Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Danny Gans Las Vegas Entertainer

Danny Gans, 52, one of the most popular entertainers on the Las Vegas Strip for the past decade who was best known for his rapid-fire imitations of celebrities including Tony Bennett, Al Pacino and Sarah Vaughan, was found dead May 1 at his home in Henderson, Nev.

Foul play was not suspected, but police and the Clark County coroner were investigating the death.

Mr. Gans, who performed at the Mirage for more than eight years, moved to the theater at Encore Las Vegas in February. He was known for his many impressions of film and entertainment stars and for his singing and dancing.

He performed a one-man show, "Danny Gans on Broadway: The Man of Many Voices," in 1995 at the Neil Simon Theatre in New York before returning to Las Vegas. He played minor-league baseball and had a small part in the 1988 baseball movie "Bull Durham."

U.A. Fanthorpe English Poet

U.A. Fanthorpe, 79, a highly regarded English poet who was first inspired by the human tragedy she saw in a neurological hospital, died April 28 in a hospice near her home in Wotton-under-Edge in western England. No cause of death was given.

Her late-starting career was crowned with honors, including the Queen's Medal for Poetry in 2003. In 1994 she was the first woman to be nominated to be professor of poetry at Oxford (losing to James Fenton), and she was a leading candidate for poet laureate in 1999.

Ursula Askham Fanthorpe was a London native and a graduate of Oxford University. She taught at Cheltenham Ladies College for 16 years and became head of the English department.

"I began to see that power had an effect on me that I didn't like," she said, so she resigned and enrolled with a temporary agency, which led to a receptionist's job at a neurological hospital in Bristol in 1974. Her experiences there prompted her to begin writing seriously.

In an early poem, "The List," included in her first published collection in 1978, she compared a list of the next day's patients to figures on a classical frieze.

Tomorrow these names will turn nasty,

Senile, pregnant, late,

Handicapped, handcuffed, unhandy,

Muddled, moribund, mute,

Be stained by living . . .

-- From News Services

© 2009 The Washington Post Company