Danny Gans

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Deft vocal impressionist was a legend on the Vegas strip.
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Contemporary Christian entertainer Danny Gans turned to performing after a sports career didn't work out. Gans was drafted into baseball's minor leagues after graduating from college, but suffered an Achilles' tendon injury that ended his aspirations. After recovering he turned to standup comedy, but found that the comedy circuit and his Christian beliefs didn't mix. He became an actor, making appearances on television, in series and commercials, and scoring a small part in the 1988 baseball-themed movie Bull Durham. A turning point in his career came when he saw a performance by Sammy Davis, Jr., and conceived the idea of becoming a similar variety performer who would sing, tell jokes, and do impressions. He developed such an act, which he toured through dinner theaters and industrial shows until a Variety writeup of a Los Angeles performance interested New York promoters in giving him a one-man show on Broadway. After that, he became a permanent headliner in Las Vegas, moving there with his family. In early 2000, he released his debut album of Contemporary Christian music, Brand New Dream, on Word/Epic Records, and opened a 1200-seat theater under his own name at the Mirage Hotel on the Vegas Strip.