Vegas Performer Gans Dies

Friends, family and business acquaintances of Danny Gans are still waiting for answers, wondering how the 52-year-old Vegas performer, who was in great shape and a teetotaler, could have died so suddenly.

Gans, who had been a Las Vegas staple since the mid ’90s, was pronounced dead at his gated-community home in Hendersonville early May 1. His wife, Julie, woke up to find Gans not breathing and called the paramedics, who arrived to find him unresponsive.

The autopsy is yet to be scheduled, and a toxicology test will take weeks, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Gans started a trend in Vegas, emerging on the scene from years as a performer on the lucrative corporate event circuit who could mimic practically any singer from Tom Jones to Sammy Davis Jr. Vegas had been the final destination for names like Elvis and Sinatra. The Strip is now populated with advertisements for performers like Gans, who were designed exclusively for Glitter Gulch.

In fact, ventriloquist Terry Fator, who won “America’s Got Talent,” fashioned his act after Gans, with the goal of one day competing with his mentor. Now Fator will take over Gans’ show at The Mirage.

“I’m just in shock,” Fator told the Review-Journal. “Danny was a huge inspiration for me. I absolutely loved him.”

Manager Chip Lightman said everything was fine with Gans just 24 hours before he died.

“The only difference was, on his day off, he would usually run errands and stuff, and he was exhausted,” Ligthman told the paper. “He hadn’t slept well the night before. He laid down in the late afternoon.”

According to Lightman, Gans avoided fried food and worked out. His meals would sometimes consist of fruit and egg whites, and he would have an occasional glass of wine.

Gans was expected to one day be a Major League Baseball player but a severed Achilles tendon changed that. His father was the one who suggested a career in entertainment because of Gans’ pension for mimicry, saying he was “a fun guy to have on a long bus ride.”

Gus found an agent and proceeded to make a lot of money performing for corporations. He eventually landed a gig in Vegas. His parents died in 2003 – the same year Gans had neck surgery because of an auto accident.