Illusionist Roy Horn 'delighted' with German clinic

21st June 2005, Comments 0 comments

21 June 2005, BAD HEILBRUNN - Las Vegas illusionist Roy Horn issued a statement from his hospital bed in Germany on Tuesday saying he is "delighted" with a course of rehabilitation therapy.

21 June 2005

BAD HEILBRUNN - Las Vegas illusionist Roy Horn issued a statement from his hospital bed in Germany on Tuesday saying he is "delighted" with a course of rehabilitation therapy.

Horn indicated that he will be at the clinic in southern Germany for several weeks, but the 60-year-old celebrity declined to go into details of his therapy.

"I am so happy and grateful for the tremendous support that my friends and fans have shown here in Germany," he said. "But I must ask you to respect my privacy."

Unconfirmed reports said Horn, one-half of the 'Siegfried and Roy' act, was flown to the Leonardis Clinic in Bad Heilbrunn in Bavaria last week after his condition apparently deteriorated in recent months.

Horn was attacked 18 months ago by a tiger during a live show in Las Vegas and left partially paralysed.

Doctors at the facility in southern Germany have declined to comment more than to confirm that Horn was admitted "for follow-up treatment as a result of his tiger attack".

Doctors have gone so far, however, as to deny reports that Horn is undergoing fetal pig cell therapy similar to that used for Parkinson's patients.

Accompanied by his partner of more than 40 years, Siegfried Fischbacher, Horn arrived last Thursday in his native Germany where he was whisked to the clinic in Bavaria.

Fischbacher was born in Bavaria, not far from where the clinic is located. He has a sister, a Catholic nun, whom he used to fly annually to Las Vegas as a birthday present and introduce to the audience during the show.

Horn is from Nordenham, a small town outside Bremen near the North Sea coast. The two men met in the early 1960s aboard a German cruise ship where Fischbacher was performing as a magician and Horn was a ship's steward.

Details of their longtime relationship are shrouded in secrecy. But they claim that Horn had a pet cheetah with him on ship. As they became friends, they realised they could form a unique act combining big cats and stage magic.

After touring vaudeville houses and music halls in Europe, they landed a successful gig at the Moulin Rouge in Paris.

Aiming for the big time, the pair emigrated to the United States. They were a sensation in Las Vegas, where nightclub acts hitherto had been characterised by stand-up comics and singers.

Their mixture of animals and magic and scantily clad chorus dancers revolutionised entertainment in Las Vegas, where they dominated the entertainment scene for two decades.

Horn was attacked by a 180-kilo tiger named Montecore during a live show on his 59th birthday on October 3, 2003, at The Mirage resort in Las Vegas. The 7-year-old tiger bit into the performer's neck and dragged him off the stage.

The illusionist sustained four deep wounds and had a stroke. The tiger's teeth damaged an artery that carries oxygen to the brain, and crushed Horn's trachea.

Horn has said he fainted during the performance and the tiger was trying to help him. Animal experts have disputed that theory.

DPA

Subject: German news

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