79°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Gov. Sisolak orders flags at half-staff for Roy Horn

Updated May 16, 2020 - 5:43 pm

The Las Vegas Strip would typically dim its lights to honor the passing of an entertainment legend as large as Roy Horn. Given that Strip resorts are currently dark, Gov. Steve Sisolak is ordering all flags statewide to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Monday.

Horn died May 8 in Las Vegas from complications of COVID-19. He was 75.

“Roy had an uncanny ability to entertain and mesmerize audiences,” Sisolak said in a statement. “His world-famous act brought joy to Nevadans and visitors alike. For both his contribution in helping elevate Las Vegas as the entertainment capital of the world, and for his vast work in wildlife conservation, we are proud to honor him.”

On Friday, Horn’s longtime entertainment partner Siegfried Fischbacher expressed his gratitude in a statement.

“On behalf of Roy, I want to thank Governor Sisolak for the respectful statewide honoring of his memory. The city of Las Vegas, the state of Nevada and America graciously welcomed us and gave Roy and I the opportunity to live our dreams,” Fischbacher said. “I know Roy will be looking down proudly on the flags flying across the state he loved so much. We are tremendously and gratefully humbled by the outpouring of love and warm wishes from the people of Las Vegas and all of Nevada.”

Lynette Chappell, the duo’s stunning Evil Queen onstage and also confidant and personal assistant, says she has been devastated by the loss.

“Roy’s passing is a very personal heartbreak for me, of course,” Chappell said in a statement. “But I have been overwhelmed and comforted by the heartfelt outpouring from the hundreds of former cast, crew and animal caretakers who have reached out to share what Roy meant to them.

“Roy referred to all of them as our great SARMOTI family, and a family they truly are.”

SARMOTI is the duo’s acronym, meaning Siegfried And Roy Masters Of The Impossible.

The flag tribute was the vision of Larry Ruvo, founder of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Ruvo and the entertainment duo had been friends for decades, and S&R staged their “final bow” performance at the center’s Keep Memory Alive Power of Love gala at Bellagio on Feb. 28, 2009. In an expert performance, the duo made a big cat, later billed as Mantecore, vanish.

Siegfried & Roy arrived in Las Vegas in 1967. The duo grew from a specialty act in “Folies Bergere” at the Tropicana to a lavish, sold-out production at The Mirage from 1990 until Horn was forced from the stage after being injured by the big cat Mantecore (then known as Montecore) in October 2003.

Horn was honored with a marquee tribute “takeover” on all MGM Resorts International properties the night of his death.

Sisolak’s order recites the entertainment team’s groundbreaking production, ambassadorship of the city and dedication to wildlife and endangered species. Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage, home to several white tigers, white lions and leopards, has remained a popular attraction.

Also on Thursday, it was announced work on the duo’s authorized biopic is moving forward. Fischbacher, along with Nico Hofmann and Sebastian Werniger of UFA Fiction, have partnered with director and writer Michael Bully Herbig (the German voice of Woody in “Toy Story 3” and “Toy Story 4”) on the script.

The script for the project, two years in the making, is close to complete, with Fischbacher collaborating on the details. Preproduction commences soon after that work is finished. It will be presented as a feature film in theaters and a miniseries for TV. No title has been announced.

“Roy and I worked closely with Nico and Bully to tell the story of our life together, on and off stage,” Siegfried said. “This will be our personal and emotional journey that could only be told as we looked back over how the connection between us built our career and led to our achievements.

“Now that Roy is gone, this movie will be the ultimate tribute to the truly special person Roy was not just to me but to our audiences and fans.”

Fischbacher has been quoted in German media that his longtime partner’s ashes have been placed in an urn at the duo’s Little Bavaria fortress in Las Vegas. Fischbacher pledged to remain in Las Vegas, in the estate Roy envisioned for the duo and their vast family of exotic animals.

