Illusionist Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy, who was mauled on stage by a tiger in October, says he’s on the mend and is working hard with a physical therapist, a German magazine reported Wednesday.

“You know, I almost had two feet in the grave, but now I’m doing better,” the weekly Bunte quoted Horn as saying in a telephone interview from his Las Vegas home.

“I have hired the same trainer as Christopher Reeve and am working with him for nine hours a day,” Horn added. Reeve, who played Clark Kent and his superhero alter ego in four Superman movies, was paralyzed from the neck down in a 1995 horseback-riding accident.

Horn, 59, asked Bunte to “spread the good news that you have spoken to me and that I’m doing well,” the magazine said, adding that his voice was weaker than usual but his mind was clear.

Roy’s stage partner, Siegfried Fischbacher, has downplayed his partner’s injuries from the attack. He said a stroke Horn suffered afterward resulted from blood pressure medication that sometimes made him feel faint.

Last week, a German-based spokeswoman for the duo, Claudia Dressler, said Horn was able to walk with the help of a wheeled walking aid.

Officials at the MGM Mirage in Las Vegas say Horn has a long recovery ahead of him, and the duo’s long-running show has been closed.

Pekar inks deal

for graphic novels

Harvey Pekar, the cult comic book hero and inspiration for the acclaimed film “American Splendor,” has agreed to write three graphic novels for Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House.

Pekar’s first work for Ballantine, a “sequel of sorts” to “American Splendor,” will come out this fall.

“People have been frustrated for the last 10 years or so. They’ve known Harvey’s around, they’ve known he’s alive, but they can’t find his stuff anywhere,” Pekar’s wife and collaborator, Joyce Brabner, said in a statement Tuesday.

“Now, publishing with Ballantine, the work will have a much wider distribution and Harvey will find a much broader audience.”

“American Splendor” starred Paul Giamatti as Pekar and Hope Davis as his wife. The real Pekar and Brabner, along with foster daughter Danielle and some family friends, also appeared in the 2003 movie as themselves.



BEGINNER’S LUCK

Moon River crooner Andy Williams was playing blackjack at the Trump 29 Casino in Coachella, Calif., last week when a friend ran up and told him: “You better come quick, your mother-in-law … “

Williams had taken family and friends to the casino for dinner. He then gave his mother-in-law, Mary Jane Myer, $100 in gambling money. The first-time gambler headed for the slot machines while Williams and wife, Debbie, went to a blackjack table.

Concerned over the breathless message from their friend, the 76-year-old singer bolted from the blackjack table to find out what had happened to his mother-in-law, who was 200 yards away. A large crowd had formed, and Williams feared the worst.

He asked her what was wrong.

“Wrong? I just hit the jackpot and won a new red Ford Mustang convertible by putting two quarters in this machine,” Myer said.


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