R.I.P. Siegfried

Today, the magic world is mourning the passing of Siegfried Fischbacher (1939-2021) of Siegfried & Roy fame. According to his sister, who is quoted in German news media, Siegfried passed on peacefully on Wednesday evening local time in Las Vegas. Only a few days ago it had been reported that he had terminal cancer. His partner Roy had succumbed to the COVID-19 beast just a few months ago.

Siegfried was one of the very greatest, who has brought stage magic and illusion, together with Roy and their animals, to new exciting heights. Their role in establishing full evening shows for magicians in Las Vegas, in earning top dollars and in helping transform the notorious gamblers’ city into a family-friendly entertainment place cannot be underestimated. Plus, Siegfried & Roy perfectly embodied the American dream, rising “from rags to riches” by hard work, innovations, and perseverance. And although they became superstars and rubbed shoulders nightly with the even bigger V.I.P.s, they never forgot their humble provenience and remained likeable, accessible fellows, who also helped a lot of budding magicians on their paths.

Watching their spectacular show, laden with showgirls, dragons and elephants, from a front row seat in the early 90s will always remain one of my fondest memories in magic. At one point, I stared at Siegfried in utter disbelief and fascination. By chance, he looked directly at me, his lips slowly and silently forming the words “Look over there,” and he pointed to where Roy was about to reappear a moment later. A magical moment I will always treasure.

Rest in peace, Siegfried, and thank you for your magic “beyond belief.” SARMOTI forever!

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Wittus Witt has outdone himself in putting out a quick, lovely tribute magazine to Siegfried. You can download it for free here!


The Final Curtain in 2020

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Sadly, 2020 saw the passing of quite a few magic heavyweights–performers, authors, collectors, creators, dealers and publishers, among them:

Bevely “Bev” Bergeron

Walter “Zaney” Blaney

Alfred Lee “Al” Cohen

Ger Copper

Louis Falanga

Matthew “Matt” Field

“Roy” Uwe Horn

Claude Isbecque, “Klingsor”

Ken Klosterman

Norman Dale “Norm” Nielsen

Gabi Pareras

Harvey Rosenthal

Marvyn Roy, “Mr. Electric”

Howard “Howie” Schwarzman

Roy Walton

Randall James Hamilton Zwinge, “The Amazing Randi”

Thank you for your wonderful magic, your creative talent, your generosity in driving, teaching, preserving and sharing the beautiful art of magic!

May you all rest in eternal peace.


The Final Curtain in 2019

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Sadly, 2019 saw the passing of quite a few magic heavyweights, among them

Simon Aronson

John Cornelius

Piet Forton

Anthony Owen

Eddy Taytelbaum

Johnny Thompson

Don Wayne

And let’s not forget our past masters Eugene Burger († 2017) and Ricky Jay († 2018).

Thank you for your wonderful magic, your creative talent, your generosity in teaching, helping and sharing, and for lifting and advancing the adorable art of magic!

May you all rest in eternal peace.