Roy’s “Magic Is Back”
Two years after a white tiger sunk its teeth into his neck and dragged him off stage, Roy Horn is feeling “splendid.”
In an interview published Sunday in the Las Vegas Sun, Horn said he’s also feeling constant pain.
“I’m trying to live with this,” he told the paper. “You just have to accept it.”
On the whole, Horn, the shorter, dark-haired half of Siegfried & Roy, has persevered. After almost dying–twice, he says–the illusionist can talk, shake hands with a firm grip, and walk with a cane and sometimes without, the Sun reports. This, despite being left partially paralyzed by a stroke after Montecore, a 380-pound cat (originally listed at 600 pounds), went off script on Oct. 3, 2003, during a performance at the Mirage in Vegas.
Monday marked the second anniversary of the mauling, as well as the 61st birthday of Horn.
“The magic is back,” the performer told the Sun, proving his gift for the soundbite likewise had returned.
In the interview, a more upbeat assessment than the “I cry to sleep” update he offered Maria Shriver and NBC last year, Horn said he works out at a rehab facility every day, and walks a quarter of a mile every night. His goal is to move about sans walker, wheelchair, cane or any other assistance.
“It will be soon,” he said in the paper. “I will surprise everybody. I like surprises.”
Pre-mauling, Horn and Siegfried Fischbacher, his longtime partner in magic, were top draws on the Strip, and, as of 1990, resident headliners at the Mirage. Post-mauling, the show closed, and Horn’s social calendar largely consisted of visits with his animal friends, including Montecore, at the Siegfried & Roy Secret Garden habitat, also based at the Mirage. But in recent weeks, Horn has become a public figure anew.
In August, Horn earned a standing ovation by rising from his wheelchair as he took in a Seal concert at the Mirage. It was his first appearance inside a casino showroom since the attack. And in September, he foisted a beer with Fischbacher at an Oktoberfest photo-op in Las Vegas.
There was no word from Siegfried & Roy’s publicist Monday on how Horn planned to celebrate his birthday.
An optimistic Horn told the Sun that, after recently being “cleansed” of painkillers, he “could do the show again tomorrow, that’s how good I feel.” But instead of a comeback date, the paper said Horn was due back in Germany for more physical rehab.
All in all, Horn is in better place than he was two years ago, when he told the Sun, he lie on an operating table, seeing “bright lights,” his deceased mother, his long-dead brother and his dearly departed four-legged coworkers.
“They were not ready for me,” Horn told the paper of the afterlife. “They were not ready for me to do the show upstairs. Not yet.”
Roy’s “Magic Is Back”