As the old saying goes, time robs us of so much. Such is the case for two individuals included here, however one was just 34, and her death was accidental and unexpected.

Siegfried Fischbacher, January 13

Siegfried Fischbacher, 81, was half of the renown German-American duo Siegfried and Roy, a popular television and Las Vegas magic act that often incorporated live exotic animals.

The two men were romantic partners for many years. Although later in life their relationship evolved into a professional friendship, they continued to live together.

They captured global attention in October 2003, when a white tiger named Montacore attacked Roy Horn, severing his spine and severely injuring other parts of his body. The massive blood loss that occurred led to a stroke, which permanently impaired his mobile and verbal abilities, and ended the successful career of Siegfield and Roy.

Despite his injuries Horn did not pass away until May of 2020 from COVID-19 related causes. Siegfried died eight months later from Pancreatic Cancer, just two days after announcing his condition to the world.

Siegfried & Roy are two German-American former entertainers who became known for their appearances with white lions and tigers. From 1990 until an injury ended their stage careers on October 3, 2003, the duo formed the show “Siegfried & Roy At The Mirage”, which was regarded as the most-visited show in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The magic word of the duo was “SARMOTI” (Siegfried And Roy, Masters Of The Impossible”). This image was taken of Siegfried & Roy and their white lion in their private apartment in Las Vegas.

SOPHIE Xeon, January 30

Grammy nominated producer and artist SOPHIE Xeon died at the age of 34, after a sudden accident in Athens, Greece.

In 2018, the dance electronica artist came out in an interview with Paper Magazine as a transgender female. “For me trans is taking control to bring your body more online with your soul and spirit so the two aren’t fighting each other and struggling to survive.” 

The Scottish born producer, singer, songwriter and performance artist died when she fell from the third floor balcony of a hotel.

“True to her spirituality she had climbed up to watch the full moon and accidentally slipped and fell,” the artist’s representative told USA Today.

Additional reports indicate she was attempting to take a photograph of a full moon when she lost her balance and fell to her death.

Tommy Kirk, September 28

Tommy Kirk was 79-years old when he died at his home in Las Vegas. He was best known for his role in the film “Old Yeller,” although he did appear in several Disney films like “The Shaggy Dog,” “Swiss Family Robinson,” “Son of Flubber,” and “The Misadventures of Merlin Jones.”

Kirk was signed to a long-term contract by Walt Disney in the mid-1950s. The studio director found the young Kirk extremely marketable because of his appearance, often referred to as “all-American” or “the boy next door,” and in keeping with what was deemed a marketable commodity at the time.

But Kirk, who spoke at length on the subject in an interview with Filmfax Magazine in the 1990s, knew that he would never be able to live up to the Disney ideal.

“When I was about 17 or 18 years old I finally admitted to myself that I was [gay]. I didn’t know what the consequences would be, but I had the definite feeling that it was going to wreck my Disney career and maybe my whole acting career. It was all going to come to an end. Eventually I became involved with somebody, and I was fired.”

Kirk’s Disney contract was terminated in 1964, although he did go on to appear in other independent and studio cult films of note like “The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini,” “Mars Needs Women” and “Village of the Giants,” as well as a number of guest television appearances.

Kirk did find a life outside of working in the film industry. According to an interview at the time, he did just fine.

“I went out and started my own little carpet and upholstery cleaning business. I’ve done it for 20 years and I live well. I have a nice business, a nice pension and friends.”

Ironically, he did make a final appearance at a reunion show celebrating the classic Disney film era produced by the very company that had fired him.

“That’s [the work] I want to be remembered for,” he said. “Swiss Family Robinson” and “Old Yeller.”

David Aaron Moore

David Aaron Moore is a former editor of QNotes, serving in the role from 2003 to 2007. He is currently the senior content editor and a regularly contributing writer for QNotes. Moore is a native of North...

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