Magician Roy Horn, best known as part of the Las Vegas performing duo of Siegfried & Roy, has died at the age of 75 after contracting coronavirus.
The entertainer tested positive for COVID-19 last month and was said to have been “responding well to treatment”.
Horn and Siegfried Fischbacher were world renowned for their Las Vegas shows involving white lions and tigers.
In a statement, Fischbacher said: “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. 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.”
Magician David Copperfield tweeted: “A wonderful artist, a legend – Roy gave so much to entertainment and our community.”
Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger added: “I always loved seeing Siegfried & Roy, two great immigrants who set a new standard for entertainment. No one could match their talent and energy.
“They literally had the best show in the history of Vegas. I loved watching Roy’s magic and stunts. I can’t believe he’s gone.
“I’ll always be grateful for their big hearts and kindness. When my mom came to visit, it was a big deal for her to see Siegfried and Roy, and they made her feel like the queen. My thoughts are with Roy’s family, Siegfried, and all of their fans.”
Horn and Fischbacher, both Germans, launched their Las Vegas show at the Mirage in 1990, performing elaborate tricks alongside animals.
However, the act unravelled in October 2003 when a tiger named Mantecore mauled Roy during a live performance.
The attack severed his spine, caused severe blood loss and inflicted several critical injuries, permanently affecting his ability to move, walk and speak.