Legendary illusionist Siegfried Fischbacher didn't last long on this earth without Roy Horn, his partner on stage and in life, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The 81-year-old magician, one half of Siegfried & Roy, died late Wednesday following a battle with pancreatic cancer. His death comes eight months after Horn died of complications from coronavirus in May at age 75. Fischbacher was 81. The German-born magician—who met Horn while they were both working on a cruise ship in 1957—died at his home in Las Vegas' Little Bavaria neighborhood shortly after undergoing a 12-hour surgery to remove a tumor. He was being cared for at home at his request, Fischbacher's sister, Dolore, tells German newspaper Bild, per the Review-Journal. "He fell asleep gently and peacefully," she adds.
Fischbacher had been working as a cruise ship steward "who entertained guests with magic tricks" when Horn, a waiter, offered to help out, introducing Fischbacher to a pet cheetah he'd smuggled aboard the ship, per the Review-Journal. "From the moment we met [in 1957], I knew Roy and I, together, would change the world," Fischbacher said last year, per NBC News. The duo went on to perform across Europe before landing in Las Vegas. They sold out every one of 5,750 performances at the Mirage before tragedy struck. In recent years, Fischbacher was known to perform magic tricks for visitors to the Mirage, the site of his last public appearance. "It was just extraordinary, that joy he got from doing magic," Mirage publicist Alan Feldman tells the Review-Journal. The outlet reports a public memorial will be planned. (Read more Siegfried Fischbacher stories.)