Friday, May 1, 2009

Danny Gans, Dead at 52

[UPDATE: The Review-Journal has details of the drama at the Gans household that are somewhat different than the version of events related by Lightman in this post. Lightman said Julie Gans noticed him unresponsive at 1 a.m. but Henderson PD told the R-J they were called at 3:45 a.m. and that he was still alive but having trouble breathing.]

Wow. This is a sad morning for Las Vegas.

I just got off the phone with Chip Lightman, Danny Gans' manager of 18 years. He confirmed that Gans was pronounced dead at his Henderson home at 3 a.m. PT today. He was 52. Lightman said Gans had been having trouble sleeping the night before so, having no show Thursday night, he went to bed late in the afternoon.

At 1 a.m., his wife, Julie, noticed he wasn't moving, which was odd for Gans while sleeping, she said. She called 911 and they declared him dead. An autopsy is pending. He had two daughters and a son.

"The guy was healthy as an ox," Lightman said. "I spoke to Steve Wynn several times this morning and both of us were shocked. I was with Danny the day before yesterday. Healthy as an ox. I mean, all he ate was egg whites and spinach and worked out religiously."

I'm scheduled to join Dave Berns on KNPR this morning at 9 a.m. to discuss the news and the legacy. Go to knpr.org to listen. You can also read my recent column on how much his show had improved since its recent move to the Wynn from Mirage.

Gans was successful to the end. Here's this week's TicketNews.Com rankings of Vegas' top shows by ticket resalers:

Developing...

14 comments:

Jinx said...

Wow, certainly a very sad event. Thoughts and wishes go out to Gans family and friends. Certainly way to young to go no matter the circumstances.

ARBW said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
THE STRIP PODCAST said...

Sorry, I'm not allowing attacks on Danny in the comments section today. It's inappropriate. Thanks.

MJM said...

Wow... Danny Gans passed away last night.

Too young...but an amazing man who has touched many people's lives in tremendous ways. He will be missed...but he will also be cherished in our hearts!!!

Michael J Moore
MJM Financial Services
Henderson

ARBW said...

Yes, I understand the deletion of my comment. That was wrong, what I did.

Anonymous said...

Funny how our opinion of how someone "entertains" us lets us make a value judgement on their life. Usually being dependable at work, having a stable, long term marriage, kids who stay out of trouble and you aren't in the paper for bad reasons is a successful life. I know I haven't been able to do all that.
Jeff in OKC

THE STRIP PODCAST said...

Thanks for understanding, ARBW. There'll be plenty of time to discuss Danny's legacy and reputation. Just not today.

Carlos said...

Sorry to hear about Danny. He will be sorely missed.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I saw him at the Mirage a few years ago and recommended his show to others. He was smart, clean, and funny. We would have seen him again in a heartbeat. Additionally, we admired that as a performer he found a way to be one and live with his family rather than being on the road all the time. Gans spoke well of his family during his show and seemed like a man who was grateful for what he had in life.

RIP,

SG

Twallace said...

Sad day indeed, Las Vegas will miss your energy and outrageous talent. Danny was a truly great performer.

We all wish his family peace during this very stressful time. God bless!

Jay said...

I've been to Vegas 4 times and never once saw Danny Gans perform. I always said the tickets were too expensive or I'll go next time. I now regret missing my chances to see him. I'll be back in Vegas this year for Christmas. It will be strange going down the strip and not seeing the Danny Gans ads.

Anonymous said...

I think the quote "breathing problems" meant he wasn't breathing, and "unresponsive" meant Gans was dead when they got there. I take it to be paramedicspeak for the same story.

Jeff in OKC

Mark in Chicago said...

Very classy decision of you Steve. Danny was a talented, all around good guy. He will be missed.

Nomad said...

the loss of Danny Gans is sad; i would have thought that, besides his physically healthy habits, his sense of humor would have helped him live an especially long life