June 9th, 2009
06:53 PM ET

Why Danny Gans Died

Danny Gans' death was an accident. That's according to the coroner's office in Las Vegas, Nevada, which has just issued the results of toxicology tests.

danny gans

The coroner's report says the entertainer and impressionist suffered a fatal reaction to hydromorphone, a medication he was taking for chronic pain. The report says he also had high blood pressure, which contributed to his death.  It explicitly states his death was not due to drug abuse.

Gans was only 52 when he died on May first. His wife called paramedics after she found him in bed, unresponsive.

Gans spent much of his career performing at the Mirage.  He was named "entertainer of the year" in Las Vegas 11 times.

Oddly, the Web site for Clark County (which includes a link to the coroner's office) still includes a video of Gans congratulating the county on its 100th anniversary. He does his tribute in the voice of George Burns.

soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Craig

    I must say, everyone appears to be a drive by doctor. As someone who has to take morphine daily for chronic pain, and have for many, many months, I do have some experience in this area. Mr. Gans was on Dilaudid apparently, which is 8 times as strong as morphine and is considered (in the pain area) as a "top tier" medication. It ranks along with fentanyl as one of the most potent pain relievers available; within the top 3. While kidney and liver abnormalities can cause the drug to be metabolized slower, responsible doctors who prescribe pain medication check these 2 organs regularly for any problems. Whenever you must take high tier pain relievers, there is -ALWAYS- a chance that you will die. There does not have to be a specific reason when you are on these medications. You can just die, for no reason other than the fact that you are on a high end narcotic. This is the give and take you must do when you have intense chronic pain. You have to deal with the possibility that you might die. When your pain is so intense that your quality of life is crap, and you would rather be dead due to the pain, this is something you must deal with.

    June 11, 2009 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. chris

    Unfortunate, but sounds like another Anna Nicole

    June 11, 2009 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. Fred

    Just another post to take alumette (first post) to task. Your political paranoia is obscuring your ability to see the science behind this for what it is. Don't assume that because someone in show biz dies and drugs are involved that there was drug abuse involved. It may be but in this case, it doesn't appear as if it was.

    June 10, 2009 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bubba

    Slow down, folks; when you take opiates for pain you slowly build up an immunity to the pain-relieving part so you have to take more and more to get the same effect. Meanwhile your kidneys and liver are being slowed down by the opiates and are not getting the opiates out of your system fast enough. One day you take three or four and find out that the equivalent of three is still in your system, and your heart shuts down. By this time the painkillers are definitely not 'getting you high' or even keeping the pain away much.

    June 10, 2009 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Nikki Oldaker

    The above commentor is wrong and rude to suggest Danny died from an overdose...it is a well known medical fact that sometimes prescription drugs are formuated wrong and they cause death. It is also a well know fact that over time the human body will reject the chemicals in the medication.
    I really wish people would be a little more sensative the family members of the deceased. Whenever a life is lost there are family and friends who knew the perosn well and grieve from the loss. Of all the things America has lost over the years what offends me most is common sense and their lack of respect for each other.

    June 10, 2009 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. alumette

    Very bizarre findings from the ME. Why would you have a reaction to a drug you take on daily basis? It's called overdose, very likely. He mentions his high blood pressure...so...was it not controlled? It has nothing to do with the pain "medication". If you die of a stroke, blame the high blood pressure. If you die of an overdose, how funky to blame a "reaction" or the high blood pressure. That ME sounds like he swings politically.

    June 10, 2009 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |

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