Award-winning illusionist Hans Moretti has died at the age of 84.

The German magician passed away on 13 March (13) after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Moretti launched his career at the age of 16 and found fame in Europe with his ostentatious versions of classic illusions, daring escapes, and his bare-chested stage performances.

In 1979 he was named world champion in the 'mentalism' category by the International Federation of Magic Societies, and went on to break 18 world records and receive the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The magician also performed with his wife Helga as The Morettis and the double-act became known for death-defying stunts including the 'Sword Box' and 'Russian Roulette' routines. Together they scooped first prize in the 'grand illusions' category at the 1976 world championship and were awarded a Performing Fellowship from the Academy of Magical Arts in 1983.

Moretti retired from live performance in 2006 after falling ill with Alzheimer's disease.

He leaves wife Helga and their three children - sons Hans, Jr. and Peter, and daughter Nicole - who are all professional magicians.