“I feel peace because Roy fell asleep in peace,” Fischbacher said. “And he’s still with me no matter where I turn.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
Las Vegas performers adapt to pandemic restrictions - Video
The coronavirus pandemic has forced creative people in Las Vegas, a city that thrives on live performance, to adapt to new or changed ways to entertain. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas woman brings Blue Angel to life - Video
When Las Vegas shut down during the coronavirus pandemic, Victoria Hogan created the Blue Angel costume and performance, emulating the statue locals know and love in order to connect with others in a time when connection isn’t as possible. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
‘Hamilton’ postponed as Smith Center remains dark indefinitely - VIDEO
The hit musical 'Hamilton' was supposed to run from September through October at The Smith Center’s Reynolds Hall has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons rides a bicycle on the Strip with Kats
Las Vegas resident and ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons rides down the Strip with his wife Gilligan Stillwater GIbbons and Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist John Katsilometes Wednesday, May 20, 2020. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons rides a bicycle on the Las Vegas Strip with Kats - Video
Las Vegas resident and ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons rides down the Strip with his wife, Gilligan Stillwater Gibbons, and Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist John Katsilometes on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Ex-WWE star Shad Gaspard found dead on beach - Video
Shad Gaspard, 39, the former WWE wrestler, was found dead Wednesday morning on the shoreline of Venice Beach in California. Gaspard went missing over the weekend. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Buffets won’t reopen soon, but they may return eventually - VIDEO
In a Tuesday earnings call, Frank Fertitta III, CEO of Station Casinos parent company Red Rock Resorts, said buffets won’t be among the amenities included in the early stages of the resorts’ reopenings. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
'Hamilton' to debut on Disney+ in July - Video
The film version of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s popular musical was originally set for theatrical release in October. The musical’s director, Tommy Kail, shot three live performances featuring the original Broadway cast. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Little Richard dead at 87 - VIDEO
Little Richard, the pioneer and rock 'n' roll originator, died on Saturday, May 9. His son, Danny Penniman, confirmed the news but the cause of death is unknown. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jerry Stiller, actor and comedian, dies at 92 - VIDEO
Jerry Stiller's son, actor and director Ben Stiller, announced his father's death via Twitter. Jerry Stiller became widely known with a recurring role on "Seinfeld" as Frank Costanza, George's hot-headed father. He also starred on "King of Queens." (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Wolfgang Puck's Players Locker opens in Downtown Summerlin along with others - VIDEO
Under the governor's orders a few restaurants were able to open their dining rooms in Downtown Summerlin Saturday, May 9. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nicolas Cage to portray Joe Exotic in ‘Tiger King’ TV adaption - VIDEO
Nicolas Cage is headed to television to take on the role of Joe Exotic, the iconic character from the Netflix docuseries "Tiger King." (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Quarantined! 'The Ghost Adventures' miniseries by Zak Bagans - VIDEO
The four-part miniseries “Ghost Adventures: Quarantine” by Zak Bagans will debut in June on the Travel Channel. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
10 facts about Cinco de Mayo - VIDEO
The holiday celebrates the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Mexico began the holiday in 1862, but does not recognize it nationally anymore. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kristin Cavallari has already filed for divorce - VIDEO
Kristin Cavallari, the "Very Cavallari" star, announced she and her husband, former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler, have separated after seven years of marriage and 10 years together. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Brad Pitt portrays Dr. Anthony Fauci on ‘Saturday Night Live’ - VIDEO
"Saturday Night Live’ aired their second socially distanced episode of the COVID-19 pandemic on April 25. The episode’s cold open featured actor Brad Pitt portraying Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Brian Dennehy, 'Tommy Boy' and 'First Blood' star, dies at 81 - VIDEO
Actor Brian Dennehy died Wednesday in New Haven, Connecticut. Dennehy's acting career spanned more than four decades, working in television, film and theater. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bishop Gorman 'Guys and Dolls' virtual performance
Bishop Gorman's virtual opening of "Guys and Dolls." (Bishop Gorman High School)
John Prine, country-folk singer, dies at 73 - VIDEO
John Prine died due to complications caused by COVID-19 at Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee on April 7. The singer-songwriter is counted as one the favorite artists by the likes of Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars furloughing about 90% of US workers
The furloughs come amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prompted all U.S. commercial casinos to temporarily shut their doors.
Bill Withers, soul legend and 'Lean on Me' singer, dead at 81 - VIDEO
Bill Withers' family said he died of heart complications on Monday in Los Angeles. Withers was a three-time Grammy winner. His other major hits include “Ain’t No Sunshine" and “Lovely Day.” (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas KatsWalk: From the Mandalay Bay to Excalibur - VIDEO
Review-Journal columnist John Katsilometes walks and talks along the Las Vegas Strip, from Mandalay Bay to Excalibur. (John Katsilometes and Kevin Cannon / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Make Ivan Grant's Quarantini - VIDEO
Ivan Grant, a flair bartender at Long Bar at The D Las Vegas, makes his Quarantini. (Ivan Grant)
Fountains of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger dies from coronavirus - VIDEO
According to Variety, 52-year-old frontman and songwriter Adam Schlesinger has died, following a short battle with the respiratory illness, coronavirus. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
KATS WALK: A walking tour on south Las Vegas Strip – VIDEO
RJ columnist John Katsiometes takes a walking tour of the south end of the Las Vegas Strip. (John Katsiometes and Kevin Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tiger King character has Las Vegas connection - VIDEO
Entertainment reporter John Katsilometes talks about the popular "Tiger King" and Jeff Lowe, a central figure in the Netflix documentary phenomenon who wanted to do business with the last Las Vegas Strip entertainer to use wild tigers in his act. (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Coranavirus victim Howard Berman playing the harmonica in April 2014 - VIDEO
Howard Berman, 66, playing the harmonica at a jam session in April 2014. Berman, who was active in the Las Vegas music community, died on March 24, 2020, from COVID-19. (Diana Andriola)
Boarded-up businesses in the Arts District add some color - VIDEO
Businesses in the Arts District have commissioned local artists to paint murals on the boards covering their doors and windows. When the boards are removed, they will be auctioned off to raise money for those affected by the coronavirus shutdowns. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Sold-out Electric Daisy Carnival still scheduled for May - VIDEO
In a post on his social media platforms, festival founder Pasquale Rotella confirmed that EDC remains scheduled for May 15-17 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway despite coronavirus concerns that have sideline scads of other live music events. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
City of Las Vegas responds to calls to allow restaurants offering curbside pickup
Alcohol is now allowed in curbside meal pickups in Las Vegas. The city of Las Vegas has responded to calls to allow restaurants offering curbside pickup service to include alcohol in those meals. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST