths to make it easier for Horn to get around," reporter Gary Baum wrote for the outlet. "Today, he’s able to stroll short distances when not confined to a scooter and can talk only with difficulty.”
Meanwhile, another article from 2008 said Siegfried and Roy never publicly identified themselves as gay - albeit the public assumed they were in a relationship. And as reported by SFGate, the duo's 1999 film, 'Siegfried & Roy: The Magic Box', was played at the San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival in 2000. Furthermore, a 2003 article from The Advocate magazine said that "the media" mostly ignored Siegfried and Roy’s relationship after Horn was left paralyzed from the tiger attack in Las Vegas. According to Heavy.com, there have been several references to the duo's relationship - but they never openly discussed their relationship or sexuality.
A Vanity Fair article from 1999 says that the "couple deflect the question of whether they are gay but do claim a friendship with Michael Jackson.” According to the report, the sexuality of Siegfried and Roy is mentioned amidst descriptions of their eccentricities, which include Roy sleeping with tiger cubs. Meanwhile, a mural on Siegfried’s bedroom wall depicted him in the nude with cheetahs.