VEGAS.com was saddened to learn of the death of legendary Las Vegas entertainer Danny Gans. Our condolences go out to his family, friends and fans.
Gans, 52 at the time of his death, was a longtime favorite performer in the city, earning the title of Las Vegas’ Best All Around Entertainer 12 times in an annual local newspaper poll. Gans had entertained audiences on the Las Vegas Strip since 1996 when he debuted as a headliner at the Stratosphere. From there he moved to the Rio and later to his own self-titled theater at the Mirage where he performed for eight years.
When his contract came to an end in 2008, Steve Wynn, chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, offered Gans the opportunity to headline at Encore where the talented impressionist, singer and comedian amazed audiences at every show.
Regarding Gans’ death, Wynn said in a statement, “Elaine and I and all of us in the Company are devastated at the loss of our brilliant, talented and loving friend. One of the most unique human beings and entertainers in the world has been taken from us in an unexpected moment. A profoundly tragic event that leaves us all sad and speechless. The loss of Danny to his wife Julie, his children Amy, Andrew and Emily is at this moment impossible to comprehend. We will all try to go on with our lives without our dear friend. At this moment it seems almost impossible.”
Fellow Strip performer Lance Burton also released a statement expressing regrets, “Las Vegas has lost one of its best ambassadors. He was quite simply one of the greatest entertainers ever to step foot onto the stage. In my 27 years in Las Vegas, I have never seen anyone better…He was a dear friend and I am profoundly sad today.”
Gans’ boyhood dreams were to play third base for the L.A. Dodgers and after entering college he signed with the team. After suffering an injury, Gans decided to pursue a career that would encompass his other talent, entertaining. He started doing stand up at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles, while also singing in a band and studying acting.
Eventually he started performing for corporate conventions where he became one of the most sought-after entertainers. With 120 show dates booked a year, Gans had the opportunity to really groom his show and perfect his craft as an impressionist.
He developed a wide range of material that started with of all of the popular and obvious performers including Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson.
Later he incorporated impressions of newer entertainers dictated by what artists were popular at the time, including both men and women and averaged about 75 different impressions per show.
He will be greatly missed by the entire Las Vegas community.