By Lauren Huff
May 08, 2020 at 10:35 PM EDT
roy horn
Credit: Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Illusionist Roy Horn, of Siegfried & Roy fame, died Friday from complications of COVID-19, according to a statement released by his publicist. He was 75.

Horn was best known for the popular Las Vegas show he created alongside Siegfried Fischbacher, which ran from 1990 until 2003. The show came to an abrupt end when Horn was mauled on stage by a tiger during one of their acts.

"Together, Siegfried & Roy redefined live magic by combining remarkable stagecraft with rare and endangered animals," the statement said. "In doing so, the duo created the modern era for Las Vegas entertainment."

Fischbacher said in a statement, "Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend."

A rep for Horn confirmed April 28 that he was undergoing treatment after testing positive for COVID-19, and asked for privacy.

Horn was born Roy Uwe Ludwig Horn on Oct. 3, 1944, in Germany. He developed an interest in animals from a young age, adopting a wolfdog and pet cheetah from the Bremen Zoo. Horn met Fischbacher while working as steward on a cruise ship. After Horn assisted him in one of his magic acts, Fischbacher asked him to join him on future endeavors, and Siegfried & Roy was born.

"From the moment we met, I knew Roy and I, together, would change the world," Fischbacher said. "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."

Horn is survived by a brother, Werner.

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