Danny Gans Death Similar to Elvis Presley

Jun. 10 2009, Published 10:38 a.m. ET

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Danny Gans and Elvis Presley had something else in common besides dying young and being Las Vegas showstoppers. Both entertainers were linked after their deaths with Dilaudid, a highly addictive opiate nicknamed "drug store heroin."

Las Vegas Coroner Mike Murphy ruled Tuesday that Gans' death on May 1 was caused by toxic levels of the painkiller, officially known as hydromorphone. Murphy characterized it as an accidental death.

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Dilaudid, said to be two to eight times more potent than morphine, was Presley’s favorite drug.

Gans, a vocal impressionist, included a karate-kicking overweight Presley among his spoofs of musical greats. (Photo: ZUMA Press)


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