Anyone who’s been to Las Vegas over the past 10-15 years surely has heard the name Danny Gans, if for no reason other than that his face was on ads plastered all over the Strip. Sadly, the impressionist and singer who thrilled audiences at the Mirage and Wynn Las Vegas over the past 10+ years died early this morning of unknown causes at age 52.
Gans was never that well-known outside of Las Vegas, but he was one of the top acts on the Strip for years. He was also an all-American college baseball player at Cal Poly-SLO and batted .234 for the minor-league Victoria (BC) Mussels in 1978. Injuries ended Gans’ dreams of playing professional baseball, but before becoming a Vegas legend, Gans would go on to be a part of one of the most famous sports films of all time.
In the classic 1985 film Bull Durham, Gans played “Deke”, one of Kevin Costner and Tim Robbins’ teammates on the Durham Bulls. In this clip, Gans is the middle ballplayer wearing a blue shirt in the back row of the bus:
Gans is survived by a wife and three daughters. Rest in peace, Deke.