DANNY GANS ~ R.I.P.
I’VE SEEN AND ENJOYED GANS SEVERAL TIMES IN VEGAS. HE EPITOMIZED THE FIGURE OF A PROFESSIONAL ENTERTAINER. HE’LL BE MISSED.
PER YAHOO NEWS:
LAS VEGAS – Singer-actor-impressionist Danny Gans, who spent more than a decade as one of the most popular entertainers in Las Vegas, died Friday. He was 52.
Gans was pronounced dead in his bed shortly after police and paramedics were summoned to a report of a man not breathing at Gans' home about 3:45 a.m., said police spokesman Todd Rasmussen.
Foul play was not suspected, Rasmussen said. A Clark County coroner's spokeswoman said an autopsy was pending, and Rasmussen said police were investigating "according to standard procedure."
Gans' manager and longtime friend, Chip Lightman, said Gans was in good health but slept poorly after Wednesday's show and took a nap late Thursday afternoon, a day off. He stayed in bed into the evening, and his wife, Julie, summoned police when she couldn't rouse him after 3 a.m.
"This makes no sense," said Lightman, who said Gans didn't use illegal drugs, didn't smoke and had no apparent medical issues. "I managed him 18 years and health was never an issue."
Lightman described Gans, who had a bit part as third baseman Deke in the 1988 baseball film "Bull Durham," as an energetic health nut who watched his diet, loved to perform, and relished his involvement in Las Vegas area fundraisers and philanthropic causes.
Daniel Davies Gans grew up in Torrance, Calif., met his wife in college in San Luis Obispo, and parlayed a comedy and impression routine he developed on bus rides as a minor league baseball player into a fledgling entertainment career, Lightman said.
"Danny at that time was just a fun guy on the bus," he said.
After Gans hurt his leg playing baseball, he made a first comedy club appearance on a dare. It worked, and he began honing his routine as a variety show performer in Palm Desert, Calif., before touring the country as a banquet performer for business groups.
In 1995, Gans began a one-man show, "Danny Gans on Broadway: The Man of Many Voices," at the Neil Simon Theater in New York.
"A hardworking, eager-to-please entertainer who does rapid-fire imitations of show-biz personalities ranging from Tony Bennett to Al Pacino to Sarah Vaughan," AP Drama Critic Michael Kuchwara said of Gans in a review.
"He's fun — if you like your impressions in 60-second doses."
Gans' dexterity switching through the voices of John Travolta, Clint Eastwood, Rodney Dangerfield, Wayne Newton, Woody Allen, Robin Leach, Bill Cosby and others in "The Twelve Days of Christmas" impressed Kuchwara, who characterized Gans' humor as "the cozy comedy of ... nudge-nudge, wink-wink reaction."
The reviewer said a duet between Kermit the Frog and Jimmy Stewart made "a great twosome."
Officials at Wynn Resorts, where Gans had performed four nights a week at the 1,500-seat Encore Theater since Feb. 10, and at The Mirage, where he performed from April 2000 to November 2008, said they were stunned by Gans' sudden death.
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