Las Vegas Sun

March 30, 2015

Currently: 80° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account


Danny Gans — 1956-2009

The longtime Las Vegas headliner, star of the Encore theater, dies suddenly at home

Danny Gans came to Las Vegas thinking it would be just another stop in his career as an entertainer, a field he chose after a foot injury wrecked his prospects of becoming a professional baseball player.

He had always wowed his family and schoolmates with his impressions, his jokes, his singing. So he began pounding out a living doing one-night shows all over the country.

Then he got his own show — for two months — on Broadway. Then came a three-month gig at the Stratosphere, which turned into nine months. He was on his way to headliner status. His name lit up the Rio before he moved to The Mirage at the invitation of its builder — Steve Wynn. He sold out his show there year after year.

Appearing on the Larry King Show in March, he described how he landed his next, and open-ended, booking — at the 1,500-seat theater in Wynn’s new hotel. “He (Wynn) said, ‘You want to come over, across the street? I’m building a new place called Encore.’ ”

Gans said in February that moving to Encore was “the ultimate big deal” and “the golden ticket.” It was that way, too, for his fans and for all of Las Vegas, as Gans was also a prolific performer when it came to raising money for the valley’s children and other equally worthy causes.

Stunningly, tragically, the news came Friday that Gans had died early that morning at his home, which he considered the center of his life. “I’m a family guy,” Gans told King. “I like to be home.” Gans is survived by his wife of 28 years, Julie, and his three children, Amy, Andrew and Emily.

After hearing the news, Wynn expressed this sentiment, shared throughout Las Vegas and by Gans’ fans throughout the country: “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.”

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

No trusted comments have been posted.